BIAS BLOG

PLG: How we did it with Danny Villarreal Jungle Scout

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PLEASE NOTE THAT THE TRANSCRIPT BELOW AND THE SUBTITLES ARE CONVERTED BY AI TECHNOLOGY AND WHILST WE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO CORRECT GRAMMAR, ERRORS MAY STILL BE PRESENT.

 

00:00
Paul Sullivan
Hey guys, thank you for joining me tonight on tonight's LinkedIn live, we've Danny Villarreal from jungle scout. I'm not going to do too much of an intro because I'm going to let Danny do quite a bit of talking tonight so I can absolutely focus on getting you that real, fruitful juice and, information. Let me start by asking Danny, why don't you intro yourself, introduce yourself, sorry. Tell us who you are, what you do and where you do it.


00:27

Danny Villarreal
Sure. My name is Danny Villareal. I am the head of customer success at jungle scout. I've been working here for about three years. From the time were a much smaller start-up to now where we've grown quite a bit in that time. My main focus right now is working with our customers, leading our customer success teams and effort, and also thinking a lot about product-led growth, just, in that I'm in a unique position, working directly for the chief product officer in our company.


00:58

Paul Sullivan
Nice, nice. So talk to me about jungle scout. What do you guys do and how does jungle scout fit into the market?


01:05

Danny Villarreal
That's a great question. Jungle scout is a leading e-commerce market intelligence tool. What that means is that we work with everyone from entrepreneurs to small, to medium-sized businesses, large brands, agencies, and investors to help bring them intelligence about e-commerce, everything from trends, search, all of the things that really help them focus on their businesses and grow those businesses over time. We're really focused on that data and being very data-driven both internally and externally.


01:37

Paul Sullivan
Okay, cool. So, thanks for the introduction. Thanks for framing who you are, where you come from. That's brilliant. The one question that I'm dying to ask you, right. I love this one is, tell me about product-led growth and where did it all start with you?


01:54

Danny Villarreal
Sure. When I first started in this role, I had no idea what product-led growth is to be honest. And, someone actually gave me a copy of west bushes book, product-led growth. At that time, I had just been recruited into jungle scout, and they had asked me, to help build some teams from the ground up and to really focus on our customers. It was interesting because as I was consuming some of that content, reading the book, reading some of the blogs, starting to attend some of the different, webinars and things that were going on, I was immediately able to apply some of the principles or just some of the things that I heard people talking about, to some of the things that were doing. A lot of those maybe initial efforts were focused on, really simple things like how do we make our onboarding flows better? how do we get, our customers to adopt, what can we do about some of the main friction points in our product? And it just got me thinking, I'm doing a lot of these things in the real world.


03:02

Danny Villarreal
I'm reading about a lot of this, more of a, from a best practice perspective. Like maybe we should try to do some of this for real, and try to apply theory in practice.


03:15

Paul Sullivan
Okay. Okay. What challenges did you face on that journey?


03:20

Danny Villarreal
I mean, lots, and lots of challenges. I, I think, anybody that tells you that, changing your strategy or, even applying things that you might be reading about or that you might feel very well-educated about. I think the first thing is just getting buy-in right. Like if you show up in your company tomorrow and start talking about product, like growth, everybody are handing out books and, people are going to wonder, okay, w what is this, what's in it for me? And so I think, as an advocate for this, within the business, you have to very clearly be able to give that elevator pitch of, why does it matter to me, to my function? How does it make my job or my life easier? How does it benefit our customers or the bottom line of the business? And that's a lot to start with. Right. So, the response back to me specifically was, well, show me like, don't tell me, show me the value of this, or prove it to me in data.


04:24

Danny Villarreal
That I can wrap my hands around this so I can start to do it. So,


04:28

Paul Sullivan
So let me jump in there. Right. You're saying the, you kind of go in and you say, look, I want to do this. I've read this great book. It sounds amazing. We want to get on there. Someone says, show me, surely that means quite a lot more than date. There's got to be some cash involved has gotta be some time involved engineers. Like how does that conversation escalate,


04:48

Danny Villarreal
A hundred percent. I think what it took initially was for me to understand, like, what were some of the biggest problems that at that time the business was trying to solve for, right. How could I take product-led growth as a methodology and apply it to something that was really specific that I was being asked to focus on? So I could say here's the value in a real-world, experience, and I can prove to you in data, in numbers, the kind of impact it had. Our first, shot at this was making a bat around some product-led onboarding specifically. Because that was, again, when I very first started here, that was the core function that I was leading. There was a lot of low hanging fruit. The opportunity was pretty big both to the business and to be able to make a meaningful impact with our customers.


05:39

Danny Villarreal
That first step, it doesn't sound super impactful when maybe you say it, but the results were what was impactful. And, at the time we had just a lot of customers like jungle scout has, a half a million customers at that time, were just inundated with, support requests of all sorts. So that was a big problem. Like how do we reduce the touch from the customers to always need to ask for help for everything? Like, how can we help our customers help themselves? And so one of the first projects that we did was how do we bring help into the flow of work? How do we make the onboarding more intuitive? So that a lot of the questions that we get, which were around, Hey, how do I get started with this? how do I get to that first aha moment or, get to that first piece of value.


06:29

Danny Villarreal
It sounds like I said, not maybe as such a sexy first project, but we brought help into the app. We made it better. We made it more clear, more accessible, and instantly we saw just massive results from that.


06:43

Paul Sullivan
Okay. I'm just going to rewind us back a bit, because, the three-year journey means that hopefully we can dive into of what was going on while you back in what, 2008 now, you said there was like a lot of low hanging fruit in that onboarding process that you thought would be quick wins, right. Can you give us more flesh around what that was and how you would identify that and potentially what was being tracked already to make that apparent?


