By : Jenny Rutherford
“Product/Market Fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” – Marc Andreesen
Product/Market Fit (PMF) assesses:
- The ability of a SaaS product to fulfil the market requirements and expectations and therefore…
- Sustainability of that SaaS business
PMF enables a SaaS company to scale exponentially if gotten right. if not, then the company will tend to have inefficient growth strategies and find difficult to scale beyond a certain limit, therefore, finding it difficult to attract growth capital.
Not focusing on PMF, at times leads to a premature shift of capital from engineering and development to growth. This decision can damage a company’s reputation if it turns out to be wrong and can be fatal.
PMF is difficult to figure out for a very early stage startup.
Typically companies that have hit a sustainable sales model, have enough customer & usage data and are now poised for a hyper scale that starts and can pay attention to PMF.
Having said that, with early & continuous validation and lean iterations, even a very early stage company (pre-revenue) can hope to go to market with Minimum Sellable Product.
For PMF, companies need to focus on Customer Success : What will make the customer happy and keep him or her happy ? How does your product add value to his or her life ? Your customer’s success is your success.
A customer gives an unbiased appraisal of the SaaS product, which is then analysed by the team and the products role is re-proposed. Modest improvements are done to the product while also keeping in mind that you may need to provide a solution to an unforeseen problem. Two important things to consider while working on PMF :
- Going Agile: Agile focuses on a faster response to customer needs. It works on a fundamental need that the product must be of value to the customer. SaaS product managers need to gather and analyse data and share it with the entire team. This will help reinforce a culture of customer focus.
- Accelerate Feedback: The best time to get SaaS customer feedback is real-time since they will be spending more time in front of the product. Keep constant feedback pop-ups in your product about various things. Along with these questions, the usage detail helps know the requirement of the product.
Your SaaS product can and will benefit a lot from PMF since it is based on service delivery & satisfaction (think NPS). PMF allows their service to be up to date, and in line with growing & changing customer needs.