Today, I want to address a common question I get from clients and fellow software founders: Do we need to create new product features to increase sales?
It’s a valid question and one that I’ve pondered myself. Let’s explore this question and discover that the answer may not be what you expect.
The Total Addressable Market (TAM)
Let’s visualize your “Total Addressable Market,” often called your TAM, to grasp the answer. Imagine this as a vast expanse of dots scattered throughout the universe, representing all the potential customers who could purchase your software product. The various companies, individuals, and entities within your industry or target market are these dots. They encompass everyone you could serve.
Your MVP and the Core Circle
When you launch your software product, you’re introducing your Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which is typically lean on features and capabilities. This MVP serves the customers who fall within a particular circle within your TAM. These are the early adopters and those who believe your product can address their specific needs.
Listening to your customers within this core circle is essential, as their feedback guides product improvements. However, it’s crucial not to limit your perspective to this group alone. Those within the core circle may have specific problems they believe your product can solve, but they might need to be made aware of the challenges faced by potential customers beyond their process.
Expanding the Circle with More Product
So, do you need more product to sell more? The answer is yes. Your core circle expands as you enhance your software by adding new features and capabilities. You can now cater to the needs of more people, even those who may have yet to initially see your product as a solution.
Each additional feature you introduce broadens your product’s appeal, helping you reach a broader segment of your TAM. The more product you create, the more people you can serve and the more pain points you can address.
The Pitfall of Overemphasizing More Product
However, while adding more products is essential for growth, it can be a double-edged sword if approached with the wrong mindset. Overemphasizing product development can lead to complacency in the software sales process. When customers come to you with questions or concerns, you must continue challenging them and guiding them toward realizing that your product can already address most of their problems.
Focus on Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
My recommendation is to focus on customers who fit within your current product offerings. Create your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) based on who your product serves best at the moment. This means concentrating on the customers within your initial circle and making them your priority.
Be Cautious of Feature Creep
When you start hearing numerous requests for additional features, especially if you already have a reasonable number of customers, it’s a sign that you might be venturing outside your ICP. While your ICP may evolve over time, staying focused on the core customers who align with your existing product is crucial.
In summary, while expanding your software product’s capabilities is essential, the key to selling more isn’t just about adding more features. Instead, concentrate on serving those within your current circle, your ICP, and ensure they get the most value from your product. As your customer base grows and their needs evolve, your product can adapt accordingly. Remember, there’s always room for improvement, but in the world of software sales, it’s often better to do more with what you have.