Most B2B SaaS companies follow a similar inbound sales funnel. The top of the funnel is filled with people interested in the products (your leads), and then the leads that don't qualify in conversations with Sales get eventually filtered as we progress further into the funnel.
The problem with this approach? Filtering leads just isn’t effective enough.
How can you decide a lead is qualified just because they open a few emails or fill up a form on your website?
This is exactly where product qualified leads (PQL) can help. When a PQL strategy is implemented in the right manner, it can significantly decrease customer acquisition costs by overcoming primary barriers that inhibit customers' purchase decisions.
In this article, we take a look at everything you need to know about product qualified leads and how showing interactive product demos can drive this.
What is a product qualified lead?
A product qualified lead is a lead who has already experienced your product through a free trial, limited feature product usage, or any other type of hands-on experience with the product. They have seen the product's value, and are most likely to commit to your product when pushed in the right direction.
The goal of a product-qualified lead strategy is to immerse customers in the product experience and help them understand how the product can help resolve their main challenges.
Note that while MQLs focus on leads who interact with the marketing content and SQLs focus on the prospects in the sales pipeline, PQL refers to actual people who actively engage with your product.
How to identify correct PQLs for your business?
Product qualified leads can help align your sales and marketing team, all the while turning a large number of your free users into paid customers. Armed with PQL data, you can also better understand what really prevents free users from paying for the paid version of your product.
A great way to accurately analyze customer behavior to determine PQLs for your SaaS business is to look into the customer actions:
- What are the key features that most customers use?
- What is your ideal customer profile?
- What do the most active customers of your product have in common?
- What is the most popular feature in your freemium/ free trial version?
- At what point do free users look to buy an upgrade of the product?
Some of the main attributes that you can use as PQLs include:
When you have an active user of your product, they can be considered as a serious prospect and you can reach out to them for a product upgrade to convert them. You can actively qualify leads by identifying how many times in a day they use the product and how many trigger actions they perform.
Going over usage limits
When using freemium SaaS products, users may need an upgrade just as they cross the usage limits, and that can be the defined PQL. Crossing the usage limits also means that the user is heavily using your product.
Adding more users
When a user adds team members to the product, it is a very good indicator that they are trying their best to adopt your product and use it for their team. You can qualify these leads based on the number of users they have added. Some SaaS companies also put a limit on the number of users you can add to the freemium version in order to get more users to convert.
Type of features used
If your leads are using more of the advanced features frequently, they may be more qualified for paid plans of your product, than the other qualified users.
How to use PQLs to increase conversions
After expertly identifying the PQLs for your business, you need to prioritize all the PQLs in your list. After all, not all PQLs will be the same, and they won’t give you the same results as well.
In order to get a better understanding of your PQLs and to identify which PQLs are the most valuable, you should look at how people use your product and enrich that information with more data like:
- Demographic information: Where are your most valuable customers located?
- Company information: What kind of organizations do your most valuable customers come from? What is the size, type, and industry of their organization? How does your product solve their primary business challenges?
By analyzing who is really interested in your product and who is just trying it out for fun, you can better tailor your marketing and sales efforts as well.
Convert your PQLs
The easiest way to convert PQLs is to send the right message to your leads at the right time, based on their recent product activity. Instead of sending the same copy/paste emails to all of your users, you should set up custom emails that get triggered and sent to users according to their recent activities.
Here are some of the common triggers where you can fire off emails to convert your PQLs
- When a user has hit their usage limit: You can remind them that they can continue using the tool by simply upgrading their account
- When a user has been heavily using the product or a particular feature, you can send an email to remind them of the value their business is getting through the SaaS product and how upgrading to the paid version can help them achieve more things.
How Interactive product demo can drive more PQLs
The secret to successfully converting PQLs lies in using the right tools that can give you insight into how leads interact with your product.
It's easier to collect user behavior analytics when the user signs up and starts using your product – But what happens when you don’t offer free access to your product at all? Or struggling to get more people to sign up for free trials? Or have a lot of noise with people signing up for fun.
Now, to effectively identify PQLs, you can also use an interactive product demo platform that can help you capture insights about your leads and convert them successfully. You can embed snippets of your product demo on your website - allowing users to interact with different product features and simultaneously collect behavior analytics data of leads.
With a fully customizable product demo builder like Storylane you can start driving your PQL right when your users land on your website. Some of the key features to consider :
- Easy way to embed interactive product demos directly on the home page/blog/resources section of your website
- Ability to nudge users for their email information to access the demos and capture them as leads
- Customize your demo and conduct A/B testing to get a better idea of how leads interact with the product
With the Product Qualified Leads, your sales teams are happy as these prospects have genuinely tried out the product to be worth taking them to the next step in converting them to paying customers.
Book a free demo and we’ll show you how you can make the most of your PQL process in 10 mins by building a quick product demo.