07:09

Danny Villarreal
100%, I mean, jungle scout grew very quickly from its inception to where I came in to the companies. They were in a period of massive growth from a customer perspective. I think, we had a, a great tool set, a great platform, but no one had really ever thought about, w what if we have more segments of customers? Like, what if we have people that maybe don't know as much about the industry, or don't know as much about Amazon, or, a lot of the dynamics that they needed to get started. How could we bridge some of those gaps? How could we provide some of that information? How could we give them something as simple as like a getting started guide, or here's the very first thing that you should do, when you start using our tool. Right. These are the kinds of things and whether it was like a getting started checklist or, making help more accessible to people.


08:01

Danny Villarreal
Some very light, getting started content like onboarding video, or, just embedding that right into the app. We had just also implemented Pendo around that time. Were able to track and measure, what were people doing before? So we had a baseline of, how sticky was the product, how often were people using it, how often were people, clicking off to go as for support in doing other things. That really facilitated both that before and after view. It also helped identify, maybe where some of the biggest friction points in the product were, that led us to start, questioning were people really able to get to that first aha moment as quickly as maybe we thought that they were doing it.


08:46

Paul Sullivan
Okay. So, first things that Springs to mind when you say help, right. I'm thinking like wizards knowledge base, that type of thing. Is, is that what it is?


08:55

Danny Villarreal
Yeah, it was as simple as bringing the knowledge base from an external site. So, if I ran into a problem in the product, I didn't know how to do it, or use that part of the tool I had to leave the site, go to some Zendesk portal, look up the article. If I still couldn't figure it out, I had to write into support. Right. What we did is we brought that into the app itself. A little widget that you could click on that would allow you to search our knowledge base, would even allow you to submit a ticket directly from there. It also allowed us to deflect tickets by suggesting answers to their questions before they even submitted it. Right. There was of technology in there, but I think a lot of it was just really understanding the customer better. Some of this also came in through customer interviews at the time, right? Like, so we didn't do any of this blind.


09:42

Danny Villarreal
We didn't make any assumptions. We said, we think we know what we're going to do, but we want to validate that. We started with the product team and then went to some of the users directly and said, TA tell us what your first time in the tool is, like, show us your experience. We even did use some, at that time light recordings through tools like Hotjar, just to see like, Hey, show me the first time someone logs into our product and what that experience looks like for them. It was eye-opening, right? We saw people just getting stuck or doing things in a way that maybe wasn't intuitive. It gave us a lot of ideas, but also just getting that feedback directly from the customer, help balance some of the more objective data that we have with some subjective data. So, does that become addictive? I'm a huge data nerd.


10:32

Danny Villarreal
I think that's the problem with, I, I'm very enamored and understanding things, and I'm very curious by nature. I think one of the problems is once you do start pulling the covers back and really digging in and shining the light in the dark places, like, do where to stop, right. Do when you've got enough information? And so I think you do have to create some limits for yourself because the desire to maybe put your arms around all things or solve everything at once is very strong because you see the opportunity. I think a lack of focus, a lack of discipline, a lack of rigor, putting really tight timeframes on projects that you're running can actually be detrimental to getting by in longer-term. That was, I know you asked what were some of the roadblocks like that was a roadblock. We were very ambitious in the beginning, about what we could accomplish.


11:27

Danny Villarreal
We tended to lean into things that were bigger, or maybe not as well defined in terms of like success criteria or, the impact. Those were some of the things where I think maybe we lost some traction early on. It's important to acknowledge, failing is how you learn and if you can fail quickly, and if you can learn very quickly from those mistakes that you made, it's actually multiplies your success in the future. So, you can't be afraid to fail, but you also have to have a time limit in which it's okay to fail, to write.


12:05

Paul Sullivan
Okay. That all makes sense. Right. Just to kind of recap, you've killed off, all killed off you. You've sold all the low hanging fruit you're plucked. It is done. You're now starting to look at like bigger and better opportunity is, and you've just said that maybe the way you guys approached it, the way you were trying to sell it back internally, was that a problem or was it just like the scale of what you thought you could approach? Like what was the opposite a balance of?


12:32

Danny Villarreal
I think it was of both, right? I mean, when you're dealing with just a massive customer base to think that if you can even just solve some of the bigger, the biggest, low hanging fruit that's out there, things that do really make a difference. Just as an example, like in that health project and in bringing some of those, like getting started checklist and very light onboarding to bear, were able to drop the support tickets down in half in a period of three months. Right. That was like a major accomplishment where you could see the value to the business, to the customers, the reduction in that friction. The problem is then, there's that high expectation, right? there's also the ability to, continue in a sustained fashion to make improvements. Like I'm a huge fan of continuous improvement, but a lot of times people want to see like much bigger results.


13:23

Danny Villarreal
I think, when you're talking to leadership about what can we accomplish, or what are the big rocks? some of those things might be on much larger horizons and it's up to you as someone leading these efforts to break them down into the atomic parts, right. To say, yep, this is a very large thing that we want to be able to do. That's maybe an entire year, but that's probably like 10 different projects, a very incremental things that help us get there. So, you can't just turn the ship instantly every time. Often it takes a lot of socialization of your ideas, getting buy-in from different departments, product managers, leaders in marketing leaders in other departments and finance or sales, especially if you're doing things that have any question of impacting revenue. Right.


14:12

Paul Sullivan
I, I just want to jump in there, right. Because you tiger teams. Right. I'm just going to kind of do a targeting. You just mentioned teams, you mentioned buy-in. I know it kind of is jumping back again, but how did you guys go around putting that first, like Tyler team together?


