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Modern SaaS companies are taking a new approach to sales. Rather than guiding buyers through a lengthy sales process, they provide buyers with access to their product. The company's focus is on helping the buyer achieve success with the product, making upgrading to a paid plan an easy decision. The process was designed to educate consumers on the potential advantages of the product. This approach focuses on identifying leads that are more likely to convert quickly, reducing the usual stress and effort of traditional enterprise sales.

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This article will discuss the concept of product-led sales, the steps to becoming a product-led sales company, and the advantages of PLS.

What do you mean by Product-Led Sales (PLS)?

Product-led sales is a go-to-market strategy where sales teams leverage data on product usage to engage and retain customers. The process begins with a product available for a free trial. This user experience is designed to efficiently generate leads. Marketing encourages users to support the self-serve model, while sales teams conduct warm outbound outreach to existing accounts to boost conversion rates and increase revenue per deal. Product-led sales integrates a product-centric acquisition approach with a sales-focused monetization strategy.

A product-led sales approach allows sales teams to identify and prioritize potential customers, develop strategies to nurture these leads, and achieve successful deal closures. One important aspect of product-led sales is the timing of sales engagement to create a smooth transition for users from prospect to paying subscribers.

But first, let's distinguish between product-led growth and product-led sales, as they are distinct processes and we should not get twisted between the two.

Comparing Product-Led Growth and Product-Led Sales

Although often used interchangeably, the concepts of product-led growth (PLG) and product-led sales (PLS) are distinct from each other.

Product-led growth is a go-to-market strategy that involves the entire organization and places emphasis on using the product experience as a primary driver for revenue growth.

Whereas, Product-led sales focuses on identifying the most promising users for conversion, determining the best approach for upselling, and effectively targeting them to facilitate deal closure.

Slack, Atlassian, and Figma are all examples of companies that utilize product-led sales strategies, even though they are sometimes mistaken as purely self-serve product-led growth (PLG) companies.

Originally starting as PLG companies, they have evolved into product-led sales businesses. They utilize PLG strategies to attract prospects, encourage adoption, speed up time-to-value, and implement a targeted sales approach for consistent, efficient growth.

Defining your Product-Led Sales strategy

After deciding to adopt Product-Led Sales, the next step involves defining your Product-Led Sales strategy.

A Product-Led Sales strategy typically includes the following components:


The objective of a Product-Led Sales (PLS) strategy is to achieve targeted outcomes that are in line with revenue goals. Possible outcomes may include increasing free to paid conversions, expanding enterprise accounts, reducing churn rates, or achieving a combination of these objectives. By establishing specific goals, you can concentrate your efforts and resources on the most effective strategies to increase revenue.


Effective implementation of a PLS strategy involves coordination and collaboration among different teams in your organization. This group includes sales-assist team members, sales development representatives (SDRs), account executives (AEs), account managers, and customer success professionals. Every team plays a crucial role in carrying out various aspects of the strategy, including lead generation, customer relationship management, and conversion optimization.

Self-Service Features and Tools

Enable users to resolve issues and complete tasks on their own using self-service tools and features. Various resources such as self-help portals, FAQs, community forums, chatbots, and demos can be implemented to address common inquiries and offer assistance as required.


The PLS playbook outlines this powerful strategy for team members to target prospects, determine outreach timing, and craft messaging for lead conversion. It describes the essential steps and strategies that your teams will use during the sales process. This involves defining ideal customer profiles, implementing automated workflows for lead qualification and nurturing, and crafting personalized messaging for various stages of the customer journey. By answering core questions and documenting a playbook, teams are provided with clear guidelines and strategies to drive more sales.

Prerequisites to Adopting a Product-Led Sales Model

Many B2B SaaS companies are now integrating a product-led sales model, so it's important to assess whether your B2B company is prepared for this shift. If not, you can establish the groundwork for developing your sales and marketing strategy based on it. Here are some prerequisites to keep in mind while doing so.

Are you ready?

The key distinction between a sales-led and product-led strategy lies in the fact that, in a product-led approach, all teams collaborate with a shared focus on the product, as opposed to the sales-led model. Prioritize shifting the mindset of your team before anything else.

