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Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself

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Can your software sell itself? Convention and the trillion-dollar sales industry claim that it’s impossible for your product to sell itself. Yet successful software businesses like Slack, Dropbox, Atlassian, and HubSpot make millions selling to customers who never once reached out to a sales rep. In Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself, growth consult Can your software sell itself? Convention and the trillion-dollar sales industry claim that it’s impossible for your product to sell itself. Yet successful software businesses like Slack, Dropbox, Atlassian, and HubSpot make millions selling to customers who never once reached out to a sales rep. In Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself, growth consultant Wes Bush challenges the traditional SaaS marketing and sales playbook and introduces a completely new way to sell products. Bush reveals how your product—not expensive sales teams—can be the main vehicle to acquire, convert, and retain customers. In this step-by-step guide to Product-Led Growth, Bush explains: Why you should flip the traditional sales process on its head and turn your product into a sales machine; How to decide whether your business should use a free trial, freemium, or hybrid model; How to turn free users into happy, paying customers. History tells us that “how” you sell is just as important as “what” you sell. Blockbuster couldn’t compete with Netflix by selling the same digital content, and you need to decide “when” not “if” you’ll innovate on the way you sell. Are you going to be product-led? Or will you be disrupted, too?


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Can your software sell itself? Convention and the trillion-dollar sales industry claim that it’s impossible for your product to sell itself. Yet successful software businesses like Slack, Dropbox, Atlassian, and HubSpot make millions selling to customers who never once reached out to a sales rep. In Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself, growth consult Can your software sell itself? Convention and the trillion-dollar sales industry claim that it’s impossible for your product to sell itself. Yet successful software businesses like Slack, Dropbox, Atlassian, and HubSpot make millions selling to customers who never once reached out to a sales rep. In Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself, growth consultant Wes Bush challenges the traditional SaaS marketing and sales playbook and introduces a completely new way to sell products. Bush reveals how your product—not expensive sales teams—can be the main vehicle to acquire, convert, and retain customers. In this step-by-step guide to Product-Led Growth, Bush explains: Why you should flip the traditional sales process on its head and turn your product into a sales machine; How to decide whether your business should use a free trial, freemium, or hybrid model; How to turn free users into happy, paying customers. History tells us that “how” you sell is just as important as “what” you sell. Blockbuster couldn’t compete with Netflix by selling the same digital content, and you need to decide “when” not “if” you’ll innovate on the way you sell. Are you going to be product-led? Or will you be disrupted, too?

30 review for Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hristina Šatalova

    A while ago I was faced with a challenge to improve trial-to-paid conversion rates in our SaaS product. When looking for answers, I came across the product-led-growth approach that was touched upon in the innumerous resources made by Wes (free email course, podcasts, articles, product-led summit). Even before the book was out, it was clear that this was the direction to follow if we wanted to continue building a value-filled business. The book is a great all-in-one resource that has helped us im A while ago I was faced with a challenge to improve trial-to-paid conversion rates in our SaaS product. When looking for answers, I came across the product-led-growth approach that was touched upon in the innumerous resources made by Wes (free email course, podcasts, articles, product-led summit). Even before the book was out, it was clear that this was the direction to follow if we wanted to continue building a value-filled business. The book is a great all-in-one resource that has helped us improve our business and marketing strategy immensely. Highly recommended!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kaloyan Yankulov

    A must-read book for SaaS founders, especially if you have a self-serve SaaS. Wes has provided a blueprint for creating a complete product-led growth strategy. The book includes both top-level strategic frameworks and tactics like onboarding, product adoption and churn reduction example email sequences.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Gibson

