If you're a product manager, you know how important it is to have strong product strategy frameworks in place. It's the foundation on which all your work is built, the roadmap that guides your team toward success.
But what if you're not sure where to start? What if you haven't found the right framework for product strategy yet?
The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take when planning out what goes into your product management strategy framework.
What is SaaS Product Strategy Framework?
SaaS Product strategy is the process of defining the product vision and strategy. SaaS Product Strategy tells you what to build, and it's one of the most important things you can do as a founder to help make sure you're building something people need.
A product strategy frameworks help guide your business decisions by focusing on the purpose and value of the products and services offered by your company. It helps ensure that every decision made is based on the same set of principles and values, so everyone involved in product development knows where they stand.
The product manager defines the product vision, which is an aspirational goal that describes what success looks like. The product strategy is a part of the overall business strategy and will usually include specific goals, objectives, and initiatives that need to be accomplished over time to achieve the vision.
Whether you're just starting out as a product manager or have been in the product management field for years, this guide will give you all the product management strategy frameworks you need to carve out your own path in product management.
11 Key Elements of a Winning Product Strategy Framework
Developing a product strategy framework is crucial to the success of any product development effort. A well-designed framework ensures that product development efforts align with business goals, user needs, and technological capabilities.
Here are 11 key elements to include in a winning product strategy framework:
1. Customer Discovery
Customer Discovery is the process of understanding your customers and finding out what they want from you.
You'll need to understand your customers’ needs, wants, pain points, and goals. You'll also want to find out how much they are willing to pay for those things. And you will want to know who their competitors are so that you can learn from them or beat them at their own game if possible.
You need to find out:
What do your potential customers want? How will they use your product? What are their needs?
How does your product compare to that of the competition? Is there a gap in the market that only you can fill with an innovative approach or feature set?
How are you closing the feedback loop?
Who is already buying similar products right now (and why)? How exactly do they use them - what features are used most frequently by these types of customers?
2. Track your KPIs
KPIs (key performance indicators) are measurable goals that you set to measure the effectiveness of an activity or process. For example, if you were to set a KPI for your product strategy, it might be "a 10% increase in retention rate." You can also set KPIs around other areas of your business such as sales or marketing.
How do I track my KPIs?
There is no one right way to track your KPIs; however, there are a few tools that make this process easier:
Google Analytics - This tool gives insight into how people use your website and can help identify trends over time. Google Analytics does have some limitations though (for example it doesn't tell you what keywords people used when searching for something on your site). So if possible, supplement with other tools like Hotjar or Fullstory.
Mixpanel - This tool helps you understand what actions users took on your site and why they did them so that later when someone comes back again after doing an action previously then maybe try doing something different next time which might work better for those particular visitors who came back again after having done something previously too many times without success before trying something different instead!
3. User Interviews
When it comes to user interviews, the SaaS product strategy framework is pretty straightforward. User interviews are an essential part of the process, and they can give you a lot of insight into what your users need, want, and expect from your product.
You may be wondering why user interviews are so important in SaaS product strategy. The answer is simple: they help you understand what your user's needs are, how they're addressing their pain points now (if at all), what motivates them to use or not use certain features of your product or service, etc. These insights will lay the groundwork for creating a successful SaaS product strategy that focuses on keeping users happy and increasing engagement over time.
4. Product Positioning
Product positioning is a company's positioning of its products in the market, based on their features and benefits.
Product positioning is the way you describe your product to your users, employees, and investors. It can be a single word or a few words that summarize how you see yourself in relation to your competition. For example "simple" or "powerful."
Product positioning can be a single word or a few words. Apple’s iPod was “1,000 songs in your pocket”; Tesla is an “electric car for everyone.” These are simple descriptions that allow us to understand immediately what these products do, who they serve, and why we should care about them.
When it comes to SaaS products, there are two ways of thinking about product positioning: One is what does my product do? And the second is who does it serve?
5. Defining the “What” of Your Product
Before you can plan anything, you need to understand exactly what your product is and why it exists. This involves answering some key questions: what problem does it solve? What is the product's purpose? What are its value proposition and primary benefit for users? Who are the target users of this product (and why will they use it)? How can you differentiate yourself from competitors by solving their problems in a unique way or providing something new and different that no one else does?
