Apr 29th, 2024

From product-led to revenue-driven: top takeaways from Superhuman

It takes a lot of human work to build a product that sells itself.

We recently talked to Gaurav Vohra, Head of Growth & Analytics at Superhuman, about all things B2B growth—both product-led and human-led—as part of our recent event: From product-led to revenue-driven: Superhuman’s B2B growth secrets.

Here are three of the top takeaways from that conversation (check out the full recording above).

1. Growth is a function, not just a result

“I'm a big believer that growth as a function, if it's operating successfully, is right there with core product strategy and leadership, and is driving that thing just as much as maybe product is.”

—Gaurav Vohra, Head of Growth & Analytics at Superhuman

Many organizations approach growth with small optimizations in mind—product and strategy experiments that move the needle incrementally over time.

That type of thinking may make sense at large enterprise companies, where compounded growth across hundreds of experiments adds up to big results. But at smaller organizations, especially early stage startups, you have to aim higher.

That means growth teams need a seat at the table.

As Gaurav points out, there are endless ways to spend research and development budgets. Not all of those investments will drive growth.

Growth teams need to be empowered to weigh in on the pros and cons of product development from the get-go. Otherwise, companies risk building wonderful technology that fails to generate results.

2. Human touch fuels product-led growth

“We had a very human touch aspect to our product-led growth motion [...]. It worked as a way to build the love and the loyalty and the brand and to get customers to value so that our retention was really strong.”

—Gaurav Vohra, Head of Growth & Analytics at Superhuman

For a time, Gaurav and his team hand-onboarded every Superhuman customer.

While this goes against the set-it-and-forget-it approach to product-led growth (PLG) some companies take, it helped Superhuman build stronger relationships with new customers (not to mention quickly uncover potential bugs and feature requests).

The company has leaned more into self-service today, but new customers still have the option of getting a more in-depth, hands-on onboarding experience.

Human-led strategy continues to be essential to Superhuman’s growth, in the form of account managers, customer success managers, and other team members who specialize in organically expanding accounts.

PLG is great for attracting individuals who are trying to solve a problem, but if your acquisition is only focused on individuals, your growth will plateau. Building a product—and a team—that makes it easier to expand horizontally within an organization is key to long-term growth.

3. You can’t fill a leaky bucket

“You should make sure that the bottom of the funnel—or the bucket, if you will—is not leaky [...] so you know that when you're putting more volume into this bucket, it's not leaking.”

—Gaurav Vohra, Head of Growth & Analytics at Superhuman

Acquisition is the name of the game for many PLG companies, but customer acquisition without retention is pointless.

In other words: It doesn’t matter if you sign 10 new logos every day if they churn at the same rate.

This is why it’s important to make sure your bottom-of-funnel fundamentals are strong before pouring all your resources into top-of-funnel growth.

Sometimes companies pursue a product-led motion in order to kickstart acquisition, but as Gaurav sees it, those companies may be cannibalizing their revenue. Instead of concentrating on building a product that high-fit customers will pay a premium for, they’re busy trying to pull in low-intent users who won’t stick around for the long haul.

Once you figure out how to land, expand, and retain the people who are willing to purchase your product, you can layer on a free trial or freemium version to supercharge growth.

Growth isn’t just about short-term gains—it’s about long-term viability.

These are just a few of the takeaways from our conversation with Gaurav Vohra.

Watch the recording for the full story.

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