14:32

Danny Villarreal
Yeah. I mean, luckily I was able to assemble a cross-departmental team to form this new team that I was building. They were bringing with them from different departments, like from support, from marketing, from different departments, like their own subject matter expertise, their experience. What that helped us do is like, I, wasn't starting from step zero, in some ways, like my personal view of things as a brand new person to the company was extremely valuable. I'd come from a different business, I'd come from a different industry. I had different, just what I was bringing to the table was a unique perspective, but I also needed to be able to lean on people that really did understand the current state of the business. I think a lot of times, if you don't have that, it's very difficult to map, like where you want to go, if you don't know where you are.


15:22

Danny Villarreal
A lot of it was using that team and leaning on those people to get a really solid standing, understanding of like, where are we right now? Where do we want to be in the future? And how do we start to map that? And a lot of that was being diplomatic about that, taking the other, team's hearing their ideas. Because I think if you just start to drive off in one direction and you don't have that support and you haven't established any experience authority, results, whatever it is, I think you're going to find it's going to be a very lonely and difficult journey along the way.


16:02

Paul Sullivan
Definitely. Definitely. And, and I was just kind of hearing about those cultural challenges there and how that could change. I mean, the book, do it radical candor by Kim Scott? Yes. Do you take some of that and apply that to the culture that you now need to create?


16:18

Danny Villarreal
I think there's got to be right. I, I, I love the term radical candor. I think it's almost sometimes too fancy. Just say, look, we need to have real talk. We need to be able to speak honestly about things, because I think there's this just overarching attitude of, like, if you're saying things that may cast negative light on the business, that you don't believe in it, or that you're not an advocate for making it better. Real radical candor comes in that ability to acknowledge things. Aren't perfect. There's lots of room for improvement. There are so many opportunities just when you look around you, whether it's a product thing or a team thing or process thing, or how you're interacting with your customers. I think that the day that you stopped, he said, oh, we're at a good place. You've, you've lost your passion. You don't care anymore.


17:10

Danny Villarreal
You're not showing up. I think, you shouldn't like overthink things, but I think to the same point, like constantly challenge your assumptions that we can do better. That there's always room for additional opportunity to grow the business or to do things more efficiently, more effectively, anything like that.


17:29

Paul Sullivan
Okay. So let's stay there. If we look at that in terms of like your sprints of work that you were doing, if you like, you do your learning, you do your assessment, you optimize that. Do you then move on to the next thing, because this first thing you could always do something more. Do you have to say there's a box. We need to put this in for the time being,


17:52

Danny Villarreal
I think so. This is where just setting good expectations comes into play. Right. Being really clear about what your definition of success. I've always had a hard time with like timeboxing things, because I'm very ambitious about like what I want to be able to achieve, but I think you actually can get, give yourself like more points in terms of the people that you're trying to gain that critical mass from. Right. Especially internally, if I can say, like I have 60 days that I'm going to work on this is what we hope to achieve, but even this at like 75% is going to be success. You're setting expectations of here's where we think that we can get, if we are really able to hustle and get a lot of velocity, maybe we can get to here. I, I think sometimes the mistake was friends is they'll say, oh, well, we'll come back to that later.


18:43

Danny Villarreal
And you just never do. Like, don't be too Pollyannish about we're going to make everything perfect. And also don't discount. Like sometimes it is work worth putting in that extra week of time. Sometimes it is asking for some additional resources, if you really think it's going to pay off more. I think it's on you as the person that's leading this or the person that's advocating for this, to be able to quantify what good looks like to be able to demonstrate those results and to then be able to communicate that back to everybody else at the end of that process, as well as incrementally throughout, what you're doing.


19:21

Paul Sullivan
Okay. Product led by its very meaning means opening up the products that are at the top of the funnel, right. Which is wider. It comes with a lot of, added weight, right? One of the first things that happens typically when you open up the top of the funnel that a product of the top of the funnel is like an influx of people. Now you guys sounded like you were pretty well funded or you're doing well anyway. Right? So maybe cash wasn't a problem, but, I'm kind of just bouncing between listeners and what your experience is. Thinking to myself, if onboarding is like the crux of this, right. The following experience, that's the key part. What, how do you manage those challenges? Right. Firstly, let me break this down into one part of the question. How do you strip back your onboarding? If someone's listening today is like, what process should I follow to strip back my onboarding to start the work there?


20:20

Danny Villarreal
Yeah. I mean, I think that's actually an amazing question. One of the first things that you have to do is understand, and I'll maybe take a step back from that because it leads to the answer, but, really understand like what is the value proposition for your product? If you can't articulate that very clearly in one or two sentences, then you've got a lot more work to do. Right. I think for us, the company had grown very quickly. Was our value statement to customers was our job to be done that we could solve for them. Was that known, was it very clearly articulated? Did they know why they were coming? Was our marketing aligned with that? So I think, you have to kind of start with that, being the seed for everything that grows from it, really clearly understanding the value prop of your product, understanding the expectations that you're setting through marketing through anything else that you're communicating, even your onboarding.


21:17

Danny Villarreal
There any gap between what you're saying and what customers are experiencing, right. Because it's that value gap that starts to emerge. That is the reason people don't adopt. It's the reason that people churn. It's the reason that long-term retention starts to suffer. A lot of our onboarding was very clearly articulating and reinforcing the value proposition of, Hey, we know why you bought this product, what the most successful people who are using our product are doing. This is the happy path that we're laying out for you in terms of like what getting started, what getting you to value, what getting you to that first. Like, I feel like money has been well spent, right? Like you want to have that feeling. That was what we designed our initial experience around, that people felt clear on expectations that were able to direct them to those experiences and that was able to support them in any friction points that they felt along the way and even better that they could support themselves too, that they didn't need us thought that were here in front of that secondary, safety net for them.