Value Chain & Channels for Getting Your Message Out There
The value chain is a concept that's used to analyze how companies create value. A company's operations are divided into three parts: primary activities (manufacturing, marketing, and distributing), support activities (human resources, technology development, procurement), and infrastructure (finance and accounting). The goal of your operation should be to maximize the efficiency of each part so that all parts work together in harmony.
One of the key points to remember when using this framework is that you should never put all your eggs in one basket. For example, if your company makes shoes, don't just focus on selling them online start a brick-and-mortar store too.
6. Determining the “Who” Behind Your Product
After you've defined the “What” of your product, it's time to define the “How.” This is a crucial step because it will set up your team for success or failure in many ways.
In order to create a successful product, it is essential that you understand who your target audience is. When determining what your audience looks like, here are some important things to consider:
Identify your competitors. You should identify all of the other companies in your space and try to determine how they are different from each other. Is there an aspect of their offerings that you could improve on? Are there any gaps in the market that you can fill?
Identify your target customer's needs and pain points. What does this person need from their software solution? What problems does this person have with existing solutions? How do these issues affect his or her life and work habits? What would make a compelling new product from a user perspective would it solve an existing problem or create one that doesn't exist yet but might if not addressed properly now when designing future versions down the line (a good example of this might be Slack)?
7. Defining the “When” of Your Product
Defining the “when” of your product is one of the most important parts of this process. When you’re building software, it can be easy to get lost in all of the details and forget about what matters most: delivering a great product that solves problems for users.
When it comes to planning and executing your product strategy, you should focus on the following:
Defining your product release schedule. This includes defining a release calendar that specifies when each new version of your software will be rolled out and which features will be included in each version.
Defining a release timeline. A product roadmap depicts the time between when you begin working on a product feature and it's actually launched into production. Ideally, this should include both how long various phases take (e.g., design, development), as well as any dependencies between different team members or departments that need to complete their work before moving on to the next phase of development (e.g., marketing needs to create materials for each feature prior to its launch). The best way to ensure you have an accurate timeline is through collaboration with all stakeholders across teams after all, no one knows better than those closest who are working on something every day what challenges they face along with what resources they need in order to deliver results faster."
8. User Feedback and Validation
User feedback and validation are an essential part of the process, as it helps you to understand how your product or service is being used. It’s important to get this information from a wide range of users so that you can make sure that you are creating something with appeals to a diverse user base.
Here are some ways users can give their feedback:
Feedback boards – This can be done with the help of the Grabee tool which helps you collect user feedback from different sources in one place which can be embedded in your website and help you manage the feedback and become a more strategic product manager with a bigger picture of which features users actually want.
Surveys – This can be done through email surveys or pop-up surveys on your site. The key here is to offer an incentive in exchange for their feedback (such as extra storage space or credits). In order to make sure that people take the time out of their day to fill out a survey, try using a tool like Typeform that lets you design engaging surveys without any coding knowledge required!
User interviews – These focus more on user experience rather than just feature requests (though they do include both). In order to get useful insights into how people use your product/service, ask them specific questions about what parts worked well and which ones didn't meet expectations so much; this will help guide future iterations of the product/service!
After you've gotten feedback and validated your idea, it's time to start planning what features to build. You should make sure that each feature that you build addresses a specific problem or pain point for your target customer. Also, make sure that the feature is simple and easy to use so that users can easily see the value of using it.
9. Build your product roadmap
A product roadmap is a visual representation of your product strategy. It shows the key milestones, features, and projects that need to be completed in order for you to achieve your business goals.
The goal of a good product roadmap is to make sure that everyone on the team understands why each feature matters and what contributes to achieving your larger goals for your business.
10. Product Prioritization
The next step in any product strategy is to prioritize what you’re going to build. Any good product roadmap should reflect this prioritization, but it's important to go beyond a simple list of features and understand why each feature is on the roadmap. If a feature isn't at least partially justified by one of your core metrics, what's the point of developing it
As we've seen, product prioritization is about more than just deciding which features are most important from an engineering perspective. It also involves making trade-offs between different types of value that will drive adoption and create differentiation for your product.
