Fueling PLG with G.A.S. (Growth Accelerated by Sales)

Some of the most successful B2B SaaS companies had growth driven initially via PLG (Product-led growth) which is about their GTM (go-to-market strategy) and customer acquisition driven primarily by the value of the SaaS product.

“PLG” was coined by OpenView Partners to define how companies grew their customer acquisition (as well as expansion and retention) with their product.

OpenView Partners describes PLG as follows:

Product-led growth (PLG) is an end user-focused growth model that relies on the product itself as the primary driver of customer acquisition, conversion, and expansion.

OpenView also says: “Although it’s rightfully associated with viral, freemium, bottom-up distribution, product-led growth is more than a simple go-to-market formula.

We’ve seen many companies that start out with PLG but a lot of their accelerated growth (for “new logo sales”) comes from highly effective Revenue team execution – Sales & Marketing.

OpenView has a great index showing PLG companies publicly traded on the stock market:

Among the most well known companies (both public and private) are: Hubspot, Slack, Dropbox, Calendly and Zoom.

What’s important to note is that today most of these companies’ growth is accelerated by their Sales so there is a lot more than PLG driving growth.

As OpenView wrote in 2019 – it’s not either / or.  It’s both Product & Sales.

This is the key to the most successful companies.

We call it “G.A.S.” or Growth Accelerated by Sales.  This is also meant to imply the gas that is poured on the fire or the gas as a rocket fuel to boost the rocketship – some of the terminology we use often to describe rapid growth in B2B SaaS.

What else?  What are some other ideas about sales, marketing and revenue teams accelerating PLG in B2B SaaS?