The business value of being product led

How product-led strategies accelerate digital transformation in the enterprise

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Imagine a world where the product you sell also saves you millions of dollars in operational costs each year. Where it onboards hundreds of thousands of users on its own in a matter of minutes—without the need for training manuals or manual training. And where it relinquishes your talented people from the tasks they get stuck doing, so they can focus on the work they love doing.

This world isn’t too good to be true—it’s the reality of being product led.

An enterprise-scale global financial services firm achieved these exact results by putting their product at the center of their business strategy—in other words, by becoming product led. They realized over $2M in cost savings, onboarded over 100,000 users into a new platform practically overnight, and saw a 30% reduction in support tickets.

Whether you’re a startup or an enterprise, the potential payoff of going product led is huge.

We ran a study to understand the outcomes organizations are experiencing by becoming product led and investing in product-led technologies. We surveyed over 400 Pendo customers—primarily product managers working in enterprise (>1,500 employees) organizations. And while these results reflect the responses of the enterprise, our findings are applicable to all organizations, at all stages of maturity.

Organizations achieve value from becoming product led in four key areas

Customer health

Product-led companies retain more customers and revenue

Fidélisation des clients

5 %

Product-led tactics correlate with an average 5% reduction in customer churn

Net revenue retention

15 %

Product-led companies see an average 15% increase in net revenue retention

Product-led organizations leverage product analytics to understand user behaviors, identify features that are driving the most (and least) value, and proactively address faulty functionality that could cause a customer to churn. They also use in-app guides to steer ideal behaviors and empower users to self-serve the support and resources they need, whenever they need them.

Customer spotlight

IHS Markit uses Product Engagement Score (PES) to evaluate the performance of their Engineering Workbench product—giving them a single, cohesive measure of customer and product health. Having a clear line of sight into their customers’ performance allows IHS Markit’s customer-facing teams to easily drill into the health of each of their accounts so they can have more strategic renewal conversations and proactively take measures to prevent churn.

Key takeaway

Use product analytics to assess the health of your customer relationships, and in-app messaging to guide ideal behaviors

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Growth

Product-led companies generate higher-quality leads and more engaged users

Qualified leads

30 %

Product-led enterprises generate an average of 30% more qualified leads

Active users

28%

Enterprises who use product-led tactics see an average 28% increase in total active users

Product-led organizations allow customers to experience the value of the product first-hand through free trials, freemium plans, and product tours. They use product analytics to help sales teams identify opportunities that are most likely to convert, as well as in-app guides to reach users while they’re captive and immersed in the product. And they collect feedback at scale to validate and prioritize the right initiatives to drive positive user sentiment and enable “viral” growth.

Customer spotlight

The Citrix Sharefile team used in-app guides to create personalized onboarding flows based on individual user behaviors and jobs-to-be-done—leading to a more delightful user experience and driving stronger adoption. After implementing these guides, the Citrix team saw a 60% increase in free trial conversions and a 40% reduction in support cases around user management.

Key takeaway

Use product-led tactics to allow customers and users to experience the value of your product for themselves

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User productivity

Product-led companies spend less time on manual support, data collection, and onboarding

Support tickets

15 %

Product-led strategies reduce support ticket volumes by an average of 15%

Data collection

30 %

Product-led companies collect product data an average of 30% faster than their peers

Onboarding

27%

Product-led tactics help companies reduce user onboarding time by 27% on average

Product-led organizations leverage product analytics to evaluate how users engage with the product and eliminate roadblocks preventing them from being as productive as possible. They give users access to self-service support and resources—allowing the business to do more with less. And they accelerate their customers’ time to value through targeted and personalized in-app onboarding programs that drive long-term adoption.

Customer spotlight

The Elsevier team built an in-app repository of resources in their Elsa platform to help speed adoption. The Elsa team used in-app guides to steer users towards these materials and leveraged analytics to evaluate and iterate on their performance—resulting in a 28.5% increase in their System Usability Scale (SUS) and a 42.8% reduction in first line support queries.

Key takeaway

Bring onboarding and support inside your product to reduce friction at all stages of the user journey

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Product development

Product-led companies make data-informed decisions to innovate and iterate faster

30 %

Roadmapping time

Reduction in time spent on roadmapping discussions

Feedbacks

Reduction in time to collect product and customer feedback

Roi realization

Reduction in time to measure the efficacy of shipped features and validate decisions

Product-led organizations gather customer feedback to understand their users’ sentiments and requests. They leverage these insights to add rich context to their product analytics, prioritize and plan their roadmaps, and align cross-functional teams across the enterprise. And they look to this intersection of qualitative and quantitative data to help determine where to invest in new initiatives, as well as when to sunset legacy features.

Customer spotlight

Okta used an end-to-end product-led approach to understand how their users were engaging with their platform, drive adoption of key features, and encourage ideal behaviors. They used targeted in-app messages to guide users to critical configuration processes—resulting in a 25% increase in product adoption. And they started gathering feedback within their app—resulting in a 57% QoQ increase in user-submitted feature ideas.

Key takeaway

Correlate quantitative and qualitative data to understand the full user experience and make more informed product decisions

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Use the results from this study to help build the case for why your company should invest in product-led tools and methodologies, then bring together leaders across all areas of your business to align on your digital transformation goals and chart a shared path forward.

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You’re one step closer to realizing the full value of becoming product led. Happy reading!

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