Do you want to achieve product-market fit? But all conventional wisdom on PMF sounds too complicated for your taste? Well, don’t worry.
Achieving PMF need not be a complex or lengthy process. Using online reviews without dampening your chances, you can start PMF research for your SaaS on autopilot. All you need is an understanding of the agile PMF process and a constant stream of feedback.
This article will cover a simple 4-step process to drive your product-market fit efforts for your SaaS business.
Why is product-market fit for SaaS important?
Achieving product-market fit for a SaaS is critical to its future success.
In addition, it:
- Helps change priorities from development to scalability. Basically, change gears and avoid wasteful efforts.
- Prevents innovator’s dilemma and drives efforts towards delighting customers and beating the competition
- Eliminates vague growth hypotheses and offers clarity about the need for a product or service
- Paves the way for profitability and revenue growth. Fundamentally gives investors (or the founding team) a reassuring nod of approval.
The path to achieving PMF — Continuous discovery.
If you have ever read about product-market fit before, you might have encountered the continuous discovery process.
Made popular by the book Continous Discover Habits by Teresa Torres, continuous discovery is all about staying agile for achieving PMF.
Continuous discovery is staying close to your customers and understanding their needs while seeking opportunities to drive product development decisions. The whole tactic is all about listening to the voice of your customer at every step of your journey and letting their opinions guide your product decisions.
Interested to know more? Explore How Continous Discovery Works for Startups
Steps to kickstart continuous discovery & achieve PMF through customer reviews
When chasing product-market fit for SaaS, you must be tactical in your development and marketing approach. You must stay close to customers, continuously understand their needs, and move forward based on tangible metrics.
Seems like a lot of work? We’ve broken this down into four simple steps:
Step 1: Clarify your goals & metrics.
Whenever you begin with anything for your business, it’s always good to outline some goals and parameters to measure success. The same applies to your PMF journey. As a SaaS startup, you must move fast and practice an agile product discovery process powered by clear goals and actionable metrics.
It’s better to pick goals and metrics that define how happy or satisfied your users are with your current solution. Avoid chasing vanity metrics and focus on things that tell how happy your users are, like:
- Churn Rate
- Average Subscription Length
- Customer LTV
- NPS Survey Response
You can define your goals based on these or other metrics based on your growth (and PMF) ambitions through internal discussions with stakeholders, deep market research among the audience, and testing your hypothesis.
Step 2: Listen to customers by tracking online reviews.
This step should be your priority if you constantly want to evolve and iterate through your SaaS growth journey. You must be close to your customers, gather feedback, and listen to their opinions
As a SaaS product manager or founder, understanding your users and catering to their needs should be your priority. Ideally, you should try to capture the voice of your customers every week to fish for opportunities.
You can do so by sending surveys, conducting user interviews, or contacting your users via email.
Feels like a lot of work, and want to automate listening to your consumers.
Use GapScout to keep an eye on online sentiment through customer reviews. GapScout would scan all online reviews posted by your users around the internet and provide you with deep insights about their interests, expectation, and sentiment related to your product or service.
Read More: How to Start a Voice of Customer Program?
Step 3: Analyze the customer sentiment
You start understanding how they perceive your brand, business, product, or service once you start reaching out or analyzing your customer’s opinions. At that moment, you need to start documenting opinions and categorize them into positive, neutral, or negative sentiments.
Positive customer sentiment signifies that you’re on the right path to achieving PMF. You’re on the right path if most of your customers have a positive opinion of you (more than 40%, as to the PMF framework).
You can analyze customer sentiment manually by configuring GapScout for scanning customer opinions and reviews online. GapScout automatically captures and categorizes opinions and sentiments into positive and negative sentiments using AI.
Step 4: Make informed product decisions.
Customer sentiment and opinions are enough to guide you toward a positive outcome regarding product-market fit. Understanding product opportunities will help you improve your foresight and help with decision-making.
If you are a product leader, you will be able to convey clear directions to your product team. As a marketer, you can position your product well among your audience. Every time you repeat the process, you will get deeper insights into what your customers want — something you don’t want to miss.
Curious about how all this works? Check out our blog on the product-market fit framework.
Startups that failed at achieving PMF.
Following the above process for achieving product-market fit for your SaaS will start a cycle of continuous discovery, helping you sail through with a clear destination. Failing to plan and move strategically can potentially ruin your chances of success like the following startups:
- Dinnr — Failed because of no market demand.
- Navdy — Lack of market research.
- Quibi — Failed to understand the market.
- Reach.ly — Lack of proper market feedback.
- SchoolGennie — Delay in releasing the MVP & gathering feedback.
- AskTina — No market demand.
- EventVue — Lack of understanding about the audience’s willingness to pay.
These startups had nice products, but the lack of understanding about their audience led to their failure. If only they had started gathering customer feedback right from the start and taken it seriously, the story could have been different.
Next Steps: Start PMF research for SaaS using GapScout.
As a startup founder, choosing product-market fit for SaaS should be your #1 priority.
Without a solid PMF plan for your business, you will keep moving around in circles. While it may be hard for you to monitor customer feedback and conduct interviews every week, you can automate the user feedback process using GapScout.
GapScout monitors customer reviews and feedback in real-time and provides relevant insights to help you power your continuous discovery efforts. Use GapScout to start the PMF journey for your SaaS today.
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