22:28

Paul Sullivan
You mentioned in your earlier on the, keeping market in the land now for early-stage companies that may decide to pivot, it might not be as kind of impactful, but what challenges do you see when your marketing communications have been like, this is what we do. All of a sudden, if I were going this way and we've got buy-in and now your whole communication strategy needs to change to support this, what challenges do you see there?


22:56

Danny Villarreal
Yeah, a hundred per cent. I think, a lot of this comes down to communication, right? in the best of all worlds, like I would be communicating with the leaders on those teams. I would be working with product marketing. I would have a really good understanding on the reason for that pivot and maybe even involved in some of the messaging myself that helps me understand like, why they want to do that, what we would need to change in our onboarding. So, look, I think a lot of this is about being agile in your own processes. Like I'm not going to create something once in pretend it's going to be the forever solution. Right. I think a lot of teams don't build in that ability to pivot. Often you get stuck with MC mixed messaging, which is like how things get disconnected in the first place. Right. The first part is communication between the teams, making sure they're a part of those initiatives and understand what's being driven and how impactful that can be, to maintaining and retaining those customers over time.


23:55

Danny Villarreal
Also making sure that you have adequate time budget resources, to be able to revamp things and to think of something like marketing's changing their messaging. That means this needs to change this, so it's all part of like one giant program. You're not losing that, but it's going to be hard. Like, when I joined jungle scout, we're a 40 person company. So, I was definitely doing a lot of the work myself or, helping people do it. I also think there's like a certain amount of dogfooding that needs to take place with any product, right? The people who are marketing it should be trying to use it should be, understanding, where they're coming from. I think that always creates a much more informed perspective about some of these things. We're very fortunate that some of the people on our marketing team, even our chief marketing officer uses our tool in a real way, like uses it for a side business that they've got or uses it or a, a volunteer-type thing that they're working.


24:54

Danny Villarreal
Right. So there are some really cool applications. I would always urge people like knowing the product, being able to walk a mile in your customer's shoes is really paramount to almost anything else. It creates that lasting alignment, that drives that future success both internally and externally.


25:14

Paul Sullivan
Cool. I mean, that is a very good answer to the question. Now I'm trying to kind of allow you to tell your story and I keep jumping in and I'm going to kind.


25:22

Danny Villarreal
Of,


25:24

Paul Sullivan
You guys had something going on in Asia, right. PLG was a massive impact to your success there. Can you tell us what you can tell us about that and the whole DLG process?


25:39

Danny Villarreal
Yeah, I mean, I think, what we learned as the company was growing was that increasingly our product was becoming a global product. Meaning even though we may not have been actively marketing in Europe or South America or Asia people were using it there. Right. Weren't localized, we didn't have help content and other languages. I mean, we didn't have teams over there. Right. So, we took an initial stab at, again, just a hypothesis, a bet to say, if we start to localize some of the same content that we built for onboarding, for training, for help, that we can make that more self-sufficient for those customers, that we can keep more of those customers longer-term. That maybe we can find an opportunity to expand our businesses in those markets. It was very much like a big question, mark. Like there was no assumptions that any of this was going to work and we started with just some, translations and some, subtitling or captioning of a video and things like, and it wasn't perfect like far from perfect.


26:45

Danny Villarreal
It was very scrappy, very, just let's just see if this has any legs and right away what we started to see was increase in usage from some of those user populations. In fact, what we saw some of those markets and the Asian markets being one of those really respond positively to that. The immediate, answer was, Hey, let's start hiring some people that are going to be responsible for like putting more focus on what could potentially be a growth market for us. Another, another way. I learned, I mean, there could probably be a whole other webinar on just like what I learned from, working with international markets. I would say that the Chinese market itself was just vastly different culturally from an expectation perspective. Like they expected much more hands-on training. Like they love self-help, but they wanted to talk to you in a weekend group.


27:41

Danny Villarreal
They wanted in-person training, which we hadn't offered up to that point. Right. There was a much higher touch, but from a reward perspective, were able to get a lot more velocity and very quickly grow a business from the ground up there. Within a year we opened an office and now we've got multiple offices in Asia that we're operating out of. I would say, this was maybe the spark that led some of that. I think there were a lot of other efforts going on. It wasn't just a singular point, but I think it helped validate some assumptions or dig into an area that no one was actively digging into at that time. Right. It was just another data point in a chart. Were able to bring maybe a new light to some of that and maybe spark some interest and get the business thinking about some of the potential that exists there.


28:35

Paul Sullivan
I just want to jump in on something, right. Because if I'm a founder and given, you're working around and you pick up our alley start to think, right. They're like perception, I've got to be perfect. All of a sudden, there's you're like, oh, well, we put some videos together, we've got some subtitles going on and it was scrappy, but we just figured that we'll try it and see where we go. How do you take ego out of all of this?


28:59

Danny Villarreal
Yeah. I mean, like, it's lucky for us. Like our founder is like, was very hands-on in the business is still very hands-on in the business. Like he used to make onboarding videos for me at the beginning, there was a, there was when I first pitched us building our academy, he said, great. Give me a hundred videos that you want to make. I'm going to lock myself in the office over the weekend and just knock them all out. I was like, oh, wow, I love your enthusiasm, but we need more planning. Like I think that spoke to his personal investment in some of this and that he really believed in what were doing and that wasn't like overnight. I think that was an accretion of winning and of getting velocity. The fact that he was willing to dedicate his own time to it, I think it spoke just volumes to, how much he was willing to personally invest in that was a good example to the rest of the car.


