Today, an excellent product is required to develop a successful SaaS business.
More and more SaaS solutions are developed in the marketplace than ever before. And for your product to thrive in such an environment, you’ll need a solid product strategy.
But what is a product strategy, and how do you create one?
This article will cover a step-by-step product strategy framework that any SaaS firm can use.
You can also understand how to ensure that your product meets the customers’ specific needs.
Product strategy also guides you to whether your product is well-positioned to succeed in the marketplace and has a solid plan for attracting and retaining consumers.
What Is the Definition of a Product Strategy?
It all comes down to bringing your product to life and getting it into customers’ hands.
To create an effective outcome, you need to back up a successful product with a great product strategy.
When faced with the unavoidable twists and turns of developing a SaaS business, a brilliant product strategy acts as the brightest star.
And it ensures that you keep going ahead perfectly.
Having a solid product strategy brings transparency to your product and the teams.
Your development, sales, and marketing departments must collaborate to launch a successful product. And with a clear product strategy, they are better able to carve the path for developing the product.
What Are the Steps To Create a Practical Product Strategy Framework?
Here is a detailed explanation of creating a product strategy framework and staying on track while building the product.
Step 1: Create an Idealistic Product Purpose
As said earlier, your approach should emerge naturally from the objective or vision of your product.
Before developing the strategy, you must first define your product vision.
Your product vision refers to your belief in terms of improving the user persona’s life, actually contributing to your marketplace, or even changing the world.
Be fearless and ambitious. Put another way; you must have a clear goal in mind.
Step 2: Research Customer Needs and Trends
You can establish the objective of your product before getting to know your consumer persona.
However, to develop a successful product strategy, you must:
- Gain a complete understanding of your target market
- Know what your customers require, want, and are ready to pay to solve their problems.
Therefore, the next stage for you is to know the market and your target audiences.
In other words, investigate the marketplace, and talk to your user personas to find out what they want.
Develop a thorough profile of them and figure out what problems your solution might solve.
Step 3: Recognize Your Product’s Position in the Value Chain
Your product will not exist in isolation, and it will be a part of your customers’ lives in a greater context.
You need to try and figure out how your product fits within this more significant context.
It would help if you planned in time.
Having a strategy in place will help you when your target clients face hurdles while utilizing your product.
Netflix is an excellent example of this. Netflix-a grand business model converted DVD rentals by mail to an online streaming service.
Yet initially, Netflix had to ensure that its innovative model works for its users and partners logistically, technically, and economically.
Before actually making this massive shift, the company had to answer the following questions:
- Will an ordinary consumer have enough resources to stream television shows and movies in their household? (If not, then the plan possibly won’t work.)
- Would broadband providers continue to charge by bandwidth, or will they switch to a monthly flat rate? (It might not work if ISPs (internet service providers) continue to charge by bandwidth.)
- Will certain ISPs, whose bandwidth we use in significant amounts, censor the content to safeguard profit margins? (If that’s the case, this may not work.)
Step 4: Examine Other Markets for Comparable Growth Patterns and Phases
A product strategy does not have to be created from the ground up.
If you’re attempting a breakthrough, look for a product that has earned a market share in another market and follow that product’s strategy.
You can ask yourself the following questions:
- What was the company’s strategy for publicizing the new concept?
- How did they go about launching their product?
- Can you apply some of this other company’s tactics to developing your product’s strategy?
- Could you learn from any other companies that have failed in that particular market?
- What methods did they employ that you would prefer to prevent in your strategy?
The above questions will give you answers that you can use to build your product strategy.
Step 5: Recognize the Potential for Change in Your Market and Adapt to It
You’ll have a real sense of how things might unfold by looking at identical trends over time in other marketplaces.
You could even make calculated estimates about where things are progressing in these markets.
Research about the existing products and industries in the market.
Have a close look at how things unfold for them, and make your estimates accordingly.
