The role and responsibility of a SaaS product manager is fundamentally different from that of its consumer-facing counterpart. A SaaS product manager must be able to combine elements of engineering, design, and marketing to create a compelling value proposition for the SaaS customer base.
SaaS-based product development is just one of the most effective ways through which SaaS entrepreneurs are able to excel being SaaS product manager.
SaaS product development strategy is far more significant to SaaS companies that build their value via inbound in comparison to SaaS companies that build value through outbound techniques.
1. A Great SaaS Product Manager Must Be a Great Communicator
The SaaS product manager needs the ability to convey both the benefits of the SaaS solution and how it works clearly, concisely and powerfully across organizations with diverse backgrounds.
2. A Great SaaS Product Manager is Passionate About Customers
One of the key success factors for B2B SaaS products is having strong customer relationships throughout all stages of growth. Therefore, an effective SaaS product manager has high levels of empathy towards customers’ needs and desires.
3. A Great SaaS Product Manager is Both Creative & Analytical
Being a SaaS product manager requires the combination of both creative thinking and business analysis skills to find innovative solutions for problems within a SaaS organization or industry.
4. A Great SaaS Product Manager Drives Solutions, Not Projects
The SaaS product management role spans many different industries and situations making it difficult for many SaaS businesses to find someone with all-encompassing expertise that can be applied universally. The result is that oftentimes business owners end up hiring generalists instead of subject matter experts, which typically isn’t successful because SaaS business owners are looking for someone who can not only perform the technical tasks needed to manage SaaS products but also provide insight into SaaS industry trends.
5. SaaS Product Management requires Empathy
Many SaaS businesses have an extremely difficult time understanding their customer’s problems, especially when they may be the only SaaS company in a certain market with this unique value proposition or solution.
A great SaaS product manager needs to focus on the problem and strive to deeply understand it before thinking about solutions even if that means stepping outside of your comfort zone.
A SaaS product manager isn’t just responsible for the success of one piece of software — they’re responsible for making sure everything ties together into an integrated SaaS solution that creates value. To succeed as a SaaS product person you need the right tools, skills and experience to bring your vision alive —
Which includes being able to manage effectively with 7 key qualities:
- Detail Oriented Product Managers (DOPM)
- Customer-Centric Product Person (CCPP)
- Metrics Focused Product Manager (MFPM)
- Strong User Experience Design Conceptualization and Communication Skills
- Passion for Building Awesome Products that People Love Using
- Business Acumen to Help the Company Win
- Leadership to Manage Teams Effectively, Inspire Trust and Drive Results
The SaaS product manager should also try to embody these 5 key qualities:
- Strategic Thinking & Execution
- Ability To See The Big Picture As Well As Details
- Prioritizing What Needs Attention Regardless Of Urgency And Importance
- Flexibility To Handle Changing Customer Demands And Company Objectives
- Passion To Deliver A Truly World Class Product Experience
The SaaS product manager should look at some of the key skills they will need to utilize during their SaaS-based product development cycle:
- Excellent Communication Skills
- Social Intelligence
- Team Management Skills
- Change Leadership
- Ability To Influence Others
- Negotiation Skills
- Acumen For Data And Impactful Business Analytics
SaaS products are typically less complicated than their SaaS counterparts — but they still require the SaaS product manager to pay attention to all the minutiae involved in building and maintaining a successful SaaS product. That means ensuring that every part of the SaaS solution is designed with all of its customers taken into account; it also requires close monitoring of each piece as new updates or features are built. For SaaS product managers this often means having good project management tools like Jira and Asana to help you keep track of everything. And since quality control and attention to detail is one of the most paramount factors for SaaS success, this is an important SaaS job responsibility.
The SaaS product manager is also involved with the design of new SaaS features, and providing feedback to development teams whenever they are about to build something that SaaS customers don’t want or need. That means having a good understanding of SaaS customer behaviors so you know what does and does not work for them. You have to be able to stand your ground when necessary, balancing this important SaaS role with the need to get along well with others in the SaaS company I mentioned earlier. But it’s all worth it when you see how happy your SaaS product makes SaaS users! If you’re ready, then come join us on this SaaS adventure!
I hope this SaaS article has helped SaaS companies looking to hire SaaS product managers understand what is involved in this SaaS role. If you’re considering hiring SaaS product candidates for your SaaS organization, then please contact me so I can show you how my new SaaS Product Management Practice can help improve the effectiveness of your SaaS team through curated content and access to leading edge thinking.