If the SaaS industry has taught us anything for the last decade, it’s that it takes more than a great product to succeed. And, if some of the industry’s most transformational entrepreneurs are to be believed, focusing solely on product development can blind you to the real issues stifling your expansion.
Product development is a well-honed and well-documented operation. Almost all (specialized) entrepreneurs will fully comprehend it intuitively and be able to write the Agile method in their sleep.
With that kind of context, it’s easy and see where the vintage “build it and they will come” mentality comes from: the belief that establishing a SaaS services will be so important, innovative, and ground breaking that just doing so would be enough to attract new customers, make money, and grow.
Let’s face it: this never occurs.
Only if your SaaS startup has indeed found the cure for cancer, your product release will be more like a trickle of bad-fit early access customers than a torrent of incoming earnings.
It’s because product development is only one aspect of building a viable, scalable company. If you’re having trouble gaining traction, the problem is most likely not with your product, but with your customers.
WHAT IS CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT?
Steve Blank is a successful entrepreneur from Silicon Valley and the creator of the Customer Development methodology. He created the process to address a basic issue: practically all startups growth plans prioritize product development (something that is comfortable dealing) over customer development (something scary).
His approach was straightforward: begin by focusing on consumers and markets. This necessitated the creation of a procedure that would operate concurrently with Product Development:
Consumer Development is intended to link each step of Product Development to essential customer information. Every stage near to the launch of your SaaS product is accompanied by a series of client goals that must be accomplished.
It is, at its core, a method of avoiding the creation of a costly, ideal product that no one wants. It motivates innovators to keep asking questions about the actual people who will be using their service, and it puts a greater focus on exploration and development before implementation.
THE CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT PROCESS IN FOUR STEPS
1) CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Customer research is all about listening and understanding: going out into the actual world to speak with potential consumers, for example, and getting replies to a few basic questions:
- What are the most important problems of your clients?
- How much will they be willing to spend to get problems resolved?
- Is your service proposal a solution to such issues?
- What does a typical day in the life of your consumer entail?
- What impact will your service have on this?
- What is the relation between your product’s customers and buyers?
2) VALIDATION OF CUSTOMERS
Now that you’ve had your basic issues resolved, it’s time to see if these clients can genuinely support your firm.
To test out your selling process and confirm the revenue structure behind your service, this phase of Customer Development depends on data from Alpha/Beta testing, as well as beginning sales to early investors (technology fans and innovators ready to take a chance on you).
- Do you have a sales strategy in place?
- Do you know how the sales process works?
- What are your most important sales indicators? Average Sale Price (ASP), Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV), and Return on Investment (ROI) are examples of these terms (ROI).
- Do you have any customer orders to back up your plan?
- Is your revenue structure logical?
You’ve now proven A) the seriousness of the problem you’re solving, B) your capacity to address it, and C) the income potential of doing so.
To use Geoffrey Moore’s phrase, you’re ready to “Cross the Chasm” and enter the market place now that you’ve de-risked your product. As Steve emphasizes, this is a plan, not a technique, and the appropriate method of ‘customer development’ will differ depending on the industry in which your product operates.
4) ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMPANY
Blank’s Customer Development process turns inwards, to the firm itself, once the firm enters the mainstream market.
At this point, the technique applies the same holistic perspective to the company’s structure, direction, and purpose, guaranteeing that management keeps up with the company’s growth.
How To Get Help Developing The Best Model For Your SaaS Startup
Software developers and startups from all over the world are flocking to SaaS Builder Companies. This is because more companies are realizing that putting money in cutting-edge technology is a good way to maintain a competitive advantage over their industry’s competitors.
As a result, B2B SaaS has become increasingly popular. As a result, a number of companies have emerged to develop cutting-edge technology to assist businesses in automating such processes, increasing productivity, and meeting rising client demands.
Zyla Labs is a popular B2B SaaS Startup Builder. They specialize in using the venture studio model to create B2B SaaS firms, allowing them to focus on what they do best.
They specialize in launching B2B SaaS businesses utilizing the venture studio method, which helps them to shorten the time it takes to transform a concept into a product. The purpose of the Zyla Labs team was to develop, create, and launch cutting-edge technical enterprises. Experts, product managers, administrative staff, designers, and technicians make up their highly qualified. Zyla Labs also automates business procedures in order to boost productivity. They are used by a lot of firms for distribution, production, and customer service.
Entrepreneurship, according to Zyla Labs, will enable people to reach their full potential while also making the world a better place to live. They consider large-scale global concerns and technology solutions, as well as testing numerous ideas. When someone shows a lot of promise, they construct a great team, a business, and assist others establish a successful company.
This company collaborates with young entrepreneurs to create, launch, and scale game-changing ideas. They are continually putting fresh market concepts to the test and demonstrating their worth. During the quarterly Sprint Week process, Zyla Labs produces, develops, and evaluates chosen top concepts, which serves as the main moving function for building new SaaS enterprises.
A new firm is surrounded by world-class individuals in every area essential to develop a market-leading organization when it is created. Zyla Labs makes it easier to turn a concept into a SaaS business. Brand and design, product and development, administrative support, distribution, marketing, finance, and data science are some of their specialties.
Also published on Medium.