As we discussed in last week’s video, when you go from a 5 member product team to a 15-20 member team, there is more to it than just adding head count and building in the relevant layers. You also need to start changing the way you work. Based on what I have seen over the years, there are 4 broad areas to look at: 1. Product development 2. Product strategy 3. Feature go-to-market 4. Stakeholder engagement When you look at Product development, the 2 key symptoms you are likely to see: 1. Too many conflicting things to work on 2. Everything is taking way more time than expected The first one is to be expected. In the early days of your business, you were focused on survival. Survival meant ensuring cash inflows. To achieve this, chances are you signed up anyone and everyone who could remotely benefit from your product. As a result you will see that:
Different customers are asking for conflicting things
Your prospects asking for even more conflicting things
Everything is high priority. Not able to decide what should be added to the product first
In the early days, you would have signed up customers of different profiles/ segments. But when you start to scale and grow your business with limited resources, you have to start focusing on an ideal customer profile. Because, you cannot be everything to everyone! Few weeks back I was talking to an organisation which had an offering in the supply chain automation space. The size of the overall organisation was about 30 people and they had 15 active customers in the FMCG business. This included a regional milk distribution brand and a global FMCG organisation. The needs of such diverse customers are going to be very different. And hence their asks from the product would also be different. Then the question becomes what should you do J The simple answer is to identify a segment to focus on based on the attractiveness of the segment and your own ability to service the needs of that segment effectively. The beach head strategy is an extremely useful approach to keep in mind. The segment attractiveness would include aspects like the specific needs of the segment, segment size, growth potential within the segment, opportunities to diversify into other segments, competitive pressures, entry and exit barriers, and regulatory environment among others. Your ability to service would include the resources you have to service this segment – aspects like marketing skills, distribution presence, operations and service capabilities, technology skills, and financial leverage among others.
Next we will look at ways to strengthen your customer relationships.
If you would like to chat about finding your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), give me a shout!