    There aren't many books that dig into the meat of how to have a product that markets itself, which is why it was great to read something that brought up important questions throughout the customer lifecycle. It's a quick and clean read that will prompt your team to think hard about how you position yourselves and follow through on that promise. That said, my hesitation with it is around it as a stand alone book. I felt like an editor could have taken a knife to it and the content could have come There aren't many books that dig into the meat of how to have a product that markets itself, which is why it was great to read something that brought up important questions throughout the customer lifecycle. It's a quick and clean read that will prompt your team to think hard about how you position yourselves and follow through on that promise. That said, my hesitation with it is around it as a stand alone book. I felt like an editor could have taken a knife to it and the content could have come across in a couple pointed blog posts. There were a lot of redundancies with graphics and content that left me feeling like I couldn't be trusted to read the whole book, that I hadn't been paying attention. If we're getting real into it, there is a Venn diagram used that is definitely not a proper Venn diagram. While it could have been more concise and the graphics could have been more pointed, it does provide good frameworks and I appreciated the perspectives included. Thank you, Wes! Looking forward to the next one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Payne

    If you are seeking the map to hidden treasure: start here. Wes Bush offers incredible insights gained by working with numerous companies and a step-by-step how to guide on building better product from straight-lining your onboarding, shopping your own service, welcoming your customers, measuring your churn and growing revenues. Sales-led growth pushes your product on others. In product-led growth the product and experience instead pull customers into the product with freemium offers, better custom If you are seeking the map to hidden treasure: start here. Wes Bush offers incredible insights gained by working with numerous companies and a step-by-step how to guide on building better product from straight-lining your onboarding, shopping your own service, welcoming your customers, measuring your churn and growing revenues. Sales-led growth pushes your product on others. In product-led growth the product and experience instead pull customers into the product with freemium offers, better customers experiences, easier paths to success, and more realized value. It is ultimately VALUE that customers get from the product that keeps engagement high and churn low at this point–the product truly sells itself.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Grzegorz Kućma

    If you are looking for a book that puts you through the selling process and gives you ready-to-use tips you might be a bit disappointed. Similarly, if you wish to find comprehensive knowledge regarding how to build a product that sells itself, you are in store for disappointment. So what can you get from reading this book? Valuable capsules of essential topics related to products and sales strategies for internet-based or software companies. Whether you are a decision maker or regular employee b If you are looking for a book that puts you through the selling process and gives you ready-to-use tips you might be a bit disappointed. Similarly, if you wish to find comprehensive knowledge regarding how to build a product that sells itself, you are in store for disappointment. So what can you get from reading this book? Valuable capsules of essential topics related to products and sales strategies for internet-based or software companies. Whether you are a decision maker or regular employee by reading this book you can either review your decision making process or be able to better understand the strategy of the company you work for.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Salman Ladha

    This is a great, easy read for anyone who works at a SaaS technology company — though it will especially resonate with PMs/PMMs. While there are a lot of great ideas in the book with tactical key takeaways, I found myself nodding along to the concepts presented, rather than deeply reflecting on the content. This may only serve to corroborate preexisting notions of the way in which technology companies should go to market. Still, there are a few good nuggets in here and I can see myself referring This is a great, easy read for anyone who works at a SaaS technology company — though it will especially resonate with PMs/PMMs. While there are a lot of great ideas in the book with tactical key takeaways, I found myself nodding along to the concepts presented, rather than deeply reflecting on the content. This may only serve to corroborate preexisting notions of the way in which technology companies should go to market. Still, there are a few good nuggets in here and I can see myself referring back to it from time to time.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Álvaro Barbosa

    It's a great book! Wes brings a lot of references and methods to show us a PLG Playbook. It's a great book! Wes brings a lot of references and methods to show us a PLG Playbook.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cameron Nuckols

    Wes does an excellent job at guiding business owners through the steps of building a business that is 100% product-led. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn of the strategies they can employ to grow their company via their product. He dives deep enough into the data to give you meaningful experiments to try, yet not too far that you stop reading because of boring context. I especially loved the last few chapters that dive into specific areas you can improve when onboarding users so t Wes does an excellent job at guiding business owners through the steps of building a business that is 100% product-led. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn of the strategies they can employ to grow their company via their product. He dives deep enough into the data to give you meaningful experiments to try, yet not too far that you stop reading because of boring context. I especially loved the last few chapters that dive into specific areas you can improve when onboarding users so they have a delightful experience. Honestly, this is one of the best written books on product strategy that I have read. I recommended it to my team immediately after finishing it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael Dubakov

