Bottom-up growth + Top-down sales - Deepstash
Bottom-up growth + Top-down sales

Bottom-up growth + Top-down sales

Many SaaS companies leave money on the table by relying on organic growth and failing to develop a relationship between the organization and the product.

The best way to complement bottom-up growth is to have a top-down account sales strategy. Let users spread your solution across the organization. But, while that is happening, work on developing strategic relationships with high-level decision makers in the organization.

Land and expand is about transforming your product from a tool that some employees use, to a solution that the organization has adopted.

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Land and Expand KPIs

Land and expand is a long-term strategy that requires patience and resources. As such, you should assign it KPIs so you can track and monitor its impact.

KPIs can include:

  • MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue)
  • ARPU (Avg Revenue Per Unit) from key organizations
  • LTV (Lifetime Value) from organizations
  • Customer and revenue retention
  • Adoption rate inside organizations (as a direct result of customer development)

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The land and expand process
  1. Monitor new sign-ups to catch ideal customers early
  2. As soon as you have one, start researching their company: potential stakeholders, organization structure etc. Focus on understanding the potential use cases and business impact of your product.
  3. As product adoption increases inside their company, work on making connections with high-level decision makers (ideally with introductions from the current users). Use sales activities (demos, presentations, high-level business conversations, etc), and execute them boldly because your foot is already in the door.

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Land and Expand

In sales, “Land and Expand” is a strategy to land a customer with a small deal, and then sell into the organization to expand your footprint to more seats, additional departments or more products and services.

Land and expand plays out like this in a SaaS:

  1. An individual user signs up for a free trial
  2. Then converts to a paid user
  3. Then you get as many other users in that company as you can
  4. Finally, you convince key decision makers to adopt your product across the organization 

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Bottom-up growth is not enough

If you have a great product, it will grow organically inside the company. User #1 will tell a colleague, then they will invite more colleagues, and soon your product will spread throughout the organization.

It’s great to have this network effect inside an organization, but organic user growth is not a land and expand strategy. It’s a by-product of product-led growth. It’s bottom-up growth, and it’s great.

But it’s not enough.

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RELATED IDEAS

#1: Your In-Product Data

In-product data reveals how users and potential customers are interacting with your product. Moreover, it also allows you to see upsell opportunities and provides you a firm set of figures to back your decisions.

But what in-product data will lend the biggest boost to your strategy? See listed items below:

  • Customer profile data
  • Customer behavior data
  • Production data

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The product-led flywheel

The product-led flywheel is a framework that promotes product-led growth. It focuses on the user experience at the various stages of the user's journey.

  • On the inner circle of your flywheel, imagine the different segments of your users based on where they are in their product journey. For example, product qualified leads, customers, active customers, loyal customers.
  • On the outer layer of your flywheel are the different stages of product growth: Onboarding, adoption, retention, and growth.

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The SaaS industry can tap into a growth plan that gains momentum over time.

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Customer-Centric Marketing

Customer-centric marketing is an approach to marketing that prioritizes the wants and needs of the customer over any other factor in regards to their interests.

Although their goal is to grow their business, customer-centric marketing shows us that they will be able to grow while at the same time ensure that their product or service can improve some aspect of the customers' work or life.

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