Understand Your Customers

To develop a successful product-led sales strategy, it is important to have a deep understanding of your customers. What challenges do they face? What solutions does your product offer for those challenges? Utilizing customer feedback and data from customer-facing teams can aid in developing a robust product-led sales strategy.

Build a Killer Product Demo

A key benefit of this product-led approach is its self-serve nature.

For a more effective approach, consider demonstrating the product's capabilities to potential customers concisely and engagingly, focusing on how it can benefit them rather than listing features that may not resonate with them.

For efficient demo creation, consider using Fable. Create customized trial experiences that meet the specific needs of your potential customers. Here are some helpful tips for sales reps looking to create interactive demos.

Benefits of Product-Led Sales

Product-led sales is a growth strategy that benefits both buyers and sales teams. The self-serve model handles acquisition. Customers receive immediate value from the product, influencing their decision to purchase and accelerating revenue growth.

The benefits of implementing a PLS approach by SaaS companies are described in the following section: 

Improve Buyer Experience

Modern SaaS buyers prefer a streamlined process for accessing the product. They wouldn't want discovery calls even before signing up.

They are eager to access the software quickly to evaluate its benefits.

Getting out of the way lets the product show—rather than tell—its value to the user. The quick time-to-value of this product helps engage users, reduce friction, and increase the conversion rate from free users to paying customers.

Sales representatives can reach out to these inbound leads to assist in maximizing the product's value. Sales teams can assist with demos, use cases, blockers, and product education. Their function is to assist users throughout a product adoption process. Consultative selling involves promoting the product and addressing specific issues, offering more value than a traditional hard sell approach.

Drive Sales Efficiency

Users can self-educate on the software by accessing it immediately. Sales representatives are not required to engage in traditional lead nurturing or be concerned with implementation details and timelines. The product already provides value to users. Sales teams have the opportunity to concentrate on self-qualified leads who demonstrate through product usage that they are ready to make a purchase. The ability for faster deal closures and decreased customer turnover in addition to time saved ultimately leads to a decrease in customer acquisition costs (CAC).

Higher LTV with revenue diversity

Through a combination of product-led strategies and a strong sales team, your SaaS business can attract high-value users and ensure revenue diversity that aligns with a product-led model. In a traditional sales-led operation, a small number of large customers typically drove the majority of Annual Recurring Revenue, posing a significant risk if one of them were lost. When sales teams concentrate on targeting larger clients and let the product sell itself to smaller clients, the customer base will expand, reducing the impact of losing a single customer on business outcomes.

Build a better product

In a business where the product speaks for itself, customer feedback is swiftly incorporated and innovation becomes a key focus for the entire company. This leads to customer satisfaction. Each team is dedicated to enhancing the product by offering diverse perspectives and solutions to create a top-tier product. As the SaaS industry grows rapidly and competition increases, the product team must build successful products.

Self-discovery sells

Customers have a unique understanding of their own businesses, which can lead sales teams to overlook certain aspects of a product that customers value. Self-discovery can be impactful when individuals experience a personal ‘aha' moment, leading to a stronger attachment to the outcome and increased willingness to commit. Implementing this strategy can lead to decreased friction in the sales cycle, time-saving benefits for your team, increased retention rate. 

For these reasons and more, product-led sales is becoming the dominant strategy for SaaS businesses.

According to data from PeerSignal, out of 473 SaaS companies, 387 are using product-led sales in their go-to-market strategy, 81 are using product-led growth, and only 5 are using sales-led growth. This suggests that a combination of both strategies may be the most effective approach.


In summary, Product-Led Sales (PLS) is a new approach in SaaS sales that emphasizes offering immediate value to customers by allowing self-serve access to the product. Companies can drive sales efficiency and revenue growth, foster innovation, and maintain a competitive edge by aligning goals, leveraging cross-functional teams, implementing self-service features, and defining a clear playbook. As B2B SaaS companies adopt PLS, they have the potential to benefit from changes in the marketplace.

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