✨🎉 We’ve raised a $12M Series A from Kleiner Perkins, Twilio, & Salesforce Ventures. Read more. 🎉✨

The Product-Led Sales Blog

Learn about trends in PLG, CRM and modern GTM motions

Product Updates: June 2022

2022 has flown by, and in June, we launched a slew of features designed to empower reps to move faster. Updated search is now lightning fast and auto-domain rollup uncovers consolidation opps with a single click. The redesigned folder structure also makes Calixa easier to use for large teams. You can also trigger alerts based on % changes over time. 🪢 Run Consolidation Plays with Automatic Domain Grouping Large organizations often have many disparate teams using a product independently, whic

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read
New Feature

Running a Product-Led Sales Consolidation Play

Account consolidation is a core benefit of implementing a product-led sales strategy. Learn how to spot consolidation opportunities and close larger deals.

Joanna Huang

 · 2 min read

How Product-Led Sales Recession-Proofs Your Revenue

Now is the time to be strategic and cost-efficient to protect revenue. Product-led sales helps you weather tough market conditions.

Joanna Huang

 · 3 min read
Interview

Product-Led Sales for Developer Tools

Yukito Isoda recently shared insights with us about developer-led sales. He’s been in the SaaS sales space for 7 years. Prior to being in SaaS sales, he spent his early career leading product development in the food manufacturing space. His career spans time at Yelp, Salesforce, and developer API companies PubNub and Moesif. At these developer-first companies, Yukito made a transition from selling traditional licensing to a usage-based model. Describe your experience selling a self-serve, deve

Thomas Schiavone

 · 4 min read

3 Common Product-Led Sales Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Setting up and running a product-led sales motion isn’t easy. Learn how to handle the common pitfalls.

Joanna Huang

 · 4 min read

The Most Common PQLs at Product-Led Companies

Top product-led sales teams leverage multiple types of PQLs. This helps sales reps personalize outreach based on user activity and goals.

Joanna Huang

 · 3 min read
How To

How to Create PQL Alerts with Calixa

This is part of a How To blog series on using the Calixa platform. Don’t miss our first installment – How to Prioritize PQLs with Calixa. Speed to lead is the essence of a strong sales process. Harvard Business Review reports you'll be 10x more likely to receive a response if you follow up on your lead within 5 minutes. This urgency is especially true in product-led sales. Your PQLs are already actively using the product. Whether it’s a new account ramping up or a mature account inviting more

Joanna Huang

 · 3 min read

Product Updates: May 2022

May was an exciting month. We shipped an easier way to rank engagement and discover power users among your top accounts, more flexible dashboard graphs, owner aware alerts and are opening up a beta of our Mixpanel integration. 💪 Easily surface engaged accounts and power users Calixa makes it easier than ever to uncover opportunities with our new Active Users and Days Active metrics. All Calixa customers can now see how many days a user or account has been active in the last week, month, or l

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read
Interview

A CRO's Strategy for Product-Led Sales

How sales executives must evolve into “distribution executives” in the era of product-led growth

Thomas Schiavone

 · 7 min read

Guide to the Types of Free Plans for SaaS

Succeeding with a trial or freemium model

Joanna Huang

 · 7 min read

5 Sales Leaders Share How Product-Led Sales Drives Revenue

The role of salespeople at top product-led companies

Joanna Huang

 · 5 min read
Product Updates

Product Updates: April 2022

We had a solid stream of launches this month, including an easier way to manage lists, eagerly anticipated Clearbit and Amplitude integrations, and Customer Fit scoring.

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read

What is Product-Led Sales?

An intro to Product-Led Sales. Why it works and how to make it work for you.

Joanna Huang

 · 5 min read
New Feature

Product Qualified Lead Enrichment with Clearbit

Enrich your product-qualified leads with user and account data from Clearbit. Make sure you're prioritizing the right customers.

