Top of the LyneApr 06, 2023
From Product-Led to Sales-Led ft. Jon Widawski, Co-founder & CEO, Maze
Figma did it for design. Slack did it for team comms. Zoom did the same for meetings. Salesforce - CRM.
Every once in a while, a tool comes along that pushes the envelope of our imaginations and brings our presumptions crashing to the ground. And reinvents how sh*t gets done.
In 2023, user research and testing aren’t quite the same anymore. And for that, we have Maze and Jo Widawski to thank.
And if you’re reading this and thinking “What do I need usability testing for?” - you’re not alone. But you probably will be.
Jo started up in 2018 with a mission to democratize testing. Within 3 years, Maze had built the foundations of a new category, washed away the demons of complexity it was mired in, and put a new weapon in the hands of - not just researchers, but designers, product managers, marketers, and many others.
Today, over 60,000 brands ranging from Uber and HP to McKinsey and GE use Maze for user research and usability testing.
Building a new category is no easy feat. Jo will be the first to tell you:
“Building a company is a lot about shooting arrows and then during targets around them afterward, and saying it was your vision all along. When we started, we really believed that we just needed to build better research.”
With the targets now drawn, we thought it’d be worth getting to the bottom of how the hell Jo and Maze did it.
This is the story of how.
00:00 Price against value
00:31 Tweet Reactions
06:33 Verbalizing a category
11:52 Maze's GTM evolution
17:44 Product taking the center stage
19:41 Switching to Enterprise
22:38 Layering sales in PLG
26:42 Early branding investments
29:08 Design pet peeves
31:32 Rapid Fire
34:02 Up next for Maze
The 'Enterprise Sales Gene' ft. D'Arcy Doyle, SVP Sales - Productboard
D’Arcy spent 11 years at Oracle, selling database management systems on either side of the dot-com bubble bursting. He is the man you’d get if you wanted to carve out an early advantage in the enterprise sector while going head-to-head with only one of the most viral tools of all time. Box became Dropbox’s worst nightmare in the enterprise sector during D’Arcy’s seven years there. He’s who you’d get when you’ve cracked SMB and mid-market and are now beginning to go from $10M in ARR to $100M. You want a man like him at the helm if you’ve found PMF, just raised a Series B round, and are beginning to set your sights on the Fortune 500. And so late last year, we sat down with the current SVP of Sales at Productboard in an attempt to uncover the building blocks of the enterprise sales gene. We cover a lot of ground here with D'Arcy, including:
00:00 The Dropbox Problem
1:50 Meet D'Arcy
3:23 Early lessons on identifying ICP
5:11 Choosing sales
7:09 Priorities today as SVP Sales, Productboard
8:02 Dealing with a recession as an early-stage company
10:12 Economic headwinds 2008 vs 2023
10:59 Selling during the dotcom bubble
13:44 Selling in times of budget cuts
15:15 Value engineering
17:26 Speaking to the C-suite
18:23 Box vs. Dropbox
23:04 Role of marketing in enterprise sales
24:38 Trade shows
27:25 Where PLG fails
30:15 Setting up a post-sales process
32:31 Does persuasion play a role in enterprise selling?
34:58 Traits he looks for while hiring
36:20 What separates the best from the rest in sales?
39:09 Closing an 8-figure deal
40:39 Differences in selling software in the '90s vs '23
44:22 Differences in software buyers in the'90s vs '23
46:16 How to deal with buyers' preconceived notions
47:21 Next steps for Productboard's GTM
53:14 Building customer-centric products
54:15 Rapid Fire
Humans of PLG ft. Gaurav Vohra, Head of Strategy & Analytics at Superhuman
Superhuman: The platform that monetized time!
Superhuman - the fastest email experience ever made. In a world where more than a billion people spend three hours a day reading and writing emails, Superhuman enables them to fly through their inboxes twice as fast as before.
Gaurav is one of the founding team members who set up many of the company's key functions (onboarding, success, delight, growth…), scaled them from 0 to 1, built repeatability, and moved on to build the next function.
Today, Superhuman enjoys a waitlist of over half a million users and was recently valued at $825M! 🚀
Catch our in-depth breakdown of Superhuman’s growth story here.
