The data-driven playbook for product-led teams


What’s a product-led company to do with all that data?

They say you can’t improve what you don’t measure. At product-led organizations, there’s no shortage of measurement going on. Teams across the business—from product, engineering, and IT to customer success, sales, and marketing—are constantly looking to product usage data and customer feedback to inform their work.

Rather than accessing data on one-off occasions or searching for a data point that confirms an existing opinion, product-led companies leverage data throughout the entire product development lifecycle and customer journey. Here’s what that might mean for different teams:

  • A product manager (PM) examines user behavior to identify friction points in a particular workflow and determine what changes need to be made to the user interface (UI). They then create an in-app survey to ask users about their experience with the product and how it could be improved.
  • A customer success manager (CSM) looks at their account’s product usage leading up to a quarterly business review, so they can come into the meeting with actionable recommendations and go-forward plans.
  • An IT leader monitors employees’ usage with a particular tool in order to determine if the company is making the most of its software investment, or if they should remove it from the tech stack.
  • A customer marketer utilizes product usage data to identify power users who would be good candidates to speak at an event, join a community, or leave a review on a third party site. They immediately follow up with a tailored in-app guide to make the request.
  • A sales rep leverages usage data from the company’s freemium product to identify users who are the most engaged and likely to be interested in the full platform. From there, they create in-app guides that speak to the value of paid features and direct users to where they can go to upgrade.

As exemplified above, being data-driven means taking action on the data you collect. Beyond product analytics, this requires specific tools (or ideally, a single tool) that allow you to communicate with and collect feedback from users and customers inside your product. This then fosters a continuous loop of measuring, testing, collecting feedback, and iterating—creating a virtuous cycle for product-led organizations.

Throughout the rest of this playbook, we’ve curated tactics and best practices that you can use to take action on all the valuable data you’re collecting—or could be collecting. It’s organized into five sections, each with different “plays” that ladder up to the broader theme.

Let’s get started.

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