Escaping the B2B SaaS rat race

How to stop running behind clients and start focusing on the product

This is what most B2B enterprise SaaS products feel like. Photo by Yung Chang on Unsplash
  1. You start with an MVP.
  2. Company X finds your product interesting, but they need more features to adapt it to their business. They’re willing to finance the development of those features, and you accept.
  3. The features are now part of your product, and you can use them to pitch to prospective clients. Other big clients will finance more features, and the cycle repeats.

Don’t wait for clients to ask

If you’re a B2B startup, chances are your product addresses a very niche set of problems. There just isn’t enough data to make informed decisions, and that’s why you need to rely more on qualitative research.

Stop building features for one client

This one’s usually the first step to be adopted. It’s important to take the client’s needs into consideration, but unless your company’s future depends on that client, always make sure that the problem you’re solving is common to more than one company.

Split client success and product

In some companies, Product Managers are in contact with clients. The person that takes decisions on the product should not be regularly in touch with clients. Reasons being:

  1. There just isn’t enough time in a week to handle both clients and the product.
  2. The person that is in touch with clients will feel the pressure to comply with their requests. That pressure should not influence product decisions. In short, it’s easier to say no if you‘re not the one actually saying it to the client.

Don’t spread yourself too thin

The temptation when getting feature requests is to commit to all of them: if clients are willing to pay for the development, that will make your product more complete and you will be able to leverage those features when pitching the next client.

Find a balance

There are many reasons why you might not be able to follow the above points. Maybe you’re not in the financial position to say no to clients. Or maybe your client base is so niched that you must hear what those few clients have to say.



Digital product design, development, and 10% random lessons from my personal and work life

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Federico Cella

Digital product design, development, and 10% random lessons from my personal and work life