    I have 15 years experience in SaaS and always thought that product, actually, can sell itself. I hoped Product-led approach would be a cool accumulation of proven facts and practices why this indeed can work. Unfortunately, the book did not deliver anything new. There are some good quotes you can highlight, but in terms of real information you'll find frameworks for kids, few stories to prove the point and almost zero statistics. Plus you will find some self-promotion. That a perfect sign of a bu I have 15 years experience in SaaS and always thought that product, actually, can sell itself. I hoped Product-led approach would be a cool accumulation of proven facts and practices why this indeed can work. Unfortunately, the book did not deliver anything new. There are some good quotes you can highlight, but in terms of real information you'll find frameworks for kids, few stories to prove the point and almost zero statistics. Plus you will find some self-promotion. That a perfect sign of a bullshit literature. How to really implement product-led approach? Well, there are some things: 1. Web site aligned with the product value proposition 2. Good onboarding flow 3. ... 4. PROFIT! I am not kidding you, that is it. Any person with 2+ years of experience in low touch SaaS marketing knows that. Overall, the main idea is good. The book is bad. No depth.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Çağlar Bozkurt

    A nice book that covers the introduction to intermediate levels of overall SaaS growth. It shares theoretical and practical suggestions for user acquisition and retention, along with a set of steps to transform your product to enable product-led growth. Even only going through the steps described in the book, you can easily make an initial plan and set up the initial workflows, that would be enough to have a working and result-generating system. I suggest everybody interested in transforming thei A nice book that covers the introduction to intermediate levels of overall SaaS growth. It shares theoretical and practical suggestions for user acquisition and retention, along with a set of steps to transform your product to enable product-led growth. Even only going through the steps described in the book, you can easily make an initial plan and set up the initial workflows, that would be enough to have a working and result-generating system. I suggest everybody interested in transforming their products to read it - although some sections cover very straightforward information, others might include some new information or angles that you haven't thought of before. Two notes, though; - Although it seems like a relatively long book due to its number of pages, it's not very long since the font size is around 1.5x bigger than regular prints. Hence, you don't really have a hard time finishing the book. - I think the book could have been a bit shorter, but since it has a goal to convince audiences and direct relatively inexperienced people, it is longer than its potential.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anand Vijay

    This is a must read for all those who want to transform their companies from being a sales led company to being a product led company. There are lots of practical examples that are very relatable how we do business daily at Saas companies. Nothing here is a surprise, but, also a good reminder that we must be methodical, measure, apply, connect with customers, and do this on a regular rhythm. It's also a good blueprint to provoke some thought process on what your companies already do well, and wh This is a must read for all those who want to transform their companies from being a sales led company to being a product led company. There are lots of practical examples that are very relatable how we do business daily at Saas companies. Nothing here is a surprise, but, also a good reminder that we must be methodical, measure, apply, connect with customers, and do this on a regular rhythm. It's also a good blueprint to provoke some thought process on what your companies already do well, and where there might be blind spots. It's a quick read... I finished the book in two days while making some notes, so, get this out of the way. Especially if you are in Product Management or Engineering Leadership in a Saas business, I'd say that this one is a must read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Dikman

    This is a definite read for anyone starting a digital product. It's quite geared towards SaaS products but I think a lot of it is applicable to other types of software products as well, even to other types of products. It talks about pricing models and markets and how making sure to keep the customers you get is vital for the product to be able to market itself. Word of mouth has always been a very effective marketing strategy and with the global economy, we have now this surpasses the boundaries This is a definite read for anyone starting a digital product. It's quite geared towards SaaS products but I think a lot of it is applicable to other types of software products as well, even to other types of products. It talks about pricing models and markets and how making sure to keep the customers you get is vital for the product to be able to market itself. Word of mouth has always been a very effective marketing strategy and with the global economy, we have now this surpasses the boundaries of our local social groups meaning with a good product that markets itself if you build for it. I can really recommend it. A product manager must read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Antanas

    Great overview with actionable steps to create product-led SaaS growth when you use product to acquire customers instead of sales teams. With a lower ACV that’s a great framework/methodology to build a revenue machine and scale the company fast. With a higher ACV at least from 30k ARR sales-led customer acquisition might still be inevitable. Even though the book is great, I missed more thoughts on how companies could combine both methods.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Clo Willaerts

