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December 13, 2022

What Product Leaders Should Do in a Downturn

two people working with laptops

Editor’s Note: The following is a transcript from the Norwest Nowcast above where Norwest Partner Scott Beechuk explains how SaaS product managers should refocus their attention when an economic downturn dries up the sales pipeline. 

Hey, this is Scott Beechuk with a Norwest Nowcast. Today, I want to talk about SaaS product managers and what we can all do in a downturn.

Every product leader that I’ve ever met does a couple things really, really great:

  • They spend time with their customers;
  • They deliver fantastic features; and
  • They continuously take input from sales and pipeline customers to figure out what the best roadmap could possibly be.

Well, in a downturn, guess what. There aren’t going to be as many new logos, and that’s okay. We’ve just got to plan for it. What can we do with all those extra cycles that we’ve got as product leaders during this time?

We could:

  1. spend more time with our customers, and
  2. listen carefully to what our customers are deriving value from within our products, and
  3. help them understand how they can get more out of what they already own.

Now, it’s no secret that in the SaaS world, a lot of our customers are only using a small portion of the product that they bought – might be only five percent, 10 percent, 15 percent. How can we help them get a lot more value? We’ve built all these features over the past months and quarters and what we would love more than anything is for those customers to get so much value that they want to not only renew, but they want to expand their use of the products that we’ve already built.

So this is a tremendous opportunity to do just that. We can think of ourselves not as just product managers and product leaders but customer success managers and customer success leaders. And that’s a different way of thinking. But everyone in the company during a downturn should be focused on that one thing, and that’s customer success and customer happiness.

So with that, I’d love to open it up to hear what you think. So please send us your comments. I look forward to it.

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