29:49

Danny Villarreal
Like he was leading of like how he expected and, one of our values is to be scrappy. I think, having value alignments, one of our other values is test and inner iterate. Err on the side of a decision. I think all of those, some of our core values help to us to be, allow us to be more inquisitive, to try things, to be more intrepreneurial, which is another one of our, core values. Like these are things that allowed us to say, Hey, my job is just this, but I see this opportunity. I'm going to go try something new. I'm going to, I'm going to push for something that's, not on the agenda for today and see how that goes. That kind of openness, that kind of freedom to experiment to, learn from winning or failing, was really a large part of our, the accelerator for our growth in the long-term.


30:43

Danny Villarreal
So.


30:44

Paul Sullivan
You've sold to the company, you've got team buy-in, you've got a CEO that buys in personally and wants to invest his own time. It leads me to kind of my next question. Right. I talked to, looked at some of your history there and you made a specific change within the customer success team. Do you want to talk about that and how that impacted further growth?


31:07

Danny Villarreal
Yeah, we did. And, and so, companies change structures, people come and go, we had a very dynamic, strong customer success leader that had recruited me and the brought me in, and she left, about a year into it. That put us our mission or our place in the company in question, like where do we belong? and there was a few reorgs during that time, but I ended up working directly for a brand new chief product officer at that time. I think initially we lost velocity, right? This new CPO comes in really focused on building great product and engineering teams and doing all of this. Now he's got this other team that also just got given to him and he's like, it seems like you guys know what you're doing, just going to leave it alone for a while. We needed that continuous support and buy-in to that going.


32:01

Danny Villarreal
I would say in the beginning, there was some detrimental impact to it and that we lost maybe a good six months. I had to re-establish rapport with a new executive, get some of that going. I think it also gave us a chance to ask ourselves, like, who are we, what do we want to do in this new world? And with this new focus, like being closer to the product, what's the opportunity there that maybe we didn't have before. How can we bring that voice of the customer even directly into the product, right? Like now that we're a part of the product team, how can we use that to our advantage? Because now there's not this barrier now there's not a series of people that I have to convince about something like I've got a direct line to the leader of this organization. I'm aligned with the product managers.


32:47

Danny Villarreal
It took us a while to pivot, but I think it just opened a door. This, this setup doesn't exist in any other company I've ever worked. So, I call it a happy accident just in that perspective, given that it was a little frustrating to start with, but the net impact of that long-term was it put the voice of the customer right in the middle of the product. Right. We're at the same table with everybody else that was talking about it. We were bringing the customer and those value propositions or those value gaps, to the table. I think one of the things that we did initially was, after that move, we did an entire customer journey exercise. We pulled together all the leaders from all the different departments and said, Hey, let's get together. From start to finish from the time someone first learns about us online to the time that they leave us as a customer, what is every step in that journey? What are the friction points? What are the opportunities? And lets all level set.


33:48

Danny Villarreal
Like let's all just say what has to be said about what's great and what's horrible and really put it on the table and then divide and conquer with like, what are we going to do now that we are all aligned? and so it was a, I'll just call it like hitting the reset button, right? Like we admit, we got a lot of things. People were thankful that were able to accomplish them, but it was a new game now. The question was, how were we going to use that opportunity to make the product better, to keep the product-led growth, train going, and then continue to add value to our customers.


34:21

Paul Sullivan
Wow. That's like some big moves going backwards and forwards, right. That's a three-year journey for Jungle Scout. Like the big question I suppose is going, is to, I think the first one is how did PLG affect the bottom line and you go and I'll ask him,


34:46

Danny Villarreal
I think it's a great question. There was a lot of fear for fully embracing PLG, right? We had a very strong funnel. Jungle Scout's always been a profitable company. It wasn't like there was a need to make really large bets at the front end because we'd always been successful. Right. And, and so I think there's always like some challenges. If I say, Hey, let's try a freemium version or something, or let's do a free trial, or, let's even do a credit card version of a free trial if we, or, 14 days, whatever it is. Right. I think anytime you're going to change the core way that people come into the business, and that is it that has been attributed to our growth factor. Like your calling it's very sacred in some ways. Right. I think often that's not even just like a, a leadership decision that often is telling you even take to the board or to other people.


35:42

Danny Villarreal
Right. And there's a lot of different stakeholders. I think you get a lot of like fear and uncertainty. You have to come with the data, right. And it can't just be subjective. The way that we approach some of our product-led initiatives in terms of anything that might have a net impact on our finances was to test. So, not do the whole funnel, but let's carve out 10%, and let's put that against the rest and let's let this run for a while. Right. I think you have to, I hate to say it because it's, it doesn't always work, but you have to incrementally go through some of the bigger things that you want to change, because there are some things you can't, incrementalize your ways too, but this is one of those things where I don't think you're going to get someone just say, oh, here to put the whole business.


36:36

Danny Villarreal
Really being aware of what is going to change hearts and minds, what is going to be the kind of proof that's needed. Maybe the unfortunate part is for a lot of these things, it does take some time like maybe you're looking at a quarter to really start to see results because your business model is centred around. There's still a lot of marketing around your current business model. Right. It does take some time to build up that critical mass of data, to prove that the product is what's driving the growth and not price or something like that. Right. Not a, not a deal that you're running.


37:16

Paul Sullivan
Can I jump in, because you've mentioned the word pressing a couple of times now, and I'm sitting in I'm like, I, as I said to you before we started the call, I was doing a go-to-market strategy presentation earlier, and pricing was key. I haven't even asked you the pricing question. Right. You just touched on models. They're like, how many different models did you look at before you settled on your pricing model?


