Julio Bermúdez: Product-Led Sales requires a change in mindset

Nathan Wangliao5 min read

If I was somebody that was not utilising product usage data to drive sales behaviour, process and pipeline generation, then I would be very excited that my company was going to do that, because it’s going to make my life a lot easier.

Julio Bermúdez, VP Emerging Markets, Amplitude

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard or said something like this before yourself: Product-Led era represents a revolution in the way we sell software.

But what exactly is so revolutionary, and what specifically does it mean for you if you’re a sales leader or seller living through this sea change in the industry?

We recently put these questions to Julio Bermúdez, who grappled personally with these questions through his long career in software sales. Julio started out in more traditional enterprise sales at Optimizely before moving on to lead sales functions at Product-Led unicorns BrowserStack and Amplitude, where he is now VP of Emerging Markets.

The big difference in Enterprise sales and Product-Led sales for a seller according to him? It’s got nothing to do with a new skillset or technical know-how, but simply a change in mindset.

Enterprise sales is sermonizing on the street. Product-Led sales is preaching to the choir.

At a basic level, enterprise and product-led sales are similar in that you as a seller are making arguments to convince leads why should buy your product.

But the big difference lies in what ‘leads’ look like. With enterprise sales, potential customers have never used your product, and you need to spend significant time educating them about what your software does and how it addresses their day-to-day needs. You also need to build and leverage personal connections with decision-makers and bring them emotionally to a point where they are willing to take the leap and sign above the line.

All this aggressive customer education and emotional selling is less critical in product-led sales. Because you’re selling not to buyers who are just prospects, but active users of your product, who have already discovered for themselves the difference your product brings to their daily workflow. You don’t really need to explain what your product does, or how it helps, because your leads already have experienced this first-hand. So what is your role? Less of a salesman, and more of a consultant or coach, helping users unlock greater value by point them to more advanced features or offering deals on higher usage limits.

Product-Led Sales is about making rational arguments

In this way, selling in a Product-Led company can be seen as more ‘rational’. As a seller, you look into how your leads have already been using your product, and make an argument based on their own activity on why they will get value out of upgrading to higher tiers of your product. You’re providing a perspective based on objective analysis of what leads need, as demonstrated by their behaviour, rather than asking them to take a chance with you because of how great you say your product is.

To do this well, you need to have a strong handle on your leads’ usage data. In the world of product-led sales, leveraging usage data so central because it provides clear indication of which leads are most likely to upgrade and what kind of argument you as a seller should be making to best convince them. These high-intent leads are known as Product Qualified Leads – because their usage of your product has shown that they’ve got so much value out of your product that they are likely to convert if engaged.

The best-in-class enterprise companies are slowly becoming Product-Led in some way and utilizing product usage information… companies don’t do it today not because it doesn’t match their market…It’s that they just don’t have the data…being able to turn on that data will instantly…give sales leaders more control over their pipeline, more predictability and ultimately another source of leads. –

Julio Bermúdez, VP Emerging Markets, Amplitude

It’s easy to see how usage data can empower more effective and predictable selling. That’s why even traditional enterprise sales software companies are now starting to leverage this in their sales motions.

Customers are at the centre of the universe of Product-Led Sales

Moving to being product-led should just make everybody’s life easier because you’re putting the customer at the center of entire the process. And I think that’s really really important

Julio Bermúdez, VP Emerging Markets, Amplitude

The mindset shift when moving from traditional enterprise sales to product-led sales is at its core a movement towards greater customer-centricity. Instead of sales being all about your product and why it’s so great, selling in a product-led growth company is about how your users have already gotten value from it and how you can help them unlock even more.

Learning to think in those terms, more than acquiring any technical knowledge or proficiency with the latest sales tools, is the biggest shift that sellers need to make when stepping into the product-led era.

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