This shitf has prompted many startups selling enterprise sotfware to pursue what’s called a product-led-growth (PLG) strategy. This basically means that if you make a product that’s appealing enough, you can gain adoption at the grassroots level, turning individual employees into evangelists and relying less on formal (and otfen expensive) sales-and- marketing programs to drive your company’s growth, at least in the initial stages. It seems to make sense, given current tech-buying trends. But behind the PLG hype is a little-known truth: Even the most successful product-led strategies can hit roadblocks today inside enterprises. Despite the proliferation of easy-to-adopt technology tools and more buying autonomy for some individual employees and small groups, enterprises are still not free-for-alls when it comes to technology sales. In many cases, oversight from powerful IT, security and legal departments—particularly in the current work-from-home environment—is still important, and this can trip up startups who don’t understand these dynamics. Simply put, enterprise organizations still make decisions based on inputs from multiple groups. Just try to sell a workplace-collaboration product without getting the blessing of the enterprise’s cybersecurity team, for example, or expand your reach inside an account where a PLG competitor has been busy managing up the management chain, in addition to selling across small groups. You won’t get far. Some technologies still require an all-or-nothing deployment. For example, as the value of big data—and the need to comply with new regulations—grows, many new data solutions, particularly those working as official systems of record, need to be chosen and championed by the C-Suite. There might be less oversight of more-niche data products, such as tools for data visualization, where authorization to the underlying data is handled elsewhere and executives would be ifne with employees choosing the best tool for their speciifc job. Other products, like the ServiceNow platform used by large companies to manage IT services, would also likely be difficult to implement on a piecemeal basis. 5

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