A PLG CRM is a tool to help SaaS companies manage their accounts, contacts, and opportunities in a dynamic, real-time way. It takes some of the concepts of a traditional CRM, which were reliant on data input to accurately forecast deals and replaces them with real data from product usage and other sources.
Why does PLG require new sales tooling? Existing CRMs like Salesforce do a great job as a source of truth for prospective and existing customers’ information, sales engagement history, opportunity tracking, and governance. They don’t give GTM teams visibility into free plans, trial, or non-paying users. Traditional CRMs don’t capture information about product usage and user journeys before payment. This information is crucial for sales reps trying to identify signals of whether a person or account is ready to convert. Without this information it is hard for sales reps to prioritize leads. Traditional CRMs also don’t help sales reps understand the next best action to win an account. We’ve heard some PLG companies have already felt the pain and have built internal solutions using Segment and Looker to solve the problem. A modern PLG-focused CRM is needed.
While we believe the problem goes beyond PLG companies, this is very much aligned with our vision to give everyone in an organization the ability to drive growth. What makes Variance different is two big things:
Why is it time for a new approach to CRM? To set the stage, here’s a paragraph from a recent Harvard Business Review piece on the need to streamline B2B sales:
Vendors of customer relationship management (CRM) technology have built a $60 billion global industry around such problems. Every major B2B company invests millions each year in sales technologies, yet 62% of 167 companies surveyed recently by Bain & Company said the return on their investment fell short of expectations. What companies hoped would be an intelligent CRM system ends up being used as a simple accounting and workflow management system.
Any of us who have spent any amount of time with CRM can relate to that. But, unfortunately, too many CRM systems are little more than a dumb database that you have to fight with salespeople to keep updated.
It’s been that way for too long, and something’s got to give. When I think about the problem, three big themes emerge:
Most of the other companies working in this space are focused on providing scores and other aggregate data to help with lead qualification. While we believe that's important, and have the ability to sync with your CRM, our focus is much more on empowering everyone in the organization to drive growth. We think the people on the front-line, whether in sales, success, marketing, or product, can all help grow customers if they had better and simpler access to data.
Our app revolves around simple concepts like Following and Streams that makes it easy to access all your customer data in real-time. What's more, Variance is deeply integrated with Slack, to put all your data right where you work.
Whether you're a PLG company or not, we'd love to talk to you. You can dig into our Docs, check out our blog, or just reach out. We are adding new customers to our early access program every day. If you'd like to try out Variance or check our our on-demand demo, just click below.👇