37:41

Danny Villarreal
I mean, a lot. I would say like, this was, maybe over a year that there was both research-active and passive. I'm sure we hired some people on the way we got, outside advisors, internal advisors, people were bringing webinars and, things to the table. We had some vendors that were working with that had different programs that we looked. Right. Just in terms of like analyzing, we clearly did like different kinds of sentiment research on like, what would you be willing to pay? And, things like that. I think it isn't a bad idea, but I often find that you can very easily get into like analysis paralysis, where it's just never going to be the perfect answer. Like, no one's ever going to say I a hundred per cent assure you that going with this model in this way, because I mean, let's just be real, like buying something, like, think about your own experience of going to buy any product, any service, anything there's so much nuance in.


38:44

Danny Villarreal
What goes into your decision, even down to like how the pricing page is laid out, or what benefits are included or excluded or, does Netflix have commercials or not? It's like so many things. I think in a subscription-based business specifically, you have to realize that this isn't a binary decision for people anymore, where it's just like, oh, I'm choosing between you and your competitor. People are taking every subscription that they own into consideration and saying, this isn't about just filling this gap in a need that I have it's, I've got a hundred subscriptions and maybe I have to lose five to take this winner, whatever it is. I think that's true, not only of individual consumers but even, all the way up to very large enterprises is this is people have budgets. You know, people are money conscious. People are also very value-sensitive, right.


39:35

Danny Villarreal
For me, I am a constant like market Maven out there looking for new products, always trying like the next big thing. I always have the newest iPhone, like whatever it is. Right. I'm also the first person to drop something immediately. If I, if I don't get value from it right away, I'm willing to try anything, but I'm going to give it one, two logins. If I haven't had that magic moment with it, I'm out and I'm never coming back again,


40:00

Paul Sullivan
Don't be subscriptions.


40:02

Danny Villarreal
Nope. No one knows what I'm be subscriptions, but, it's, I think people have become much more ruthless about just how they spend their money and what they expect. And I think expectations are very high. I think a lot of the products we use, day-to-day like our phone have great user experiences, constantly bringing value, like right into my hands. I want it now. I want news. I want updates. I want, so for software vendors, like if you're not able to articulate your value proposition and delivering a very compressed timeframe, I mean, you have a handful of logins of people's attention to do something for them to show them what you've got. If you can't deliver there, they're gone. That word of mouth beyond that may also impact, oh, I tried that it was horrible, ? so there's both like a, just that add on effect to not bringing value because you may never get a second chance.


41:00

Danny Villarreal
So, in general, I always love to over promise and under river under promise and over-deliver. But that's hard now in software. I think people do have a lot of choices, right. They vote with their money on, where the value is. So.


41:18

Paul Sullivan
There's a good point to touch on, right. I, I'm not going to name the platform, but I was kind of messing around with like a LinkedIn automation platform. I started to kind of see how, what was there's the most there is of to being able to communicate to our master LinkedIn, it actually never works. Right. It's not that it doesn't work and you can't generate conversations, but you just can't personalize enough in a constructive way. So, I've done what a lot of people have done. I've got a little, in my recording my name now, and I can see when all of the automated yeah, exactly. Right. So I just disregard them. What I noticed was I kind of said, look, I want out, I said, this is a zombie license. I'm not used it for mums and I'm no longer going to waste the money.


42:07

Paul Sullivan
Right. They kind of just came back and just offered me a discount. I felt like, but I've just told you, I'm not using it. You haven't, you only kind of put me into this role or this nurturing process of look, get back to this, let's encourage you to use it is another onboard. It was just let me offer you a discount and see if you stay. Like, what are your thoughts on businesses that do that with a product? Like,


42:32

Danny Villarreal
Yeah. I mean, I think if someone's churned it's too late, right. Like, and not to say that they'll never come back. Like, we actually have a fair share in our consumer business of people who do cycle in and out of our product because they don't always need it. When they do, they know where they're going to go. Right. That's just in this specific instance, we've got a unique demographic there that's part of the business, but it's not the majority. To your question specifically, I think there is a big opportunity to make sure that you were aligned. Like one of the first things we ask when you get into our product is like, what are you here to do? Like w why did you buy why'd you buy the product, so that we can direct them to those things. We can make sure that they know what their happy path is.


43:16

Danny Villarreal
Cause there's lots of things that you can do with our product. Right. Why did you buy, why did you come here today? What are you looking to do? And I think if you're not doing that from day one, at least capturing that information and maybe doing marketing, reinforcing marketing with that customer in the early stages. So, we have onboarding flows of emails, just not just the in-app experience, but that are saying, Hey, by this point, other customers have gotten to here, and this is what they've learned. These are the wins that they've had. Or these are things that if you haven't tried it yet, like you should jump in or based on what you told us is important. Like, here are things that other people are doing too, that have been successful, right. You have to kind of keep, continue to reinforce value both actively and passively.


43:56

Danny Villarreal
In the tool, if you have the opportunity to do that outside the tool, like I get a hundred emails. Like I'm probably not going to read everything, but I know someone's trying to reach out to me. I know they're trying to speak to my, what I care about specifically. Like that's going to go up further. I think in the instance that you mentioned, a platform's telling you like, Hey, I mean, I'll be honest. When were creating our churn funnel, I looked at Hulu, if you say, I cancel Hulu comes right back and says, how about a month free on us? ? And I'm like, all right, like, who's going to say no to free, but they're also assuming that they're solving my problem by giving me, if I said it was expensive. Sure. Come at me with a deal. If I have to say it, I'm not using it.


44:40

Danny Villarreal
I think it's almost insulting to say, oh, here's 50% off. Well, it wasn't a price thing. It was like, yeah, I'm not getting what I need from your product. So bridge that gap for me. And take that into account. We have both like an input funnel and an output funnel. So people are leaving our product. We're capturing why we're understanding we're using that sentiment in a meaningful way to work that back into how do we make the product better? The truth is like, we can't get the best for everybody. Right. We're never going to solve everybody's problems, but it's that whole 80 20 rule. Like if we hear the same thing a lot, okay. Price is too high. Oh, how do we address that for those people? Or, I don't have X, Y, Z, what are those on our roadmap? Do they need to be, just asking those questions and keeping that flywheel going, because I think you're missing out on an opportunity if they didn't know why you're quitting and if they did, they're still not hitting the mark.