Thomas Schiavone

 · 2 min read
How To

How to Prioritize PQLs with Calixa

PQLs are the best way to keep sales operations efficient as your signup volume scales. Knowing who to talk to ensures you don’t waste time on leads with low chances of conversion. Working the right leads enables larger deals. PQLs are self-qualified, sales-ready users who meet your organization’s Customer Fit (eg. size of company, buyer role, industry) and Product Usage criteria. Both of these provide good indicators that an account is ready to purchase. Calixa helps you intelligently find you

Joanna Huang

 · 4 min read
Interview

“Land and Expand” in Product-Led Sales - Contentful

We were lucky to get a chance to chat with Meredith Doty, an Account Executive at Contentful.  Meredith began her SaaS Sales journey at ​​LogMeIn and has been selling SaaS products for over 7 years. For those who don’t already know about Contentful, it’s one of most popular headless CMS and was recently valued at over $3 billion. What types of leads do you work at Contentful? Majority of our opportunities are inbound leads and hand-raisers. All of them have varying levels of product usage. The

Thomas Schiavone

 · 3 min read
Interview

The Rise of the Growth AE - Airtable

Interview with Sam Werboff who is the Head of Expansion Sales at Airtable. Sam has spent over a decade in SaaS Sales at companies like Mixpanel and Algolia. He's led Product-Led motions long before the term became popular.

Thomas Schiavone

 · 4 min read
Interview

Building a Product-Led Sales Development team

Interview with Emerald Maravilla, the New Business Lead at Plaid. She runs a team that converts signups into Sales opportunities. She shared her wisdom on building and running Sales Development teams. She's also led a similar team at Twilio.

Thomas Schiavone

 · 4 min read
Product Updates

Product Updates - March 2022

March was an exciting month for releases. We launched Journey view, increased the flexibility of our filters to support event properties, completed an integration with reverse ETL provider Hightouch, and added Redshift to our list of supported data warehouses.

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read
New Feature

Finding your ideal customers, now more flexible than ever

Event property filters enable more companies to identify their top users and accounts, without having to ask a developer to update their implementation.

Stephen Moock

 · 1 min read
New Feature

Transform your Product-Led Sales Pipeline with Journey View

Journey view shows you who is ready to buy, who got stuck in onboarding, who's an internal advocate and everything in between.

Stephen Moock

 · 3 min read

How to build your Product-led Sales team

We sat down with Dan McKnight who the Director of Sales for North America at Mixpanel. He shared best practices on building your Product-Led Sales team.

Thomas Schiavone

 · 4 min read
Case Study

Unlock Product-Led Sales with the Modern Data Stack

Before Calixa, it was a black box. We didn't have any idea how prospects were using the Voiceflow or even a means of easily seeing which trials were active and expiring.

Stephen Moock

 · 4 min read

3 Types of SaaS Sales Models

There are three GTM sales motions found at B2B companies today. Each one seeks to maximize annual recurring revenue in different ways. Traditional enterprise sales has been around for a couple decades. Self-serve and hybrid models have emerged in the past several years. Self-Serve: The Most Efficient Self-serve is a bottoms-up sales motion, with customers as the end users. Users try out a product’s free tier and potentially upgrade for more features. Self-serve pricing is affordable. Deal size

Joanna Huang

 · 3 min read
Case Study

Starting Your Morning with PQLs

Unless you're solving their problem, they're not going to buy it. Why talk about revenue before you showed them how to get the first win? Once you prove that you can deliver value, then they will be happy to buy.

Joanna Huang

 · 3 min read
New Feature

Your Warehouse, now synced with Calixa

As more sales teams lean on product usage data as a key signal in their sales efforts, the importance of the data warehouse as the single source of truth grows.

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read

Segment Startup Program

Calixa is now part of the Segment Startup Program [https://segment.com/industry/startups/]. We're really excited to be part of the program as we too were part of it. It's been immensely valuable to us as we've built Calixa. If you're in the program, you'll get 1 year of the Calixa Growth Plan for free: 100,000 users and 20 teammates included. Normally, that would cost you $2,400 a year. To be eligible for the startup program, you'll need to have raised less than $5M of venture funding. If you

Thomas Schiavone

 · 1 min read

Product Updates - Jan 2022

Back from the holidays and we're back to shipping. We launched PQL Scoring, Data Warehouse V2, User & Account Quick Views, Clearbit Enrichment

Thomas Schiavone

 · 3 min read

Intro to Product Qualified Leads (PQLs)

The number one problem we hear from salespeople at product-led companies is: “I have so many users I could talk to. Where do I focus?” Enter the product-qualified lead (PQL). The PQL combines signals from both what the lead is doing in your product AND who they are. * Intent → how is the user or account using your product? (product usage) * Fit → are they the right buyer for our product? (customer profile / ICP) By leveraging product usage signals, you’re talking to prospects who are read

