Watch this video to learn how Matt Avero-Sturm, Director of Marketing Operations, Sprig, and the rest of the Sprig team use UserGems to support their product-led growth strategy.
Here’s the TL;DR:
Challenge: Sprig needed a better way to keep track of their free users - as these users changed jobs a lot. Tracking them manually on LinkedIn wasn’t a sustainable strategy.
Solution: Sprig used UserGems to capture the existing database of users who switched to new companies. This pool included users who moved to companies that weren’t in Sprig’s consideration set but were potentially Sprig’s target audience.
Results: By leveraging UserGems, Sprig has seen 8X ROI directly attributed to UserGems-influenced opportunities.
The premise of product-led growth (PLG)is would-be customers experience the product for free, either through a free trial or a freemium product. If these free signups find the product valuable, they upgrade to paid users.
For Sprig, a user insights platform for product teams, the problem was these free users changed jobs regularly- often before they had the chance to upgrade to paid users. And tracking these customers on the move was challenging.
“We tracked these job changers manually. The Sales team would use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to see who was previously at a customer account. And is now at one of their specific target accounts,” Matt says.
This was a workable solution when Sprig only had a few customer accounts.
Matt continues, “But when things scale and you get more customer accounts, tracking these movers manually just wasn’t feasible. Plus manual tracking meant we didn’t account for free users, only those who had converted to paid. So keeping track of that manually on LinkedIn was complicated.”.
“We also target a specific group of people. And this specific group cycle through similar jobs. So, while we run paid ads to this group, we’ve found out it isn’t a huge audience. And for people that are engaged, that are a great fit, and are already signed up, its much more valuable for us to keep track of them rather than send out ads to a large group of people,” he adds.
Asides from the teething pains of scaling up, Sprig was also looking to prioritize Enterprise sales.
And that’s when Sprig decided to switch to UserGems to solve all these issues.
“We were impressed from the pilot by how many of our existing database of free signups had already moved to new companies,” Matt says.
For the Sprig Sales team, moving from manually searching for job changers to UserGems has been beneficial on two fronts.
Matt explains, “Our Sales team is also responsible for account management. So for them, it’s useful to know who’s at their customer account and is familiar with Sprig. And those at their customer accounts who might be able to think of new use cases to use Sprig or who might be able to add more value to their team because they are a prior user.”
“From our SDR team perspective, they are more focused on prospects and handle the majority of the UserGems leads,” he continues.
To top the whole thing off, Sprig also unlocked a new pipeline channel they hadn’t thought of before onboarding UserGems.
“What we didn't expect to see was seeing people within our specific audience profile going to companies that may have not been on our radar yet. Or going to companies that might not be as digital-first but are moving towards that and are going through some digital transformation. And those companies and roles might not have been in our radar before because they aren't in our super-targeted segment,” Matt explains.
He continues, “When someone who already knows Sprig and is an advocate moves to one of these companies, these are great people to re-engage with since they are on the cutting edge of smart product development. It was an interesting use case - expanding into adjacent markets by following your champions.”
8X ROI from directly attributed UserGems influenced opportunities later, Matt and Sprig team are still going strong.
To start, Sprig only considers someone a UserGems opportunity if they have product log-in information and have interacted with or used the product. Being a PLG company, reaching out to someone with experience with the product is crucial.
Matt explains,”In Salesforce, we differentiate accounts between whether they were a customer, a pilot user, an open opportunity, did they have free users, or is this a company where no one used Sprig.”
“The UserGems Customer Success team worked with us to help customize our integration so our team knows exactly what the relationship the lead had with Sprig at their last company before they moved on,” he continues.
PLG companies often operate a different funnel from non-PLG companies. For example, a non-PLG company can’t email someone a free account they can use that’s all set up.
“For both former enterprise companies and free users, aside from an email saying ‘congrats on your new role,’ we also ask, ‘Can I set up a free account for you to use at your new company? How can I get you started?’” Matt explains.
“Our goal during the outreach is to get this person reactivated. And begin to get the value of Sprig as soon as possible in their new role. I would say that PLG companies might have more success from UserGems than non-PLG companies because we have more free users and more relationships,” he continues.
Sprig's different types of users mean educating the SDR team is essential.
Matt says, “It’s important for our SDRs to know the difference between reaching out to a paid user vs. reaching out to a free user. We differentiate our outreach between former contract users vs former free users. The feature set is different, the onboarding is different. It’s a different play.”
He adds, “Its important to make your SDR team successful in a company that’s not a traditional Enterprise sales or outbound sales-led company. Internally, what this means is being very involved with your SDR function. Having an Ops and Enablement champion is important for their growth and success - someone to help manage the bridge between PLG and your go-to-market.”
Matt has one tip for PLG leaders:
“You’ll want to ensure the conversations you have with the leads UserGems provide are as valuable and meaningful as possible. To do this, make sure you have the right data such as product usage and their use case. That’s only possible if you have the right account data on their previous account.The whole point of UserGems is adding value - so make sure you have value to add.”
We ask every customer we interview to share one tip for someone in a similar role.
Matt’s tip for anyone leading go-to-market Ops in a PLG company: be collaborative and lean into your partnerships with the Product and Engineering teams. As that’s the only way you get the data, you must make the right calls.
“It’s easy to say but actually spending time on QA and spec review calls goes a really long way in going into understanding all the data that the sales and marketing team needs to be successful and enabling the product led motion to add as much value as possible. If you don’t have data – you can’t do anything in PLG.”