B2B Product Strategy – Enterprise vs Self-Service

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Many of today’s most successful SaaS companies rely on a product-driven growth (PLG) go-to-market strategy to grow their business. Think Dropbox, Slack, and more recently Zoom’s pandemic-fueled growth.

What does PLG mean? Simply put, these companies rely on their products (and the appeal of their user experiences) to attract customers and drive growth at all stages of the funnel.

Since the product itself – rather than advertising dollars or sales awareness – is the engine of growth, PLG is a profitable growth strategy, freeing companies (at least initially) from the need for more sales people. or a larger marketing budget.

A typical PLG Movement involves gaining users with a freemium offer: customers can use the product immediately and experience the real value of the product without having to jump through any hoops to get started.


Six Core PLG Motions: What’s Right for Your Business? Presented by Matt Heinz this Friday, March 11, 2022, during the MarketingProfs Friday Forum, featuring three presentations by leading experts.

If your business needs a product-driven growth (PLG) strategy, which PLG approach makes the most sense for your business, your customers, and your sales and marketing enablement efforts? Learn about the top six PLG movements used by leading B2B organizations today.


While this approach may require a larger initial R&D investment to create a great product, it can scale with fewer team resources.

Many PLG companies eventually scale to the point where they start targeting larger transactions, and their model falls into two tiers: self-service and the enterprise sales movement. But just because a company suddenly focuses on enterprise customers doesn’t mean it should abandon its self-service users.

However, each group has different needs and therefore requires different marketing and empowerment strategies.

The most effective B2B marketers will recognize the differences between businesses and self-service customers and customize their messaging and approach accordingly.

Here are three of those major differences.

1. Company size

It’s critical that you treat a B2B buyer from a Fortune 500 company differently than you treat someone in a small business or individual consumer.

You want your sales team to engage with business buyers because these prospects are looking for solutions to specific business needs, such as enhanced security, collaboration features, and dedicated support.

It’s important for a PLG company’s homepage to have custom headings and use cases targeted to the type of customer visiting their website. Consider this example from the Droplr home page which shows the values ​​for both tracks.

The page for individual users focuses on speed and ease of use, while the enterprise landing page starts with security and includes client use cases, such as Intercom and TED.

2. Buyer’s intention

The two customer segments also have different intentions when visiting a website. Individual buyers are ready to access the product immediately and they view sales demonstrations as unnecessary friction; business buyers, however, are often in research mode and need more information.

Custom call-to-action buttons are a great way to direct visitors to the appropriate lead and clearly show what their next step is. For the self-service customer, “try for free” or “sign up now” are good options, while “talk to sales” or “get a demo” set immediate expectations for business visitors.

From the first click, self-serve leads who may never spend a dollar with the company are now less likely to waste your marketing or sales team’s time, and company leads never wonder plus what their next step should be.

3. Stakeholders

Small businesses usually have one person or a small group that makes purchasing decisions. They don’t need a sign-up to try a free product and can get started right away without speaking to a sales rep, making it easy to move forward.

Businesses, on the other hand, likely have a first person doing research, another person up the chain to give feedback, and another decision maker to give final approval. It makes more sense to offer company teams a way to gather more information or schedule a meeting with a sales representative.

Live chat services, for example, provide an opportunity to personalize the user journey for business buyers and route qualified leads to the right sales rep. If a visitor is a better fit with self-service options, a chatbot that answers common questions might do the trick with a single, one-time setup, or marketers might choose to forgo a customer chat box entirely for free. -service.

The best and easiest way for marketers to personalize their website for business and freemium leads is to use firmographic information about their website visitors, primarily the size of the business for which the visitor works. Once marketers decide on a target threshold that defines an enterprise user (for example, working for a company with 500 or more employees), they can customize it accordingly. They can serve visitors from businesses above that number with business-specific messages, while those below that threshold are pushed to self-service options.

While marketers can manually create custom landing pages for each segment, a faster path is to use additional marketing data (such as location or tech stack) and machine learning to automatically populate messages. personalized on the home page and landing pages. The result is a website that serves every group of prospects, based on who is visiting the site at any given time.

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The bottom line is that to maximize the pipeline, marketers need to personalize the experience for each type of customer by creating two distinct leads that work together. Optimizing CTAs, headlines, chats, and more for each lead preserves a self-service funnel without letting corporate offers slip through the cracks.

More resources on B2B product strategy

Innovation at the intersection of art, technology and product strategy: Adobe VP Loni Stark on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

Three reasons why you should start your marketing strategy while your product is still in development

Flip it, flip it, ‘Bop It!’ The traditional marketing/sales funnel is over, so what really works?

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