Thomas Schiavone

 · 4 min read

Why Product-led Sales Works

Product-led sales sounds like an oxymoron. Doesn’t “Product-led” mean “No Sales?” Not exactly! Product-led sales is a GTM motion where new prospects sign up for free product experiences. Sales teams then leverage product insights to see when and how to best reach out. Sounds simple enough. But it leaves some open questions: * How can self-serve and sales reps co-exist? * How can “low touch” sales bring high impact? * Why can’t the product just sell itself? These are longstanding questi

Joanna Huang

 · 3 min read

A Webflow AE's Perspective on Product-Led Sales

We sat down with Katie Cascino, a top account executive at Webflow, to discuss Sales at product-led companies. She started her product-led sales career as an SDR at Slack, building a team and then transitioned into being an AE. Her experience working in Sales at product-led companies is a great example why even the best PLG companies need Sales. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How has selling  evolved over the last five years? I originally st

Thomas Schiavone

 · 5 min read
New Feature

A Better Customer 360: Account Quick View

Having a 360º account view at their fingertips allows reps to gain customer context which yields more meaningful conversations, higher conversion rates and increased account growth.

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read
New Feature

Gain Context Faster with User Quick View

A deep understanding of how customers engage with their product can often differentiate a good from a great sales rep. New users that haven't hit their 'aha moment' are going to be receptive to different messaging than power users who have championed your product across the organization. Bringing the right customer context and empathy yields more meaningful conversations, higher conversion rates and increased account growth. But gathering the necessary details from different tools takes time. W

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read
New Feature

Score PQLs with Calixa

Healthy product engagement is one of the strongest indicators that a user will convert into a paying customer. However, scoring your users and accounts based on product usage has historically been a challenging and time consuming task. Calixa is excited to tackle this problem with our latest feature: Product Engagement Scoring. Now you can easily find and prioritize customers based on their product usage as well as data from your warehouse, CRM and other connected business apps. This empowers

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read
Product Updates

Product Updates - Nov 2021

In November, we launched a Snowflake and Google BigQuery integration that allows customers to sync directly with from their data warehouse. We also added new ways of incorporating Calixa into your daily workflow by launching Actions [https://blog.calixa.io/actions-beta/], a Salesloft and Outreach integration. Lastly, we kicked off a program to help customers backfill their historical data. 🚀 Announced our Series A We’re excited to announce that we’ve raised a $12M Series A led by Kleiner Per

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read

Announcing our Series A

We’re excited to announce that we’ve raised a $12M Series A led by Kleiner Perkins. We’ll be using this round to accelerate our mission to build a GTM platform purpose-built for product-led growth. We’re also excited that Salesforce Ventures and Twilio have invested in our Series A underscoring the magnitude of the industry interest in product-led growth. Product-Led Growth (PLG) & Today’s GTM Tooling Today’s fastest growing software companies - Twilio, Slack, Calendly, Netlify - leverage a pr

Thomas Schiavone

 · 4 min read
Product Updates

Data Warehouses + Calixa

The Modern Data Stack is bringing about a re-architecture of business apps and workflows to be centered on the data warehouse. Companies are increasingly relying on the data warehouse as the single source of truth. We're excited to announce a beta of direct connectivity for Snowflake and Google BigQuery data warehouses.  You're able to sync accounts, users, usage data, and custom objects to Calixa. Data teams now can easily empower their GTM counterparts with self-serve reporting, dashboards, 3

Thomas Schiavone

 · 1 min read

Product-Led Growth Tooling - PLG CRM

This is a cross-post of some thoughts I shared with with Zachary DeWitt on his blog "Notorious PLG" [https://notoriousplg.substack.com/]. I've gotten to know Zachary over the past couple years. He was one of the first VC's to really understand what we were up to. Here's his thoughts on the space: > I believe there will be many unicorns built that enable the PLG movement and Calixa has the potential to be one of them. One of the challenges for PLG companies is to make usage data actionable for G

Thomas Schiavone

 · 3 min read
Case Study

Automating your Customer Success Workflows - Case Study

"Each Calixa automation saved me at least two hours of work, each week. I no longer have to manually jump from customer to customer to analyze the same data."

Stephen Moock

 · 4 min read

Time-to-value and the Aha moment: Lessons in Product-Led Growth (PLG)

Product-led growth often starts with a customer champion. An end-user who falls in love with your product and spreads it to the rest of the organization. But how you turn an end-user into a champion? How do you encourage them to share your product with others? When do you involve sales, and when do you step away? It's a challenge that is central to the growth story of Writer [https://www.writer.com/], an AI writing assistant that enables teams to write more effectively. Since writing is a dail

Thomas Schiavone

 · 4 min read
Case Study

How Netlify uses Calixa to find Product Qualified Leads (PQLs)

"Calixa cuts down our time from insight to action. There is a huge efficiency and conversion gain in our engagement with PQAs that Calixa has identified."

