CRM vs Product-Led Sales Softwares - why you need both to succeed in a SaaS?


  • Traditional CRMs like Moskit focus on managing sales activities and interactions with leads and customers.
  • Product-led sales software like Convert by Successeve focus on scoring and using product usage data to identify the best leads and the right moment to engage with them.
  • Combining both traditional CRM and product-led sales software can be beneficial in a freemium model, reducing the cost of onboarding and helping identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
  • Key metrics and scores to focus on to increase conversion include product usage scores, PQL to SQL conversion, free to paid conversion with and without sales assist, and number of active accounts.
My name is José Ferri, and I'm the head of PLG at Moskit CRM. My background is in CS and engineering, and two years ago, I moved to PLG. I've been leading the team since then. Moskit is a sales CRM, a traditional CRM in that sense. We focus on the SMB market and operate mainly in Brazil and other South American countries.

1. What is the difference between a traditional CRM such as Moskit and a Product-Led Software as Convert by Successeve?

Mostly, it comes down to scoring and product data. A product-led sales software helps figure out which leads to talk to and the right moment to do so. Essentially, I can have my applications' usage data sent directly to Successeve and really understand the customer lifecycle. I can score my Product Qualified Accounts or Product Qualified Leads, segment my user base, and really dial in with customers I really need to talk to, which ones are at the best moment to talk right now.

This doesn't mean that a product-led software is going to replace a sales-led CRM. In our use case, when it comes down to highly specific tasks, each one is going to perform better at what it's meant to do. One example of this in our use case is our WhatsApp integration - the Brazilian market uses WhatsApp a lot, and it helps my team communicate better and generate data.

So it really helps this communication, this one-to-one relationship. I think the idea of scale, in general, is one of the biggest differences when it comes down to individual communication or proposals or, in general, specific sales status.

This is when a traditional sales CRM works best in this case. But whenever we're talking about organizing PQAs and PQLs, and understanding how to get the best value from the first-party data that's been generated, there I think is when a product-led sales software really takes the edge. In general, both are great at what they're meant to do.

2. Use case: When is it best to combine a traditional CRM and a Product-led Sales software?

I think the PLG and SLG sales growth hybrid is a typical use case, especially when you're talking about a freemium model product. Being able to get the best of both worlds in this case is a huge benefit, like the lower CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), and what type of funnel from a pure PLG strategy and the ability to really target some niche clients, really helps show value easily with a sales-led approach.

They work great when we're talking about this model, and this also reduces the cost of onboarding in general since whenever we're talking to someone who already tried the products, who is already familiar with the product, and most of the cases they've been able to reach success or see value in what you're trying to sell.

We're really talking about these two strategies in the hybrid model. Even if you are more PLG than SLG or vice versa, it doesn't matter. But working both of them together is really great. PLS software is also going to help to identify some upsell and cross-sell cases in this and that, and identifying through the product usage, which customers are more engaged or which customers are more likely to also need another kind of solution.

So it really works well in this case. And I mean, whatever is possible to identify the PQAs and PQLs, you're able to send into the sales funnel with the added benefit of knowing exactly why they're there and why they got in your sales funnel at the moment they did. So really understanding all the product usage that is sent into a sale, really may become a PQL in this case. This also helps me direct my sales workforce in general, my account executive workforce in general, and it has allowed me to scale my operation without necessarily needing to increase my number of people. So it really benefits from the best of both worlds.

3. What are the key metrics and scores to focus on to increase conversion?

The main one is our product usage score. We divide it into two different scores that work together. One of them is focused on core functionality only. So, basically, I can assure someone is using the core functions of my product. The other one is focused on complimentary functionality in general. So, if someone has a good score on one of them but not the other, this doesn't necessarily mean they are a good account.

I think, in general, they need to use both, or they need to use whatever makes sense for them in the product. So, it's something that we really dial down to understand which components of these two scores work best whenever we're talking about the score or talking about the right moment to talk to someone who is in danger.

So, that's the main one. We also look at PQL to SQL Conversion. So, Product Qualified Leads to Sales Qualified Leads conversion. It's a great way to validate whatever playbook is currently happening or whatever processes we are trying to make work. It's a great way to understand if it actually works in the real world, per se.

So, it's a really great way to validate all this. Free to paid conversion, we look at it with and without sales assist, like a pure PLG motion where no one talks to them. Whenever we have this sales qualification or sales assist that's going to help this customer from a point forward, we look at both of these numbers.

In general, we also look at the number of active accounts we have. Someone who has performed more than X events or something like that, so we can really know what our funnel looks like. Going back to the idea of a hybrid model, really understanding our funnel type is essential. So, we can forecast and understand our sales funnel better with this.

And I think that's basically it. Those are the main ones we like to focus on. Those are the main ones we actively monitor here.

4. How important has PLG become in the SaaS industry?

Basically, whenever people think of Product-Led Growth, they often think of more sales or more conversions in this part of the process exclusively. I don't think that's the case at all. I think Product-Led Growth can be used in any other part of the company. So, we can look at PLG through a sales motion and understand how PLG can actually help sales improve.

We can look at support and ticketing and understand how the product can improve this experience. We can look at customer success and create ways to improve the user experience and how they can interact with the product. All of that can work in a PLG motion. All of that can really benefit, again, with the idea of scale and improving your workforce and tasks.

Whenever we can use a product to improve the processes or the tasks in the user experience in general, it's a great way to actually use Product-Led growth.

5. Is PLG the future of SaaS?

We are a hybrid model, as I talked about before, so I don't think we need to completely get rid of all sales teams and such.

But, I definitely think that PLG can improve a lot of other areas, can improve a lot of processes and can make everything run a little bit more smoothly. So, yeah, of course. I really think PLG is the future.

Goodbye 100% SaaS by Successeve. It's been a pleasure, and thank you for the opportunity for the interview.
José Ferri
Head of PLG at Moskit CRM
Brought to you by
We help you to convert, grow and retain your customers.
Try for free
Start your 14-days free trial
#1 Customer Intelligence Platform
No credit card required
Cancel anytime