new product planning process saas

How to plan your new SaaS product roadmap [w/template]

Stijn Hendrikse
Aug 5, 2019

One of the most useful planning tools I learned to use at Microsoft was the Feature Matrix, whether we wanted to optimize pricing, drive ARPU expansion, or plan a new product roadmap. 

Using a feature matrix can help B2B SaaS companies identify which features to invest in, then map these to your ideal customer profile’s preferences. When you use the feature matrix in your product planning process, it’s most effective with an in-person, multi-hour team session. 

 

However, when you don’t have the time or ability to gather your team in one place, you can start product planning virtually through a survey. You can use this survey template to plan and brainstorm around features for your upcoming SaaS product(s), and what the product’s marketing strategy might look like.

The first step in new product planning: the feature matrix 

In a digitally transformed society, there’s a continuous need for SaaS products that may or may not exist yet. Nobody in your company wants to pour resources and energy into a product that will go unused or never achieve product-market fit (PMF). Before you begin market research, ask your internal team a ideas and suggestions for enhanced or net new products and features.

Group 318

Download your copy of the survey here

 

 

 

 

By using the feature matrix, your SaaS company can map out how your product’s features would benefit your ICP. 

One axis of this matrix represents the importance of the features to the customer, while the other represents the differentiation from your industry competitors. These key differentiators are also known as your value proposition. 

Because of this, using the feature matrix is an essential part of establishing your product’s positioning and messaging. Because SaaS product planning is about differentiating your offering from market competitors, it’s important to lay a solid foundation for the product team to plan, develop and introduce the product or service to the right customer profile. 

Effective segmentation is critical for product-market fit. In order to truly understand who your customers are, what they want, and what they need, you must have a clearly defined ICP.  

How to use the SaaS product planning marketing survey template

When you access the product marketing planning survey template, simply make a copy & add your own branding. Then, under the ‘Features’ section, fill out the following elements according to your unique product and offering: 

  1. Market relevance. How many people can benefit from these features? 
  2. Competitive differentiation. Are your competitors doing something similar, and will customers pay for this feature? 
  3. Your ‘best.’ What does your company have to offer that no other SaaS providers can match? This should be your value proposition, your core competitive advantage, or what only your company can provide. 
  4. Missing features. This allows your survey participants to input their own ideas, provide feedback on how they perceive your ‘best’ features are, and if your team has any ideas of their own they’d like to consider as a product feature or benefit. 

When you’re tailoring the survey to your company’s product marketing planning, list your B2B SaaS company’s capabilities, main features, and your survey recipients will select how widely adopted these features may become. You can list three product features, or you can list 20. It’s up to you! 

Every product roadmap requires a go-to-market strategy 

Whether you’re beginning to ideate around new products or you’re in the early development stage, it’s never too early to plan your product’s GTM approach. Will you be using channel partners? How will you price your new offering? Are you creating content that educates and excites your ICP about the possibilities it brings? 

Set your future product up for success with the growth matrix survey, and check out our B2B SaaS marketing snacks podcast for experimenting with your go-to-market strategy, forecasting revenue, and getting started with B2B SaaS content marketing.

Group 318

Download your copy of the survey here

 

 

 

 

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