8 Product Strategy Tips for Your SaaS Business
Having your SaaS business stand out from the pack requires the soundest product strategy.
You see, the SaaS industry is a space where some of the most inventive, high-functioning minds have made their home.
It is exciting, fast-paced, and mentally stimulating, requiring all manners of creative and innovative approaches.
What the SaaS industry isn’t, is easy—in any shape or form.
This is why we’ve put together eight pieces of crucial SaaS product strategy advice to ensure your business experiences sustainable growth and success.
8 Product Strategy Tips for Your SaaS Business
1. Don’t Offer Trials Over Two Weeks
There are an array of reasons as to why you shouldn’t offer a free trial of your product for over two weeks. The reality is that most trial users are done with SaaS products or services after three days, rarely going the full duration.
People are given a sense of urgency from shorter trials and will engage immediately with your software. Whereas, with a more extended trial, users are likelier to procrastinate since they’re given more time to waste. This acts as a catalyst for outright forgetting.
Furthermore, shortening the trial period is a product strategy that takes a big chunk of time out of the sales cycle, which – in turn – reduces acquisition costs.
2. Keep Track of Engagement
One product strategy tip you’ll want to keep to a discernible minimum is the dreaded customer churn rate. In other words, you need to limit the percentage of users that discontinue their subscription to your service.
A survey from Totango – of over 1 million people – showed that most cancellations followed inactivity from users. As such, measuring engagement is integral to your cause. You can track product usage data via metrics such as login regularity.
If you notice that a customer’s usage level has petered off, you need to find out what’s happened. An automated email that triggers after a specific period of non-usage will work. Or you can make a personal phone call to get to the bottom of a problem.
3. Be Ready to Pivot (But Not too Much)
Studies done on the nature of Startups displayed that those which pivoted once or twice experienced the following benefits:
- Raised 2.5x more money
- Had 3.6x better user growth
- Were 52% less likely to scale prematurely
These findings were in comparison to companies that never pivoted or did so more than twice.
You must respond to the needs of your users and not fall too in love with your ideas. You can do this by implementing the product strategy feedback loop. This is where you sell your product, assess it, get customer feedback, fix your product based on that feedback, and sell your newly fixed product.
Failure to pivot shows an inability to adapt and capitalize on potential opportunities. However, being too indecisive and pivoting too much from your original vision can be costly as well.
4. Be Proud of Your Pricing
Many throughout the SaaS space have been – misguidedly – hiding their pricing, treating it as something of the elephant in the room. Some view this as a product strategy to keep their competitors in the dark to prevent being undercut. Others see this lack of transparency as focusing on value when selling, which will give more context when it’s time to talk pricing.
All this really does is make it seem like you have something to hide and cultivates a perception that you charge too much. You want your customers to trust your brand, which is growing in importance as the years go by.
5. Prioritize the User Experience (UX)
You can have the most ground-breaking technology at the heart of your SaaS product, with awe-inspiring functionality.
However, that all amounts to very little if the UX is lacking.
The benefits of a quality UX can’t be denied. There’s a 400% increase in conversions that can occur with an enhanced experience for users. Much of the time, this comes down to making the user interface more intuitive to how your customers engage with your product.
One tip for enhancing your UX is to reduce your form friction. Make sure that your forms aren’t too lengthy and you ask for the bare essentials to complete the transaction and increase conversions on your site.
It’s also important not to fall in love with a design because you’ll want to split test everything. So even though a purple button might look prettier on the site, if customers are clicking the red button twice as much, you’ll want to go with the latter.
6. Integration is Everything
Don’t let your app or software live in an isolated SaaS vacuum. The digital world is based on connectivity and integration.
If your SaaS product doesn’t “play nicely with others,” and can’t leverage integrative technology, you’re failing to meet a clear consumer expectation.
For instance, a help desk system would integrate well with mainstream customer relationship management options like Salesforce.com.
When crafting your SaaS product, you must consider what kind of integrations make sense and how they’d add value to your target market.
7. Give Users Some Leeway
A mistake some SaaS companies make with their products is locking clients into restrictive packages and contracts.
People enjoy SaaS products because of the wiggle room they offer. Taking that off the table flies in the face of what the industry is all about.
The fact is that the future of SaaS pricing is customization. Allow customers to upgrade and downgrade with relative freedom, and they will remain happy.
8. Compliment Your Product with Customer Support
There’s no denying that no matter how intuitive, seamless, and straightforward the functionality of your product might be, some people will struggle. It’s how things are in the SaaS industry, and frankly, the reality of working with technology.
As such, a large chunk of your focus must be on customer support. You must be there to help your users through any blips. One high-quality service experience can turn a confused and frustrated customer into a lifelong client relationship that drastically increases revenue.
We’ve Given You the Keys to the Castle
In working towards realizing your SaaS vision, you’re embarking on a fulfilling career journey.
And with these tips, you now have a framework on which you can build your SaaS product strategy. Remember that innovation and creativity can be a frustrating process with many bumps in the road. But staying on the right path and following the best practices we’ve discussed will lead to your crafting of a genuinely impactful product.