45:36

Danny Villarreal
Right.


45:37

Paul Sullivan
So let me ask you another question. Cause there's something that sits in between all of that. Right. It is, and this is a jungle scout question for you, right. I'm specifically asking, how long do you let an account go Layton before you guys try to intervene and be activated?


45:51

Danny Villarreal
Yeah, I mean, on the enterprise side, because we have like dedicated customer success managers, like not long, I would say like a week is like, and we either have some automated mechanisms. Right. I mean, we're saying if someone's not logging into the tool, they're not going to see some of that, but someone will be reaching out, like from my enterprise team, like right away, if you're, and it may just be like, oh, I was on vacation, whatever. I think you need to also understand, like, what is, I mean, sometimes not using a tool is actually a positive thing. Like if it's an automation tool and I don't have to get into the automation I win. Right. Like you saved me time, you saved me efforts. I think you do need to understand does being in your tool more mean that someone's losing value, that's where you have to understand.


46:40

Danny Villarreal
So, you know, we've got different products. Like we've got one that will like run advertising campaigns for you as an example. Well, the goal is like you go in and set it up and there's some refinement period, but after that, you shouldn't have touch it too often. In that case, like I would expect usage if they're using that product to actually go down overtime, that's a measure of progress. In some of our other products, like that's telling me, they're going to church telling me that they're not using it enough or they need more training. That's really the approach we'll take in general is do you need more onboarding? Do you need more training? is there some issue that you haven't reported that we can help you with? but really trying to understand, like, is there a reason the rubber isn't meeting the road for you and how do we close those gaps?


47:25

Paul Sullivan
Wow. I think there's the so many golden nuggets in the information that you shared, if so far, but I'm also time conscious. Cause I know that people get the rest of us at about 45 minutes. I had a couple of questions that I really wanted to get into that are geared up from a founder's perspective. I'm just going to whiz through them, feel free to answer them in your own time, but I'll just kind of get through them. What, how would you advise a company to approach assessing if their platform is right for product lead and what does that look like?


47:59

Danny Villarreal
Yeah, I think it's a great question. I think, what, the advice that I give to anybody that asks me about product-led growth is, there is no one size fits all for product line growth, product-led growth strategy. You can think of it as a methodology or strategy or a series of rubrics or rules, that you can apply. I don't think, if you get too cultish about it and say like, oh, I have to have a free trial. I can't have a sales team. I can't, I disagree with all of that wholeheartedly. Like there are so many valuable things in product, like growth that are just, even if you don't fully adopt it. If you do some of those things, like knowing the value of your product, reducing friction, closing value gaps, having great onboarding, TAlking, doing customer research, doing an experiment. Like there's just so many things that I could just rattle off.


48:50

Danny Villarreal
Even if you don't fully adopt product like group, but you're doing those things. You're probably in a way better place with your business than you were before. I would have to say like product that growth is not one size fits all. There are so many aspects and it's a spectrum, right? Some people might be able to get rid of their sales team entirely. I don't think that's ever going to be an option like for our enterprise business, right. It's just like not going to happen. We're going to, we're going to have some product-led offerings, but it just doesn't work for everything. I think you need to look at complexity as a factor there, like a sufficiently complex product may not only need a sales team but a services team and other things. Right. Really understanding, like what does it take to get your customers to where they need to be? And being honest about that, I think is really critical.


49:36

Danny Villarreal
There is a lot of businesses out there that I think over-index on, having to charge for it and especially at an early stage because getting money for your product is a sign of success, right? If I just have a free trial and no one ever pays me for my product, well, what that tells me is that maybe there's not enough value in your product. Right. You need to do more research about where does that lie or, what is the business problem for your customer that people are willing to pay for? Like, what's the gap there? so, really starting to take it piece by piece and assess how can you bring any part of product-led growth, strategy to play. Even just starting with little parts, I think is making a big difference in most businesses.


50:21

Paul Sullivan
Okay. That's a really good answer, but obviously, I've had the privilege to see your deck. I know we bring the deck into the chat it's evening because we wanted to do more of this, but within the deck, you start off with values and chart and a path. So, so how does that overlay what you've just told us?


50:40

Danny Villarreal
Yeah, I mean, I think, the some of the things that I had, put in there were, some of the things that I know helped us get started with this and some of it is, like things that I said before, like mapping your baseline, like really understanding where you're at today in your business, identifying those jobs to be done like hypercritical. Like if you don't know what your customers are doing and your product, that needs to be the first thing that you're doing right away after where you're at today. I think aligning internally on what are the business problems where you have leveraged, where you have the ability to make a difference for your business, for your leadership, for your customers to the bottom line. Like there are massive points of leverage. My problem. When I started, as I tried to ask a bunch of things where I didn't have any leverage, I didn't manage those teams.


51:32

Danny Villarreal
I didn't have the resources I need. I was being too ambitious. Right. Understanding like where you physically can make a difference with your time with your efforts, that's super big. Using those as opportunities to get quick wins. So, Hey, I'm going to work on this help project. Look, we reduce help, tickets by 50%, like that's a quick win. How do we keep building on top of that? Like, okay, you gave me the opportunity to do this. I'm going to go off and do something else. Now that's going to prove that, building that velocity over time and then using that credit that you've built up internally to gain, buy-in for larger and larger, bets or projects that you want to run. I think a lot of this is gaining that confidence from your teams and from your customers, frankly.


