Here are 10 questions to consider when assessing if it’s time to update your products and then provide some pointers on how to go about doing it, if the time is right.
If your revenue is flat, if your churn is moving in the wrong direction, if your customers are moving to competitors due to pricing, features or service level reasons, it may be time to think about updating your product offering.
SMBs are one of the hardest customers to serve. They are diverse, have limited budgets and are contacted daily by other digital and SaaS service providers. This makes them more likely to move from one provider or platform to another, especially if they’re not happy with you.
Here are ten questions to help you assess if updating your product portfolio makes sense:
Do you have challenges proving ROI? Your product is great – it works as designed and you know it. But does your customer? Proving ROI is difficult with SMB’s because it often requires insights into their actual sales which we oftentimes don’t have. But, by providing services that tie into and enhance the success of your current products, you can still validate your offering’s value. Add-on enhancements are things that increase engagement levels, result in more qualified leads or showcase conversation details captured via a unified inbox.
Is your churn out of control? The average annual churn rate for SaaS products for SMBs is 5 – 7% annually. If your churn is higher and sales are not outpacing churn, your business may have declining revenue.
Providing enhanced products and services may be just the thing that encourages your at risk customers from leaving you in 2022.
Are your competitors beating you? You can’t afford to be surpassed by competitors who are quickly adapting to the marketplace while you stand still. Eventually, this will catch up to you and you may find yourself with a stale, outdated, unattractive product offering.
Do you need to mitigate exposure through diversification? Stale products lose customers to competitors that offer something better – especially if they’re cheaper and easier to adopt and use. If you’re a website builder, for example, what else can you offer your customers that helps drive more traffic to their website or engages that traffic better so that the SMB can convert more customers? If you provide demand generation, how can you improve the quality of your leads? If you’re a directory listings provider, what can you do to influence greater results from those listings and expand your scope outside of your current channels? If you’re a VOIP provider, how can you turn missed calls into actual conversations? If you aren’t already in the digital or SaaS space but serve SMBs in some other way, such as traditional media, what else could you offer that is of value and further helps to enhance your customer relationships?
Have you thought about building for the customer you don’t have?Listen to your customers, of course, but what about those that aren’t your customers yet? If you’re competing with a product line that is mature in the market and has a number of competitors, start thinking about the customers that aren’t yours and how you can attract them to you. Long-term satisfied customers won’t make demands but new prospects will have greater expectations. Those are the customers that will more than likely determine your product development path.
Do you want to be considered invaluable? Products that SMBs value so much that they can’t live without them, results in stickier customers. Through differentiation and increasing your capabilities, your customers will appreciate leveraging fewer service providers and keep them tied to you for a lot longer.
Do you wish you had more to sell? More products on the shelf means more potential customers. Once we feel that our existing product set is saturating the marketplace (sales are beginning to slow) it’s time to consider additional offerings to keep the momentum going. It’s not always a fully-baked new product you need – it may just be a complementary component to an existing product that enhances the value and customer experience.
Is your sales team lacking enthusiasm? Sell more faster by offering new, cutting edge products with a strong value proposition. Products that are easy to sell can reinvigorate sales teams who may be losing momentum.
Provide a great new offering at an attractive price point and watch your team excel!
How do you plan to increase ARPU and LTV? Stickier customers improve your LTV and additional products and services to sell allows you to increase your prices resulting in higher ARPU. Impact your churn and sales clip by focusing on these two metrics using additional product offerings and enhancements.
Do you wish your customers were happier? If your CSAT scores are in decline, it may be due to operational issues but customers that experience increasing levels of value and benefit from you stick around longer and are your best evangelists.
What To Offer Next?
The decision to add to your product offering requires a well thought-out plan. Considerations are market timing, market fit, customer pain points and demand, technology integration efforts, competitive factors, and reliance on sales and marketing success.
Really think about your customer and then consider these guard rails when identifying the right product to add to your mix:
Solve for SMB pain points.What can you offer that makes their jobs easier, saves them time, saves them on costs or makes their customers happier?
Talk to your sales teams.Most product teams focus on the market at large, leverage customer surveys, focus groups and the marketing team’s input. Spend some time with your front-line sales reps. They can be a wealth of information telling you what customers are really wanting, enabling you to prioritize the right next new product.
Become a critical partner in your customers’ success. Provide something that makes the SMBs success dependent on you. Solving a real problem – even if it’s just one aspect of running their business can make all the difference to them.
Create demand. Sometimes what your customers want or need is not what they are asking for. Focus on market trends and consider taking queue from competitors who may bee successfully selling a feature you are not. Educate your customers on the possibilities that will satisfy their customers even better. Case in point.
Focus on easy. Products that are easy to explain, easy to sell, easy to set up and easy to use will make your job, well, easier.
Consider build vs. buy options.When do you need a new offering to contribute to your revenue stream? If a new product is part of your sales target for the year, planning an expensive product build will likely not net you the gain you need fast enough. Integrating a third party solution will allow you to cut costs and significantly speed up your time to market. Proprietary in-house built technology has some advantages but keep in mind that no one ever is on time when it comes to building – it always takes longer than originally planned for! It can also be expensive to maintain over time.
Be strategic.Don’t scramble, think about long term, sustainable growth and have a plan to execute on it.
Successfully Piloting a New Product
To have the greatest chance for long-term success, be strategic in how you launch your newest product.
Start small.Use a team of five to seven sales reps to begin beta testing and fine tuning your pitch before rolling out to the greater org. Refine your marketing presentation materials as you go.
Set clearly defined goals.Things like number of sales per rep per week and attach rate (% of contacts that buy.) If you are meeting your goals, it’s time to add more sales reps to the project.
Monitor results like crazy.Depending on the size of your team this should be, at a minimum, daily. Frequent check-ins with your beta sales team and side-jacking to experience customer reaction will only help you speed up your time to full sales team roll-out.
Measure by cohort.Analyze your results data by sales rep, the week the sale was made and audience (existing customer vs. new prospect.) This will help you best analyze trends over time to understand success or failure contributors.
Trust your team.Make sure that your sales team is a true partner in the initiative. Product launches that do not include sales input (the rep – not just management!) throughout the process will likely not be as successful as if they are included.
Sold standalone or as part of a product bundle, Agentz helps partners and resellers improve the efficacy of their existing products, grow their revenue, and make their customers even stickier.
We help our partners:
- Grow their revenue
- Retain more customers and improve LTV
- Be more competitive
- Prove efficacy of existing products
We’re a great fit for:
- Communications cloud services, SMB SaaS providers, large scale website builders, marketing Solutions providers, online directories, call tracking services, after-hours call services
We’re API driven, provide white labeling, no-code, easy to install and use, and offer flexible products based on need.
Contact us to learn how Agentz can help your organization better enhance your SMB products ands services for your customers.