We cover a lot of ground here with Gaurav, including:
- We cover a lot of ground here with Gaurav, including:
- Memes as a measure of culture
- Tweet Reactions
- Building in the UK vs. the US
- Sales lessons from "Get out to vote"
- Ingredients of the Superhuman onboarding experience
- What not to do with your onboarding
- Why a strong product vision matters
- How to engineer word of mouth
- Superhuman's top-down PLG motion
- The ideal split b/w PLG & Sales
- Rapid Fire
❤️ Product Superhuman derives inspiration from: Apple
🐦 Twitter shoutout: @hubermanlab
Connect with him at :
With Daryna Kulya, Co-founder of OpenPhone | Humans of Product-Led Growth
OpenPhone is an app to which you can add all your work numbers. It can live on all your everyday devices and, on top of calls and messages, offers a full suite of integrations to your work tools.
Daryna is on a mission to rewrite the future of the business phone, bringing it back from the dead and into the 21st century. 🚆
With an impressive 200% + Net Revenue Retention (NRR), OpenPhone is loved by teams at Sonder, Linear, AirGarage, Soon, and Avalon, among others.
Catch our in-depth breakdown of OpenPhone’s growth story here!
We cover a lot of ground here with Daryna, including:
- Tweet Reactions 🐦
- How does OpenPhone help you?
- How to win trust in online communities?
- How to find a balance between existing demand and demand creation?
- Prioritizing customer delight
- Engineering word of mouth
- Importance of speaking to customers
- Dogfooding your product
- Plugging sales into a PLG motion
- The difference in how sales operates now vs. 10 years ago
- Engineering spike events
- Rapid Fire
And more!Shownotes 📝 Darya’s recommendations:
🛠 Tool: Zapier
🙌 LinkedIn Account: Devin ReedConnect with her at :
Humans of PLG ft. Steeve Vakeeswaran, Head of Sales & Expansion at Zapier
Steeve Vakeeswaran, Head of Sales & Expansion at Zapier; Zapier offers over 5,000 app integrations and powers automations ranging from central workflows at Fortune 500 companies to such side projects as Seinfeldtext and Kanyetext. Zapier's growth from $0-$140 million has been largely driven by their bottom-up self-serve engine🤩. In early 2021, with Steeve Vakeeswaran at the helm, Zapier started testing a Sales motion.💥
Zapier's growth levers unlocked: https://www.topofthelyne.co/p/happier-with-zapier
Learn how Steeve scaled sales at Zapier and how sales can be layered into your PLG motion on this podcast hosted by Toplyne.
Humans of PLG ft. Mario Araujo, Head of Growth at Softr
Mario Araujo, Head Of Growth at Softr; the world’s largest ecosystem for building no-code apps. The product makes enables anyone without prior experience in coding to build an online presence in the form of communities, portals, stores, and even CRMs. 🤯Softr has zoomed organically from 0 to 50k users in less than 15 months, picking up Product Hunt’s Product of the Year 🥇at the 2021 Golden Kitty Awards. 🤩
Softr's growth levers unpacked: https://www.topofthelyne.co/p/softr-l...
Humans Of PLG ft. Mark Tanner, Co-founder of Qwilr
Qwilr is a way for sales and marketing teams to create all of their customer-facing collateral - proposals, quotes, pitch decks, presentations, and contracts - as web pages, rather than PDFs or PowerPoint decks. Read more about Qwilr's growth story here: https://www.topofthelyne.co/p/cause-t...
Mark Tanner is the co-founder & COO of the Sydney-based company that is now scaling the US, Europe, and other geographies. Here's how Mark Tanner supercharged Qwilr's growth to be a user favorite!
❤️ 1/ Murder your darlings🔪 Mark and the team scrapped their v1 to build a v2 with a reduced barrier to entry. It was the best product decision they'd ever make.
2/Finding product market fit 🎯 Mark accurately compares PMF to gears in a car. Kicking into high gear slowly but surely, step by step. He put this into action at Qwilr, when they started targeting sales & marketing teams instead of the originally targeted SMBs.
3/ Free Trial FTW! ❤️ Mark found that the activation rate among users of Qwilr that tried the 14-day free trial was A LOT MORE! & they ditched freemium immediately.
4/ Founder-led Sales 👩💻 Mark insists that founder-led sales are essential because these help one understand the "why" behind every rejection which becomes crucial for the roadmap.
Learn these and many more lessons from the rockstar, Mark Tanner himself on the webinar hosted by Toplyne.