The entire sales and marketing strategy is built around the product and its ability to provide the necessary functionality to solve customer problems and make customers happy. The product needs to not only work, it needs to deliver an amazing experience that drives word of mouth. If your product is painful to use and creates new problems it is only a matter of time before your competitors take advantage of the customer’s pain. That is why your team needs to own the product. Outsourcing it always sounds like a good idea until you lose your ability to adapt quickly and create a true customer feedback loop. Key things to consider when building product that helps marketing and sales do their job:
1. Implementation: How easy is it to get started? You should be able to create value with the first click of a button. The days of long and arduous implementation processes are long gone for SaaS.
2. Onboarding: All of the information, FAQ, education and training should be either easily accessible and searchable or built into on-boarding.
3. Adoption: How do you get the entire customer team on board and using the product. It has to be dead easy for team members to get started and work together.
4. Engagement: How will you get your customer to use your product every day? Training is the first step, but getting them to return on a daily basis is key. Build in push notifications and create email campaigns that ensure that your customer knows what they are doing when it comes to your service.
5. Stability: All it takes is one bug too early in the onboarding process and you have lost your customer’s attention. It has to work from day one.
6. Communication: It has to be dead easy for your customer to contact you or for you to contact your customer. Better yet, anticipate your customer’s needs by tracking their engagement and identify potential communication opportunities early.
7. Data: Track everything so that you can not only build a better product but also know more about your customer’s needs and how to fulfill them.
The idea that if you build it they will come is not relevant for SaaS business. That being said, the product team can build a great experience that meets the customer's needs. Giving the right team members the right information at the right time is going to be the difference between reacting to customer demands and meeting customer needs. Knowing where there are engagement bottle necks, technical bottle necks and user experience bottle necks will help your sales, marketing, and customer teams be proactive instead of responsive. Using built-in email automation, easy to use feedback forms and an intuitive knowledge base will empower your customer to help themselves quickly or connect with the right person on your team.