52:22

Paul Sullivan
Cool. You talking about data, right? Cause everything is measuring measure our tests to extrapolate and again. If you're looking at data, if you were, a company you're talking to someone like me, I've got my own SAS app platform and like Danny, up following you on LinkedIn, you're doing all this good stuff. What, what should I be tracking at this moment in time? Because we're thinking about product lead and what right now in my sales, this model, should I be focused on so I can scale that for,


52:54

Danny Villarreal
Yeah. I mean, I think really like being able to understand what your customers are going through today. From that first touch point that they have with any of your teams, to the end of their first visit in the product, like at a minimum, you need to know that insight now, like you need to be able to watch it, to experience it, to hear it from them, to see it in the data. Like what path are they taking? What are they clicking on? just every little bit at a very granular level. To be able to take a step back from that and say, here's what this looks like right now. How can we make this better? both from our side, from just like smoothing out the information flow or making it more apparent about certain things to the customer angle of like, are we taking too long, selling it to them?


53:40

Danny Villarreal
Are there things that they could be doing themselves in the process that we don't have to be doing? are they within those first one or two visits getting what they came here to get, right. There some critical job to be done that has to be done during that first or second visit that isn't happening? And those are the kinds of things that I would start with from a measurement perspective. If you see gaps there right away, those are your top projects, right. Because you don't have a rest of the funnel. If, if that part isn't solid. Okay.


54:12

Paul Sullivan
Okay. Okay. I'm going to wrap up with like one final question because, I think, the question really is in two parts. The first thing is how does PLG impact the go-to-market strategy in its entirety? And tell me whatever else I didn't ask you that you feel fueled. It should be. So there's two parts of that. One question.


54:38

Danny Villarreal
Yeah. I, I think, in some ways, just from a definition standpoint, like product-led growth is a go-to-market strategy, right? again, not being too cultish about it, like really taking a step back from that is I would say it's a series of best practices is really what it is. Right. So, for me thinking about how can I go to market by integrating more and more of these best practices into what I'm doing on a daily basis. Whether that's, customer research, whether that's, value-based marketing, product-led if you can have a free trial, if you can let people into your product to have some experience and get that value directly from the product. But, even if you can't do that if you're doing demos of your product like if people are realizing that they want to buy it from that demo, like that is still product-led.


55:32

Danny Villarreal
Like, I, I, I'm gonna like go that far to say, like, if you can show value in a very short period of time with your product, that is being product-led too. I think a lot of this is really just like, it's not so much about like changing everything you're doing. A lot of it is changing how you think about it. Right. And, and some I forget who said it, but someone said, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change, and it sounds like a very simple rubric, right. At the end of the day, like looking at things more often through that product-led lens, looking at it through how your customer experience is being impacted that, by those things, I think it becomes very clear to you where the opportunities exist in your day to day, go to market strategy in that big picture view of like how you want to connect with your customers and why you're the best choice of everybody else.


56:26

Danny Villarreal
Like it just becomes so much more transparent. I feel externally where there's not this like, oh, we got to keep the product secret because if they see it all, they may not buy it. Like that's the old days, right? Like we've got to remove our blinders and really step into the future of, you have to lead with your product has to bring value to the table. If not, there's no amount of creative marketing that's going to change that. Right. Tell people something, but selling them the dream and them living the dream are two different things.


56:59

Paul Sullivan
That's kind of the crux of sales, right? Is the feed in that way, they feeling like you sell the dream and you don't deliver. And whether that support or,


57:10

Danny Villarreal
I think that is a lot of the problem. Making sales, being more focused on the product and not overselling or not selling the product I have next year, which look great salespeople do that. They, they are great, but I just don't think you're going to get the same kind of reception today that you may have got five years ago from selling the dream. Right. I think many people like they're sticking their business. This is an investment for them in a lot of cases, especially when you're go up market. Right. If I'm selling to a fortune 500 company and they're spending a lot of money with me, I have to deliver immediately on that dream. I don't have a lot of wiggle room. Right. I, and I don't think we should discount regular consumers either. I think they're in a similar position to you. Choice is probably more ubiquitous than it's ever been.


57:59

Danny Villarreal
So, again, to that big picture question, you're asking me, like, what would I advise people to do? Like, don't wait, don't sit around reading books. Don't just go to a bunch of webinars. Like don't expect to like, learn your way out of this. Like start trying things like start taking one small piece and saying, can we iterate on this? Can we iterate on our funnel? Can we iterate on a free trial? Can we iterate on a pricing model onboarding, on training, on help on an exit flow for our product, if we're losing a lot of people and maybe that's more important. Right. I would say like, don't wait to start doing something because you feel like you don't understand at all, like pick something, dive deep, learn as much as you can. Just keep iterating because this is not like a one and done thing it's never going to be.


58:49

Danny Villarreal
I think that's the other maybe misconception that a lot of people have about product-led growth is like, oh, I do this. It's over like this is a process. It's an ongoing living, breathing thing. Just like, you're just like your product is. And so it takes water and feeding. It takes maintenance, it takes investment to, so I think that's the main message I would say, just from an overarching, like start today, get some, there's lots of great resources out there. Use that to your advantage because I think there's a lot of great thinking going on in this space right now.


59:24

Paul Sullivan
Oh, Danny, listen, I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day. We hit the magic hour. I kept it on the, I'm really proud of myself for doing that. Once again, I'll follow up, outside of this, but I appreciate your time, all of that magic that you've just shared. I'm sure people will, make a lot of use of I'm going to reshare this live in UK daytime. So, when most people I meeting at dinner, but I appreciate you coming on and thanks once again.


59:51

Danny Villarreal
Absolutely. Thanks for having me, Paul.

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