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Learn how experts conduct their PLG (or hybrid SLG-PLG) motion.

An interview with

Jarand F. Millett

,

Tech Lead

ShiftX' Tech Lead, Jarand F. Millett talks about their PLG journey, their initial challenges and their hands-on experience transitioning from SLG to PLG using journy.io.

Summary

Website: https://www.shiftx.com
Company size: 11-50
Year founded: 2018
Headquarters: Oslo, Norway
Product category: Process-mapping tool
PLG background: Moved from Sales-led to product-led growth. Kicked off their PLG motion in late 2021.

Main challenges

- No access to actionable data. Mixpanel gave insights into which features are being used and shows basic metrics, but this wasn’t enough to support a user-centric PLG motion.

- Needed to understand which users have experienced an ‘aha’ or ‘eureka’ moment, fit the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), and are ripe for monetization (PQA, PQL), so the Sales and Customer Service departments could approach the right users, at the right time, with the right message.

- Unable to see the full customer journey. Where do they come from, why do they come to ShiftX, and how do they move through the onboarding journey? Without a deep customer understanding, it proved difficult to convert free users to paid users.

Solutions

- Kanban board, where the team can see how users flow through their journeys, from awareness to paying, loyal users. The team can meticulously track how many users are in each stage.

- Configured ShiftX-specific signals, indicating a PQA or PQL

- Seamless hand-over to the Sales or Customer Service teams, who reach out to the right users at the right time using pre-configured journy.io playbooks

- Connected Stripe and Clearbit to journy.io for MRR and enriched company data

Journy.io makes it easy for Product, Customer Success, and Sales to see the same picture. You don’t need to be a developer to understand the big data picture. Instead, you can see data based on the user, and how the user moves through the funnel.

Workflow

Created using ShiftX.

Story

ShiftX launched in 2018 with a sales-led go-to-market strategy. The leadership team always felt the desire to move to product-led growth (PLG) but felt the company needed to mature and learn about its target audience through traditional sales before making that shift. In late 2021 they took their first step toward PLG, allowing users to sign up for free on the website. From that point on, the ShiftX team has been iterating on their PLG motion, refining their target audience, their value proposition, and their onboarding journey. By now they’ve switched fully from cold outreach to product-led sales.

After unleashing the free trial, the team quickly ran into their first big stumbling block: A lack of actionable data. Sure, they had data, they were using Mixpanel. But learning about MAUs, DAUs, and retention curves doesn’t tell you the key information you need for PLG to succeed: Who’s using your product, how, and why? When should you reach out to them, and with what message?

Most product analytics tools are designed to be feature-first, but not user-first. Therefore they’re just not well set up to pick up on signals of a user that’s ready to be monetized (Product Qualified Accounts, or PQAs, and Product Qualified Leads, or PQLs).

The team selected journy.io because it allowed them to connect a lot of data sources. They use Segment to pump data into journy.io and connected Stripe to keep track of MRR per user or account. Clearbit provides enriched data, so they can qualify ICPs and simply know more before reaching out to a user.

Journy.io is a tool that our people want to use, even if they don’t have to. That was our aha moment.

journy.io is where the Product, Customer Service, and Sales teams work together. Everyone has the same well-rounded view of the customer.
The ShiftX team configured their PLG flow (from free to paid, from starter to business user) in journy.io so they can see how each user progresses, and how many users are in each step in a simple Kanban view.

By configuring signals, the team automatically gets a ping in Slack when a user is qualified as part of a PQA or a PQL. The Customer Service and Sales teams rely on journy.io’s pre-configured playbooks to reach out to users when the time is ripe.

Product-led growth is never ‘done’. It’s about continuous experimentation, measuring, and learning, all in service of your customers. Changing from sales-led to product-led growth is hard: Your primary aim shifts from selling to helping your users become successful within your product. journy.io helps ShiftX do just that.

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