For example, if you want your users to subscribe at scale and pay more over time (as opposed to signing up for free trials), then this may require sacrificing some short-term revenue in favor of user experience improvements that improve conversion rates into paid subscriptions. It might also mean deferring some marketing initiatives so that they don't distract from improving key metrics like churn or retention rates.
11. Validate your roadmap
As you move through your product strategy frameworks, you'll be given the opportunity to validate your product roadmap and make changes wherever necessary. After all, if there's one thing that's important in a SaaS company, it's ensuring your product is what customers want (and will pay for). Here are the three main ways you can do this:
Customer feedback on positioning and messaging
Customer feedback on the product itself, what they like most/least about it, and how they'd like to see improvements made
Customer feedback on overall strategy whether they think what you're doing is worthwhile and whether they'd recommend it to others
Why is a Product Strategy Important?
A product strategy is a crucial component of successful product management. It provides a roadmap for product development efforts, aligns business goals with user needs, and guides decision-making throughout the product lifecycle. In this blog section, we will explore the importance of having a product strategy.
1. Aligns Business Goals
A product strategy ensures that product development efforts align with the overall business goals and objectives. It helps prioritize initiatives and projects that contribute to the growth and success of the company. Having a clear alignment between business goals and product development ensures that resources are utilized effectively and that efforts are focused on creating products that deliver value to both the company and its customers.
2. Meets User Needs
A product strategy helps identify and prioritize user needs. By conducting user research and understanding customer pain points, a product strategy ensures that the product addresses the actual needs and challenges of the target users. This customer-centric approach leads to the development of products that are more likely to be adopted and embraced by the intended audience, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
3. Defines Product Vision and Direction
A product strategy provides a clear and compelling product vision. It outlines the desired outcome of the product development effort and serves as a guiding light for the development team. A well-defined product vision helps create a shared understanding and enthusiasm among stakeholders and team members. It provides a sense of purpose and direction, helping the team to stay focused and motivated throughout the product development cycle.
4. Enables Effective Decision-Making
A product strategy provides a framework for making informed and data-driven decisions. It helps product managers prioritize features and functionality, allocate resources, and plan for the future. By setting clear goals and objectives, a product strategy enables teams to measure progress, evaluate success, and make necessary adjustments along the way. This strategic decision-making process ensures that product development efforts are optimized and aligned with the overall business strategy.
5. Enhances Resource Optimization
With a product strategy in place, resources can be allocated more efficiently. Key decisions regarding resource allocation, budgeting, and timing can be made based on the product strategy. This helps avoid wasted resources, reduces unnecessary spending, and ensures that the right resources are available at the right time. Additionally, a product strategy allows for better collaboration and communication among teams, resulting in improved workflow and productivity.
6. Anticipates Changes and Challenges
A product strategy takes into account market trends, competition, and potential challenges. By conducting thorough market research and competitive analysis, product managers can anticipate changes in the industry and adapt the product strategy accordingly. This proactive approach allows product managers to stay ahead of the curve, identify potential risks, and develop contingency plans. Anticipating and addressing challenges early on increases the likelihood of success and minimizes the impact of unforeseen obstacles.
In summary, a product strategy is essential for companies to succeed in today's competitive marketplace. It aligns business goals, addresses user needs, defines a clear product vision, enables effective decision-making, optimizes resource allocation, and anticipates changes and challenges. By investing time and effort into developing a strong product strategy, companies can increase their chances of creating and delivering successful products that meet customer needs and drive business growth.
Product strategy frameworks will help you develop a successful SaaS product.
SaaS product strategy is all about planning, testing, and adjusting. This process should be iterative and ongoing. However, there are some steps you can take from the very beginning to ensure that your product has a better chance of success.
One of these steps is determining whether or not you have the right team in place to build what you’re imagining. Another is knowing how much time, money, and effort it will take before products can go live on the market (or if they will ever do so). These can all be thought of as “pre-launch” actions because they give insight into what needs to be done before actually launching anything at all!