    This book helps you optimize sales conversions To be honest, no product “sells itself”. Higher sales numbers, especially if you’re about to launch a SaaS product, still requires a lot of hard work. This book’s Key Takeaways will help you optimize the value propositions you use on your website and in your emails.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aman Gour

    The book is compilation of studies of some good brands who have built a great customer on-boarding experience. Good for SaaS companies in growth stage trying to setup structure to their process. Early stage founders would benefit from the book as it gives a overview of various metrics to be tracked from early on

  16. 4 out of 5

    Janine Sneed

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Must read for companies build SaaS products 1.) Product Led Growth -> shorter sales cycle, lower CAC, higher revenue per employee 2.) Know if you are in a differentiated, dominant, or disruptive growth market. Your acquisition strategy depends on knowing this. 3.) Know your value metric and optimize for it 4.) SaaS products need product and conversational bumpers to drive usage and prevent churn

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vikrama Dhiman

    Really Good I loved this book. The chapter on onboarding and removing friction is a gold mine 🙏 I also liked that the author includes practical tips on growth from B2C and B2B setups esp freemium category. I came back enriched from this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Vladimir

    Great actionable content PLG is here to stay and this book is the go-to manual you can apply and execute now. All samples and ideas are crystal clear. No vogue talks or esoteric ideas. Real stuff you can use is here. Grab it and grow now.

  19. 5 out of 5

    James

    I file this under a practical business book, meaning that it has a ton of good information that you can apply to how you are building and growing your product, but I'm not sure that information will stand the test of time. If you aren't familiar with PLG it's an excellent place to start. I file this under a practical business book, meaning that it has a ton of good information that you can apply to how you are building and growing your product, but I'm not sure that information will stand the test of time. If you aren't familiar with PLG it's an excellent place to start.

  20. 5 out of 5

    André Pimentel

    With good practical examples to work with, this book brings to us good tips to create/evolve a product from a sales mindset to a product that "sells itself". Some of these tips are useful to me, and I can apply them to my day to day work. With good practical examples to work with, this book brings to us good tips to create/evolve a product from a sales mindset to a product that "sells itself". Some of these tips are useful to me, and I can apply them to my day to day work.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Piyush

    Useful power packed lessons you can practically employ I liked the breadth which the book covers. It is a must read for aspiring and practicing product managers. Very practical frameworks and examples on how to use those. Well done!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Yanis Mellata

    Interesting book to show the strength and trade offs of product led vs sales led. A lot of very strong insights on how to optimize the different steps of building a truly self-selling product that I’ll be definitely going back to over the next few months!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Balcauski

    An interesting collection of blog posts Disappointed that there really is no coherent definition here for PLG. There are a lot of well tread tactics here that you could find easily on the web in blog posts and ebooks.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Min Tran

    A must-read for SaaS marketers and makers. It's so good that I read it twice in a week to make sure that I swallow all of the Wes' ideas. A must-read for SaaS marketers and makers. It's so good that I read it twice in a week to make sure that I swallow all of the Wes' ideas.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lakshmi

    The frameworks, while basic, are helpful to have. The book could easily be a few blog posts, but its a quick read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ilia Markov

    This is great — covers everything you need to know about running a SaaS and goes into detail on practical aspects. I wish there was something like this when I was starting in the industry.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Josh Lee

    Simply a must-read for all SaaS founders & employees.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Koller

    very actionable insights

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jason Knight

    An excellent book. Lots of insightful commentary and actionable tips. Should be considered a go-to primer for anyone curious about what it means for a company to be truly Product-led.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Davor

    An ok book, Has some valuable info, however a lot of it is nothing new. I feel like 3 stars is too little, would say it is more like 3.5. If you are in the SaaS business, def read it, it won't hurt. An ok book, Has some valuable info, however a lot of it is nothing new. I feel like 3 stars is too little, would say it is more like 3.5. If you are in the SaaS business, def read it, it won't hurt.

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