Just imagine going through all the trouble of researching and coming up with a SaaS idea — because you think people would want it — only for it to flop. It’s quite disheartening to spend an inordinate amount of time conceptualizing, designing and creating a product idea only to find out that your efforts have been futile.
This blog will walk you through all the steps that you need to validate your next big SaaS idea. Hopefully, you can prevent all those unnecessary costs and despairs of flopping product ideas. Are you ready?
SaaS Idea Validation Overview
The process of validating your SaaS idea shouldn’t be complicated. There are five crucial stages in the product idea validation process. These are:
- Stage 1: Understanding the market
- Stage 2: Understanding potential customers/clients
- Stage 3: Designing communication strategy for potential customers
- Stage 4: Test-closing the prospects
- Stage 5: Minimum viable product validation
Ideally, the core philosophy in validating a product idea is to develop something that people want to use. It’s pointless to spend an inordinate amount of time developing a product that will be rejected by people. Of course, any product idea validation process should start with market validation moving all the way to the minimum product validation.
1. Understanding the market
The main objective of this stage is to develop a product that satisfies a “hungry” market. When people are starved, that’s a problem that requires a solution. When people feel disconnected from one another, then that’s a problem that requires a solution. You should think critically about any market problem and attempt to solve it. You’ll always find a ton of problems that users are facing. The more pressing the problem, the more likely users will be willing to spend money to solve that problem. Each type of industry — ranging from health to hospitality to education — has its own problems that require solutions. Your goal in this first stage is to find “hungry” people — which is your market. You may ask yourself, “How can I understand the market?” The answer is simple: By using a variety of tools such as keyword research, Amazon search engine and deep-dive survey, you can determine what problems the customers are facing.
2. Understanding the potential customers
After discovering what the market wants, go out and meet the potential customers to obtain feedback on your likely product. The main advantage of using this approach is that you’ll be getting feedback by seeing for yourself the kind of problems your customers are facing. It’s vital that you get a first-hand sense of the kind of operations that your potential customers are involved in. It is difficult to conduct this on a large scale. However, the quality of replies and insights that you’ll get from the pool of potential consumers will be powerful enough to get you started. You can start by interviewing a smaller number (say ten) of people using face-to-face or phone interview techniques. The goal of interviewing your potential customers should be to understand their future needs with regard to software requirements.
3. Design a communication strategy with potential customers
The next stage in the SaaS idea validation process is the developing a communication strategy with customers. You may miss out on many visual clues about their business requirements after interacting with them for the first time. Therefore, you should plan to have regular communications with them to iron out emerging issues that you want your product to solve. You can call them directly or use e-mail as a platform to interact with your customers.
4. Test-closing the prospects
The mere fact that lots of people have told you that your SaaS idea is great isn’t enough for you to go all out and spend to actualize that product. Some of these people may be your friends who just want to encourage you. There’s a big difference when they say they will buy your product and the actual buying. So, how do you separate facts from fiction? Listen very carefully and watch out for any red flags to make sure you get a specific answer. That’s the only way you’ll tell that your SaaS idea will be adopted. This is what test-closing is all about.
5. Minimum viable product validation (MVP)
The main aim of MVP validation is to approve or disapprove your product idea. Many SaaS companies that fall in the B2B category allow free trials or demonstration of their products. You can apply these tactics and get testimonials in exchange. The testimonials can help you to improve on the product idea.
You don’t have to hire a bunch of people just to build MVP, you can seek help from companies that specialize in SaaS MVP development.
SaaS idea validation is critical to the successful actualization of your business ideas. When executed correctly, it can be your competitive advantage. On the contrary, if your product idea hasn’t undergone validation, then the creative skill that you have in you can be killed. How will you validate your next SaaS idea? Good luck.