Optimizing for short term conversions such as clicks and signups is one part of the success equation. If the product isn't genuinely great at delivering on the promise, then people are going to use once and leave. The same thing happens if your product has a core set of features that would bring value to its customers, but somehow the way everything was built prevents these folks from experiencing the expected value.
You want people to understand and use your product enough to recognize the value it provides. But you want more. What you are after is having them sharing their positive experience with others. You want to replicate this use and share action consistently.
This is Product-Market Fit. It's when your customers become your salespeople.
How do you know when you achieve it?
You need to talk to actual users (at least 30 people who used the product in the last couple of weeks). The main goal is to reach a point in which at least 40% of people would feel very disappointed if they could no longer use your product. When that happens, you have a sure sign of sustainable growth and a clear path to scale. Your primary focus is to improve your product until you reach that threshold.
Sean Ellis has this useful survey that guides these conversations.
Rahul Vohra, from Superhuman, built on it by putting together an efficient method, that helped them achieve incredible growth.
Research of this kind gives you precious insights about the people who consider your product a "must-have". They'll tell you what to reinforce in your product to make it shine among its competitors. Another benefit of observing how and to whom your most loyal customers are sharing their experiences is that you'll know which markets you should approach.
It's crucial to understand: What is the key benefit that they get from experiencing your product? Why is that benefit important to them? By knowing this, you'll make solid decisions on your roadmap and will use this information to shape the path for all prospects to deliver this experience and benefit before they abandon the product.
Product-Market Fit is the beginning of qualified decisions
The most important decision is when to scale grow. If you do it before having Product-Market Fit, you'll kill your business. If you have product/market fit and you don't acknowledge that, you'll miss the opportunity to scale growth successfully.
Here are other several key decisions that become clear once you know you have Product-Market Fit:
- You select the right audiences, the ones who understand and value your product
- You reposition your product having customer's perception as a foundation
- You put together an onboarding flow that delivers value much earlier
- Your product roadmap is reshaped, having value validation as milestones
- You pick marketing channels and scale growth from a more strategic foundation
An amazing side effect is that it will become evident how to implement organic growth boosters within your product, making it even easier for people to sell for you.