Are SaaS Product Managers Building Great Products?

Are SaaS Product Managers Building Great Products?
linashib via Twenty20

At a Glance

The SaaS market is growing at an incredible rate and is expected to continue the trend for years to come. If you have a great SaaS product idea, then mentioned below are some crucial points that you must remember before building your SaaS product.

In the start-up world, if your primary focus is on making money, you usually won’t make money.

David Skok, Renowned VC

Do you have a great SaaS idea but unsure about developing the product? Well, you are thinking on the right lines and need some guidance to chart your way forward. The SaaS industry’s excellent growth potential is accentuated by the fact that companies of all sizes are looking to 2x their SaaS spending by the end of 2021. In summary, if you have a great idea, the growth potential is undoubtedly there, but then there are no shortcuts in the journey to success. There are some critical aspects of a SaaS product which you must be well-versed with to fast-track your company on the road to success.

Advantages of Robust SaaS Products

As you know, SaaS products are software products that are hosted on the cloud and offered to customers through the internet. By eliminating the need to install or download a copy of the application desired, SaaS makes the entire user experience extremely enjoyable. As a service provider, it is your responsibility to ensure that the customers do not face any hassles whatsoever. Some of the most noteworthy advantages of SaaS products for any potential developer are as follows: –

1. A centralized platform like that of SaaS is easier and cheaper to maintain than any traditional business platform. The virtual infrastructure can be easily updated and upgraded as and when required.

2. Cloud-based software is less prone to piracy; hence SaaS helps companies reduce losses due to rampant piracy. Thus, your investment in product development is secure.

3. It is easy to upgrade the software using the cloud, making it an extremely secure and convenient experience for the users. You can offer timely updates through OTA (Over the Air) mode.

4. SaaS products are accessible instantly, i.e., they can be accessed from anywhere globally, provided one has an internet connection. Hence, you can target a global audience without having to set-up any physical infrastructure.

5. SaaS enables you to target a wide range of customers through varying subscription models. You can therefore generate higher revenue without any additional investment. Revenue Retention Rate for the leading SaaS companies is 100%.

6. SaaS products are highly suitable to be promoted through digital marketing campaigns. This allows you to boost sales without a lot of change in the resources or efforts.

Building SaaS Products: Important Things to Remember

If you are thinking about developing a new SaaS product or upgrading your existing offering, then here are some essential things that you must remember: – 

1.    First things first, MVP

Start with making the product small to reduce project failure and lower up-front costs. It is necessary to build a prototype first rather than build a complete project to be dynamic during the testing process and try out different options.

2.    Feedback from users

Start to take regular feedback from your target market and improve your software before going for a full-scale launch.

3.    Adopt an agile approach for developing the product

Implement an agile approach and opt for a lean start-up model to reduce the risk involved.

Building SaaS Products: Conduct Market Research

Market Research is extremely important because it gives you insights into the traits and the critical characteristics of your target audience. It helps you know the pattern of a consumer’s purchases, the corresponding trends, thought process, software competency, etc. This helps you know about the type of products that the target consumers need, allowing you to leverage the information to your advantage.

Research helps one analyze different business opportunities available and at the same time know what one’s competitors are doing to help oneself maintain a competitive lead. This knowledge can lead to increased sales revenue, ROI, and a positive impact on marketing strategies. Some important aspects to take care of during the market research stage are: –

– Know your target market: – Know your audience’s age, location, education, lifestyle, interests, occupation, etc.

– Ask the right questions: – Ask relevant questions, frame them correctly, and provide suitable answers.

For example: –

Q1. How often do you use the product?

o   More than 10 times a day

o   Once a day

o   Once a week

o   Once a month

  Q2. Would you recommend it to a friend?

o   Strongly recommend

o   Recommend

o   Neutral

o   Don’t recommend

Building SaaS Products: Focus on Technical Specifications

There are chances that not many technologies will be compatible with your product. So, you will need to decide on the technology that will give the optimum results to the users. This choice will directly affect the cost and efforts required for the app’s development, which further involves the risks associated with the product development. Hence, in the initial stages, try and opt for existing technology to support your SaaS product to minimize the risks involved.

Building SaaS Products: Determine Product Features

What matters the most to the consumer is to solve the problem and that too in the easiest manner possible, so it becomes inherently essential to design a relevant product. The core of the product should focus on the one problem which is most important for the customers instead of trying to be a “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

Building SaaS Products: Define Your Budget

Finance is an essential aspect of any business. The price of the product, the cost of development, and the related factors must be considered in the SaaS product plan. However, SaaS offers a distinctive advantage through its cost-efficient model since it can serve the increasing number of customers without any significant infrastructure cost.

Building SaaS Products: Launch & Feedback

Launch your prototype with the least features, let it be tested with your target audience, and do not forget to collect feedback from them. This will help identify the points as to where your product lacks and understand where it outsmarts the competitors. This will help you in making the necessary tweaks before going for a full-scale launch.

The best way to acquire new customers is to make your current customers excited and happy about your products.

Mikkel Svane, Co-Founder, Zendesk

Without a doubt, the SaaS industry is the way into the future, and if you have a great idea, then it is entirely worth it to invest all your efforts into materializing it. Just follow the tips mentioned above to make your SaaS product development journey a hassle-free experience.

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