Product-led growth isn’t just “having a moment.” In many ways, it’s the way of the future for companies to grow. From outstanding UX to lower customer acquisition costs, companies who take on a PLG strategy are among the best-positioned to ride out the economic uncertainties of the next few years—and beyond. They’re innovative and nimble, and embrace a culture of experimentation that’s downright inspiring to behold.
But who’s best-in-class? Grammarly, Zoom, Dropbox. All of these companies can be considered vanguards in their ability to create products that essentially sell themselves to the end-user, with their ability to slot in with other best-in-breed solutions and pricing models built to suit the needs of their customers. But when we comb the PLG landscape for a strategy that truly stands out, it’s Slack that stands out from all the rest. This messaging platform is used by millions of teams around the world for communication and collaboration, and by embracing product-led growth has been able to build a community to fuel adoption and innovation at scale.
Founded in 2009, Slack initially struggled to gain traction in the market. However, by 2013, the company had pivoted to a freemium model, which enabled users to try the product for free before deciding to upgrade to a paid version. This approach helped users to experience the value of the product firsthand, an elegant gateway that motivated them to upgrade.
Growing a company requires both product and marketing teams to work hand in hand, whether that's generating word of mouth or facilitating integrations that boost operational efficiency.
Aside from the freemium model, Slack also focused on building a strong community of users and developers who could help spread the word about the product. They invested in content marketing and thought leadership, creating a wealth of resources that educated potential customers about the benefits of using Slack. They also worked with third-party developers to create integrations with other best-in-breed tools and platforms, which helped drive adoption.
To further drive adoption, Slack also employed a number of sales and marketing techniques, including:
Converting potential customers into paid users is the responsibility of sales reps at Slack, and they have successfully done this by educating potential customers about the value of Slack and how it can benefit their business.
The entire team is trained to understand the product-led growth approach and how to effectively communicate the value of Slack to potential customers. Sales enablement tools and processes enable them to pitch the product more effectively and save valuable time and resources.
Overall, Slack's implementation of product-led growth involves a combination of offering a free version of the product, building a strong community, and making strategic investments in content marketing and thought leadership. Their world-class inbound marketing programs, lead nurturing, and sales enablement techniques have helped drive sky-rocketing adoption and revenue growth for the company.
In just a few years, Slack has grown to millions of users and has become a leading player in the messaging and collaboration market. In 2019, Slack went public through a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange and is now valued at over $23 billion. Its success can be attributed to several key factors, including its focus on the product itself as the primary driver of sales, its strong community-building efforts, and its investment in content marketing and thought leadership. By adopting a product-led sales approach and executing on it effectively, Slack has grown to become a market leader. Want more tips and tactics for building a world-class product-led growth strategy at your organization? Check out userled.io for more info.