Step 6: Determine How Your Market May Evolve and Prepare for It
You’ll have a better feel of how things can evolve if you look at similar trends and patterns in other industries.
And if you’ve spent some time getting to know your user personas, that too would be beneficial for your company.
You can estimate where things will head in the industry or in the new tools and processes you might adopt later on in the business.
You can also make an informed projection about these likely potential adjustments from the above pointers.
This way, you can also adjust your strategy ahead.
Step 7: Create KPIs for Your Strategy
Most companies prefer to fill quantifiable KPIs (key performance indicators) once they have executed their product plan.
But it would help if you aimed to generate KPIs while developing your product strategy.
Doing this will provide you with quantitative techniques.
These techniques will help you verify whether the product strategy makes the appropriate assumptions.
Your team will be able to course-correct quicker if you learn that your presumptions were inaccurate early on.
And that way, you’ll spend less time developing your product in the wrong direction.
Step 8: Create a Product Roadmap
The product roadmap approach must always be a part of your product plan.
You should include only the themes, epics, and other product initiatives your team is contemplating on the roadmap.
Put these factors on the product roadmap only if they meet your product strategy.
Your roadmap must organically flow from the product strategy you’ve just defined.
And finally, the most important thing to remember is that you should include your strategic reasons on the roadmap itself.
Step 9: Make Your Strategy Understood
You can better converse your product strategy with all critical stakeholders once you’ve finished your product roadmap.
Your roadmap should be the tool you employ to communicate your strategy’s high-level intentions and goals.
The strategy refers to your “reason” for the product and the business.
Before presenting your product plan to the market, make sure it is clear and explicit to the entire organization.
Step 10: Start Putting Your Plan Into Action
It’s ultimately up to your team to turn the proactive measures into concrete actions.
The actions may entail enlisting your UX team’s help to generate prototypes and your programmers to develop functional prototypes.
You need to assess your target audience’s interest, suggestions, and other input.
And to achieve that, your objective should be to give your users a preview glimpse of what the product will potentially do.
Also, let them know about the restricted functionality of the product as well.
All of these will help you decide on your next and last step.
Step 11: Track the Progress of Your Business and Make Adjustments as Required
The more critical and the actual data you can incorporate into your product plan, the better your market success prospects will be.
Considering this, you should make your product strategy a two-way dialogue involving your team and your customers.
Collect the feedback you’re getting from users and compare it to your existing system at each step of the product strategy framework.
Keep continuing if your product is engaging with potential clients.
Once you have tracked your progress, you can now utilize this data to create a new strategy and fulfill your product’s purpose.
Make appropriate changes wherever necessary.
Listen when your users provide you with indications that they would be more engaged in alternate features or roadmap prioritization.
What Does Product Strategy Entail?
Vision, goals, and initiatives are the three major product strategy components companies should include in any project.
These are the fundamental components, and as you might expect, you can categorize them into subsections.
They’re all a part of the bigger vision, as well as the outcome.
It’s critical to distinguish between the three product strategy components.
Once you divide these three components into subcategories, it will be easier for the development process to go to great lengths to complete.
Prioritizing this process will help you prevent losing out on essential goals your company aims for
Having a product strategy will also help you not fail badly in the market.
Product strategy should be among the must-have elements on everyone’s to-do checklist.
It impacts everything from customer experience to product management to marketing plans.
Simply put, product strategy defines success.
It would help if you first built a new product strategy to create a product that truly resonates with your target customers.
It isn’t easy to specify what you’re developing and why without a comprehensive new product development strategy in effect.
Allow your product strategy to lead the way in terms of development. An effective SaaS product and company must have a clear and well-defined product strategy.
Although creating a successful product strategy might feel like a difficult task. But with the help of the above product strategy framework, the same process can become a lot less disciplined and guided.
Your product strategy, like your product, is a living entity, and it will inevitably adapt to different situations.
It will get accustomed as your company expands, your product and client base evolves, and the market situation shifts around you.