You're probably familiar with the latest buzzwords in the SaaS industry — product qualified leads (PQLs) and product qualified accounts (PQAs).
Now, you may be wondering:
What’s the difference between the two?
Are they not the same?
A product qualified lead is more applicable for software sold to individuals, whereas a product qualified account is used more in B2B.
A product qualified account refers to a group of users in the same organization (or account) who’ve experienced value from your product through a free trial or freemium model.
In this article, we’ll demystify PQAs for you and highlight all the ways in which they differ from PQLs. We’ll also explore six awesome ways to convert your product qualified accounts.
Finally, we’ll introduce you to a robust tool that helps you bookmark and work with the best product qualified accounts.
What Is a Product Qualified Account?
If you’re a B2B SaaS company, you usually market your product not to individual users but to organizations — that may have a team of employees that would use your product.
A product qualified account is a team of users from the same account/organization whose product usage signals indicate they have recognized your product's value and are ready to be handed off to your sales team.
But how do you know an account is product qualified?
Generally, a product qualified account will have:
- Tried out new features of your product
- Met daily active user criteria
- Added more team members
Most B2B product led growth (PLG) companies implement lead scoring to identify product qualified accounts that are most likely to convert into a paying customer.
The lead scoring process assigns points to a prospect based on their interest and buying intent. The account’s interest level can be determined by monitoring:
- The product usage volume
- The frequency of feature usage
- The rate at which new users are added to the account, etc.
As a SaaS company, it helps you learn if the users really dig your product or may ditch it for another.
Lead scoring gives your sales team an overview of the account’s product engagement levels. It also helps you develop appropriate next steps for your sales team, making it easier to close the sale, upsell in the future, and increase customer retention.
Now that we know what a PQA is, let’s get our facts straight about PQLs too. Especially because you shouldn’t be using these two terms interchangeably.
PQAs vs. PQLs: How Do They Differ?
Simply put, a product qualified lead is an individual, whereas a product qualified account is an entire account or company.
When an account with multiple team members uses and loves your product, they’re more likely to share their success stories as a company in the B2B community. This way, a product qualified account opens your doors to more customers and high-value accounts.
With a product qualified lead, you can implement user-level onboarding.
But with a product qualified account you can implement company-wide onboarding where several individuals on the team are interested in your SaaS product. Your sales rep can share the account’s daily product usage data, present them with a pitch, and close the sale.
Remember, the goal for both PQA and PQL strategy remains the same — delivering value to the user before they hit the paywall.
It’s because the revenue growth of PLG companies is driven more by the quality of your product and less by the persuasiveness of your sales team.
When customers are happy with your product, they become die-hard brand advocates and help you scale business profits.
And while a terrific product is always a must, it's not enough on its own.
Here’s what you need to know to shorten the product led sales process and maximize conversion rates.
Six Brilliant Ways to Convert PQAs
Let’s go over some ways to drum up more product qualified accounts and add them to your list of existing customers.
1. Define Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
An ideal customer profile is a picture-perfect customer (read: paying customer) with all the qualities that make them the best fit for your product.
Ask yourself these questions to define the ICP, identify the perfect fit, and boost conversions:
- What kind of budget should potential customers have to afford your product?
- Which industries will benefit the most from your product and which won’t?
- In what regions of the world is your product available?
- Which job titles and roles are you targeting?
- What if your potential customers prefer pineapple as a pizza topping? (jk, scratch it off the list!)
Your marketing and sales team can refer to this detailed outline of your ideal customer to evolve their lead generation tactics and target the right accounts.
Defining your ICP is an unskippable step in the sales process. It also helps you implement successful account based marketing campaigns.
2. Keep Tabs on the Product Usage Data
They love me! They love me not?🌹
End your agony and find the right answer by tracking product usage data!
Product usage data reveals how free users and existing customers navigate your product, which features they use, and what makes them click. It can help you determine their buying intent.
Additionally, PLG companies can find correlations between specific actions taken by their free users and their likelihood of converting based on historical product data.
These actions can be anything from onboarding new team members within the first 10 days to unlocking new use cases.
In fact, you can track product usage metrics (product activation rate, customer engagement score, number of user actions per session, etc.) to gauge how customers interact with your product.
Tracking product data also reveals when free users hit certain usage thresholds, signaling it might be a good time to have that talk your sales rep has been waiting for.
And if they play their cards right, they can successfully close the sale.
Toplyne is a headless AI tool that integrates with product analytics tools like Amplitude and Mixpanel and helps you access product usage data.
3. Get Users to Their “Aha Moment” Faster
The “Aha moment” is that magical moment when your customer realizes that your product might be “the one” they’ve been looking for! 😍
It’s that moment when the new user is blown away by your product and is convinced that it can solve a specific pain point they have.
