*This information in post was originally presented at the 2018 ProductLed Summit. A few things have changed since then (including our logo), but the importance of Account-Level Product Engagement isn’t one of them.
Watch the video of our presentation or read this post which outlines the main points. Either way, you’ll find the information of utmost use for your modern SaaS business.
Why should you care about this topic? Why isn’t tracking and reporting on product engagement at the user level good enough?
It’s elementary, my good friend. If you are a SaaS business, you operate at an account-level.
Are you seeing the trend?
You’re not a social media app (you aren’t, right?) — you’re a SaaS app. You sell to businesses — your product is used by teams. You operate at the account-level. Why wouldn’t you track engagement in the same way?
SaaS sales teams have always know this. They know they sell to accounts — buyers, decision makers, influencers, users, etc. This is why CRMs have always been organized at the account-level.
SaaS marketers caught on too. That’s why there’s an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) movement.
So why not track account-level product engagement? Curious.
But who cares about why? Let’s all agree it needs to happen. In SaaS, users come and go, but accounts stay forever (except when they don’t, but that’s a different post). If you aren’t tracking account-level product engagement insights, you’re missing an essential view of your business.
Indeed, as a SaaS product, if you aren’t organizing and viewing your data at the account-level, then there is no way to make it actionable.
It’s a combination of two concepts. You know product engagement is an evaluation of how users are engaging with your product.
Now organize and assess that at an account-level.
Remarkable! That’s account-level product engagement.
This is simplicity itself. Accounts are not people. But people use your product.
Very well. Organizing product engagement data at the account level just means aggregating all the activity for the individual users on an account to an account unit.
Say you have an account with three active users and:
Their activity would break down like this:
That’s great. Organizing this data around their account would look like this:
Elementary. But it’s an essential first step in being able to assess account-level product engagement.
You’re organized at the account level, excellent! Now you can start assessing account-level product engagement. Now you can start understanding — not just your product’s engagement — but the health of your whole business.
Once you have this data aggregated, you can do some remarkable things, including:
Assessing account-level product engagement shifts your entire perspective.
Account-level product engagement is so singular precisely because it’s so actionable. Here are four ways you can operationalize this data and drive real returns for your SaaS business:
We’ve already said it. SaaS = Accounts — accounts sign-up, accounts onboard. For most products, Activation can’t be completed by a single user. It takes a team to get to first value for most SaaS products.
If it takes 4, 5, 6 steps to become activated with your product, these steps are usually taken by several different users.
When you track Activation progress at the account-level, you give your teams important insights into which accounts are ready to move forward and which ones need help.
We’ll skip the part where we tell you SaaS is account-based (you do know SaaS is measured at the account-level, right?).
So if you want to measure the health of your business, you need to to be able to measure the health of your accounts. What indicates the health of an account? You guessed it: account-level product engagement.
When you measure account-level product engagement, you don’t only see the health of the account. You can also:
For strange effects and extraordinary combinations (ok, not strange at all), tracking account-level product engagement will also help you identify customers who get the most value from your product.
Enter your marketing department. Enter the ability to track the best leads possible. Here’s how:
Every modern SaaS sales team must be able to qualify trial accounts based on their engagement with the product. That means you need a way to identify Product Qualified Leads (PQLs).
Product Qualified Leads are the most qualified leads for a SaaS business because they have already started to get value from a product. They haven’t only expressed some esoteric interest in the product — they have actually used it, become Activated, and showed consistent engagement. These are the accounts that are most likely to convert to paid.
And you can’t have a Product Qualified Leads process without account-level product engagement. Remember: accounts signup, accounts get set-up, accounts convert to paid.
Tracking your account-level product engagement data is simply the only way to create and drive a PQL process.
The bottom-line is this: SaaS is an account-based game. You simply can’t plan or execute well in this game without understanding account-level product engagement. It’s elementary, my friend.
If you do track this account-level product engagement effectively, you will bring clarity and efficiency to your entire operation. It will be like shining a light on your business, uncovering the insights that will drive the work of your entire revenue team.
Don’t spend another day in the dark. Start your account-level product engagement tracking today.