Stephen Moock

 · 4 min read

How Appcues Activates Top Signups by Reducing User Friction: Lessons in Product-Led Growth (PLG)

Last year PLG Company Appcues [https://appcues.com] ran a survey finding that 90% of software users expect or want a trial version of a product instead of getting into a drawn out sales process. This reality places a ton of pressure on modern software companies to deliver a stellar product experience for new users. And for a company like Appcues that makes software to improve product adoption, it's a challenge that hits a little close to home. We talked with Eric Keating, VP of Marketing at Ap

Thomas Schiavone

 · 4 min read
Product Updates

Product Updates - Sept 2021

September was another month full of exciting launches for Calixa! We opened our Census connector [https://blog.calixa.io/sync-your-data-warehouse-to-calixa-with-census/] to the public, shipped webhook alerts [https://blog.calixa.io/webhook-automations/], and launched a Salesloft beta! 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Sync data from your warehouse with Census It's become easier and more common for companies to stand up a data warehouse. Census [https://www.getcensus.com/] enables companies to unlock this data by s

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read
Day in the Life

Take the leg work out of updating account lists with Calixa webhooks + Zapier

Calixa's webhook automations [https://blog.calixa.io/webhook-automations/] give you the ability to kick off processes when your customers hit key milestones. Combined with Zapier's user friendly automation tools this opens the door to limitless RevOps process automation options. One challenge that many revenue orgs face is keeping strategic or managed account lists updated based on adoption of the product. This guide will demonstrate how you can use Calixa webhooks and Zapier to setup automatio

Stephen Moock

 · 3 min read

Sales-Assist Motion: Lessons in Product-Led Growth (PLG) CRM

While there is a shift towards evaluating and purchasing software without talking to sales, there is still very much a time and place for human-powered sales. At Torq [https://torq.io/] this need is more pronounced as the company navigates the complexity of selling a no-code automation platform for security and operations teams. Deals are commonly associated with an assortment of stakeholders managing dozens of tools across the organization, in an industry not known for its simplicity. Joshua

Thomas Schiavone

 · 6 min read

Product Led Growth - Why you need a PLG CRM

Join the product-led sales movement and try Calixa for free [https://calixa.io]. Traditional CRMs are broken Traditional CRMs were built for the old world of pre-sales where prospects first talk to Sales, participate in elaborate demos, and finally sign contracts, all before setting foot in the product. In this world of selling Top Down, Sales engages with buyers from the C-suite down to understand their needs and their intent to purchase. Reps grind their way to the right contact and establi

Thomas Schiavone

 · 4 min read
Integration

Sync your Data Warehouse to Calixa with Census - Reverse ETL

With the rise of the modern data stack, it's become increasingly easy to stand up a data warehouse and get all the data you want into one place.  As a result, companies are adopting data warehouses earlier and earlier in their life. We're even seeing companies of 10 people or less standing up a warehouse to centralize and make sense of their data. With a data warehouse in place, there's a huge opportunity to push that gold-standard data into the tools that teams use in their day to day. This wa

Thomas Schiavone

 · 1 min read
Product Updates

Save time by automating key customer processes with webhooks

Automations give Calixa users the ability to get proactive alerts when important customer milestones and usage thresholds are hit. This allows you to spot the accounts that are prime for growth, get ahead of customer issues and act when it matters. Now you can also use our Automations platform to fire off webhooks [https://readme.calixa.io/docs/automated-alerts#webhooks] to internal endpoints or popular low-code platforms like Airtable [https://support.airtable.com/hc/en-us/articles/15000030441

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read
Product Updates

Product Updates - Aug 2021

Before we sign off for the long weekend, Calixa wanted share some updates on what our engineering team has been building. In August we shipped metric-based alerting [https://blog.calixa.io/actions-beta/], Calixa Actions [https://blog.calixa.io/actions-beta/], added a Sentry integration for error visibility, and now support Segment traits! 🚨Get alerts when customers hit key metric thresholds Blog Post [https://blog.calixa.io/automate-alerts-based-on-key-metrics/] Get notifications whenever one

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read
Product Updates

Actions Beta

We are excited to announce Calixa's public beta for Actions. Actions allows you to push Calixa data to any of your connected tools without the burden of switching tabs, locating the customer in question, transferring context or filling out extensive forms.

