Sophia Francis: 3 things RevOps teams in PLG companies must do differently

Mitchell Tan4 min read

If you work in a PLG company, you likely have hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people using your free product or trial. How do you prioritize which accounts to upsell to?

One good bet is to start with Product Qualified Leads (PQLs)—customers whose usage shows they have seen sufficient value and might be willing to pay.

To effectively pursue such a go-to-market strategy, sellers and marketers need to be enabled by RevOps and SalesOps capabilities that differ significantly from those typically present in companies that are more enterprise-sales driven.

In particular, PLG RevOps teams should find themselves digging into usage data a lot more, and working very closely with Product, as Sophia Francis, Director of RevOps at Dooly, shared on a recent episode of the Product Led Sales Podcast.

Why? Because RevOps primary role is now to translate usage data into upsell opportunities for sales, instead of shepherding deals.

Before Dooly, Sophia worked in sales, marketing and business operations and helped streamline operations at enterprise-focused companies like Cisco and Adobe.

In this article, we share the top 3 things she highlighted that RevOps teams in PLG companies need to do differently to ensure the most impact. 

1. Translate data into actionable insights for sales impact

Ask any RevOps leader what their key metric is and they’ll tell you—ARR might be important, but sales efficiency is king. “If we can enable our sales reps to do their jobs in the best way and easiest way possible, that’s what’s going to increase revenue,” explains Sophia.

In PLG companies, Sophia shares, RevOps teams can increase sales efficiency by targeting PQLs, which are identified by collecting and analyzing different kinds of data.

For instance, demographic data can tell you whether a user or organization fits well into your ideal customer profile, while product usage data lets you know who is getting sufficient value from your product and likely to have purchase intent.

At Dooly, a key question Sophia asks is, “What makes a customer sticky?”

“What actions do they typically take, before they become a user that is using us on a daily basis or a weekly basis? We use those types of actions to determine whether they are PQLs.”

Identification of PQLs and other leading indicators of likelihood to progress towards key milestones in the customer journey help keep revenue teams one step ahead of developments, Sophia reflects. 

“If you see a drop at Company X by 25%, customer success needs to get on that and make sure that there’s not a churn risk,” she explains. “Or if usage has grown, and potentially they’re over their limit of seats, what is our plan for expansion?”

2. Align success metrics across functions

The value of collecting product data lies mainly in the actionable insights it can produce.

To ensure these insights are reliable, make sure the data you collect is properly cleaned and interpreted, Sophia shares.

This means understanding what the different triggers and actions your users are taking really mean, so as to convert them into a valid set of decision-making metrics.

At Dooly, Sophia works closely with product data analysts to ensure the company is collecting the right data for go-to-market, and that every department is aligned on their metrics.

“What is a Product Qualified Lead? Product should be using the same definition as marketing as sales as customer success, so we’re all playing nicely together,” she emphasizes.

“It’s about siphoning data from the product and overlaying it with sales, marketing, and customer success data… then making decisions based on product metrics.”

3. Build a strategic vision with Product

Beyond sales efficiency, a good RevOps leader thinks strategically about how they’re going to hit their specific goals and numbers.

That involves understanding and getting a full picture of what they need in their pipeline to get to “X million dollars”, including how Product fits into that, Sophia shares.

“One thing that surprises people is how closely I work with the product team,” she says.

“I talk to them all the time, because our product needs to keep up with demand… I try to play Switzerland and work with product and sales to get what we need across the finish line.”

For more takeaways from PLG companies like Dooly that are harnessing data to deliver actionable insights, check out what Clockwise’s VP of Sales, Kevin Nothnagel, has to say on empowering sales with usage data. 

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