For product led growth companies, knowing the steps that lead to this moment can be a real game-changer. It can help improve product adoption and customer acquisition rate.
Figure out ways to eliminate any points of friction between your users in the product qualified account and their aha moment.
Say you ask new users to fill out their details before they discover your product's value. This may count as friction. Chances are you don't need those details until they become your customer.
Too many obstacles can make customers less likely to realize your product’s value and become a paid customer.
4. Create GTM Playbooks
Your favorite football team uses a playbook to align with a winning strategy and pave its way to victory. 🏈🏆
So why shouldn’t you?
Playbooks can help you map out what’s working and what isn’t in your lead generation and sales process. This allows your sales and marketing team to strategize better and scale quickly.
As it compiles all your past learnings and key product usage metrics, playbooks can help you prevent many mistakes and oversights that tank product launches.
Consequently, you can build a more sophisticated product and improve the chances of converting every product qualified account.
And that’s how you score a —
Toplyne lets you create monetization playbooks to help your customer success team spot expansion opportunities (accounts most likely to upgrade).
5. Build a Cross-functional Team
In B2B PLG companies, converting PQAs and closing a sale is not a solo sport.
From marketing, sales, product development to customer success, each of your teams should be responsible for tracking key metrics to measure success.
Here’s how different teams can do their bit to increase customer acquisition, reduce customer churn, and drive revenue growth:
- The product team should help you develop a stunning product that compels high-value accounts to take it for a test drive 🚘
- The marketing team should craft a killer narrative that shows the product’s value in every customer-facing communication and campaign. They should highlight the product’s proposition in a way that every marketing qualified lead is eager to try the product.
- The sales team should spend time interacting only with bona fide leads. They can develop customized demos to help the prospect visualize product usage and quickly adopt the product post-purchase.
- The customer success team should help your customers achieve their desired outcomes from the product and improve customer retention rates.
You’re destined to make history when your best players join hands to accomplish something!
6. Track and Improve Paid Conversion Rates
Noticing a lot of sign-ups but very few conversions?
Identify the possible reasons users in an account are dropping off. Better offering by a competitor? Can’t crack the exact use case for their business? Lack of product tutorials?
Reach out to accounts who stopped using your product with an email survey. Request their feedback and ask what you could have done differently to make the product experience better and customer journey smoother.
User feedback is a goldmine for product development. Once the dropped-off accounts have shared their experiences, start implementing the changes.
This way, you can inch closer to getting and retaining accounts who are happy with your product and can be your next loyal customer.
But how do you identify which accounts your sales team should reach out to?
Spot High-intent Accounts and Skyrocket Your Sales with Toplyne
Toplyne is a one-of-a-kind headless sales tool that can help you build a smooth pipeline of product qualified accounts. It helps increase win rates, identify conversion opportunities, AND boost net revenue retention (NRR).
Yup. Every word of that is true.
The tool’s AI identifies behavioral patterns of any account via in-product activity. Your team gets access to the product usage data and reaches out to only those accounts that are most likely to convert.
And a pipeline saturated with the best PQAs will (automatically) boost your paid conversion rate!
But that’s not all.
Here’s how companies like Canva and Vercel generate sales pipeline from their self-serve funnel using Toplyne:
- Step 1/7: Create monetization playbooks to surface conversion and expansion opportunities (leads most likely to convert to paying customers, and teams most likely to grow into larger teams)
- Step 2/7: Choose the right leads to target – users (individual users) or accounts (a group of users with an organization).
- Step 3/7: Select the frequency at which you would want leads synced in your GTM apps.
- Step 4/7: Define how many leads you want by either the number of leads or your expected win rate, depending on your sales capacity and GTM strategy.
- Step 5/7: Build custom segments - Build custom segments based on And/Or logic at the deepest level of sub-properties within your product analytics.
- Step 6/7: Validate your GTM strategy - Hold back some users as a control group to test your GTM strategy.
- Step 7/7: Sync your product qualified pipeline into your GTM destinations - CRMs, sales & marketing execution tools, and customer engagement platforms.
PQAs: Key Piece of the Product-led Revenue Puzzle
Clearly, a product qualified account is more valuable than a marketing qualified lead or a sales qualified lead.
The product qualified account experiences the product value directly and is more motivated to make the purchase.
So how do you find these promising PQAs with real buying intent?
This tool can be your ultimate guide for identifying product qualified accounts in no time and letting you experiment with various GTM strategies.
Sign up for Toplyne for free today to connect all the dots in your product usage data and spot the hottest opportunities in your pipeline!