Stephen Moock

 · 2 min read
Product Updates

Keep a pulse on customers with metric-based alerting

Companies have been using Calixa's event-based Automations [https://blog.calixa.io/new-feature-automations/] to get notified of user milestones like signups, trials, invites and upgrades. However, beyond these typical lifecycle events, every company has a unique set of metrics that they use to measure in-product engagement. These often provide early signs of activation success, product stickiness, upgrade potential, or churn propensity. The challenge: these indicators rarely present themselve

Stephen Moock

 · 3 min read
Product Updates

Product Updates - July 2021

Calixa has had a busy summer! In July we made it easier to create segments of your users and accounts, enabled email and Slack alerts from Segment events and launched a beta integration for customers using Census [https://www.getcensus.com/]... and as a bonus, we now automatically pull profile photos and company logos into the console! 📊Find User and Account Segments faster * New auto-saving UI - We redesigned how users and accounts are displayed and now auto-save your changes. You can als

Stephen Moock

 · 1 min read

Introducing Calixa

Throughout my career, I’ve always been on the front lines of bringing my products to market. I’ve felt it’s critical not just to build products, but to also support customers through beta, launch, and beyond. What I saw time and time again was that I had an unfair advantage over my colleagues in Customer Success and Support. Because I could code and query DBs, I had access to data and could perform actions that they couldn’t. It was completely unfair. We’d ask Support and Success to delight cu

Thomas Schiavone

 · 3 min read
New Feature

Calixa Segments: Focus on what matters!

The hardest part of a running a product-led company is knowing which customers to lean in with. There are many customers you could be talking to but who should you be talking to. Calixa Segments was built to solve this. With Calixa Segments you can create realtime reports that track the customers that matter most to growth . We enable you to filter your customers by both properties (eg sign up date) and metrics (eg number of support tickets) and then rank by metrics (eg usage).  Here are some e

Thomas Schiavone

 · 2 min read
New Feature

Build Alerts with Calixa Automations

Today, we launched a new feature called Automations [https://console.calixa.io/automations]. It enables you to send automated email or Slack alerts to your team about events from any connected integration. You can now send alerts to your team whenever key events happen. You'll now be able to get ahead of customer issues before they spiral into a big problem. Some examples of popular alerts are: * When a charge fails * When an invoice is paid * When a new account signs up * When a new opport

Thomas Schiavone

 · 1 min read
Integration

New Hubspot App Launched!

Today, we are pleased to announce the public release of our Hubspot integration. Now, you can easily see all your Hubspot CRM data inside of Calixa. When you connect your Hubspot account, we will pull in all historical data and setup webhooks so all new data will keep flowing in real time. Once you've linked your Hubspot account, you'll immediately start seeing your CRM data (Companies, Contacts, Deals, and Engagements) in the Calixa UI. Your Hubspot data will be automatically connected to your

Thomas Schiavone

 · 1 min read
Integration

Connect Zendesk Tickets with Your Customer Data

Today, we are pleased to announce the public release of our Zendesk integration. Now, you can easily see all your support tickets inside of Calixa. When you connect your Zendesk account, we will pull in all historical data and setup webhooks so all new data will keep flowing in real time. Once you've linked your Zendesk account, you'll immediately start seeing your support data in the Calixa UI. You can see what plan a customer is on, find an old invoice, or even troubleshoot a failed charge. C

Thomas Schiavone

 · 1 min read
Integration

Stripe + Calixa

Today, we are pleased to announce the public release of our Stripe integration. Now, you can easily see all your payments data inside of Calixa. When you connect your Stripe account, we will pull in all historical data and setup webhooks so all new payments will keep flowing in real time. Once you've linked your Stripe account, you'll immediately start seeing your payments data in the Calixa UI. You can see what plan a customer is on, find an old invoice, or even troubleshoot a failed charge. C

Thomas Schiavone

 · 1 min read
Integration

Get Started in Seconds with our Segment App

Today, we are pleased to announce the public release of our Segment integration. Now, you can send any customer data collected by Segment directly to Calixa just by linking your account. You'll get an instant real time view of your customers. Once you've linked your Segment account, identify, track, and group calls that contain Account or User data will be processed by Calixa. It removes the need for you to integrate directly with the Calixa API. In the Calixa UI, you'll immediately see the be

Thomas Schiavone

 · 1 min read