Top 10 actions C-suite executives need to follow to effectively launch new software products (from a UX product design perspective)
The introduction of a new software product is an exciting time for any business. However, it is not simply a matter of ‘if you build it, they will come.’
oh sorry wrong movie…
It also means making sure that the product meets your customers' needs and sets you apart from the competition. In this article, we will explore the top 10 things that a C-suite executive needs to effectively launch a new software product.
- Evaluate Your Legacy Application
This obviously goes without saying. Before putting out a new software product, it's important to look at your existing software. This will help you figure out what limitations or problems you need to solve for the new product to be a success.
Metrics / analytics, benchmark usability studies, customer service feedback, customer research are all essential— to get an understanding of the problem and the gaps that are missing in the market.
2. Business alignment
It’s imperative that you get everyone aligned, as the old saying if you assume everyone is on the same page — you make an ass out of you and me.
Never in our 17 years in our alignment workshops, have we had any clients in mid to large organizations be completely aligned in vision, direction, and understanding of goals, at the VP to c-suite level.
Prioritization is definitely something that needs to be understood with leadership, along with OKRs/KPIs and a roadmap that is outcomes-focused vs. feature-focused.
3. Competitor Evaluation
It is essential to understand your competition’s strengths and weaknesses. This will assist you in identifying market opportunities and positioning your product accordingly.
This should be done more than just on a superficial level, but at a design and development level (if possible).
4. Effective Product Positioning
Once you know a lot about your target audience and your competitors, it's time to put your product in the market. This means coming up with a unique selling point and writing messages that will convince your target audience.
5. User Experience (UX) Design
UX design is a crucial aspect of developing software products. It is the process of making a product intuitive and pleasurable to use.
Make UX a part of the strategic process to help identify the biggest risks and prioritize what you should do more discovery work on, test and get feedback and what you can start designing right away.
Allow for your UX team to gather constant feedback from your users. Enterprise software vs. consumer B2C mobile applications are different types of users and will give you different feedback.
Enterprise users are legacy users that have developed a method to make their workflow efficient. If you disrupt this, even with good software, their initial feedback and reaction will be negative.
And don’t design by committee nor do you get feedback by committee otherwise the ‘squeak wheel gets the grease’ or the HIPPO will become the loudest voice in the room.
6. Product and Development Advisory Services
Working with product and development consulting resources can help you identify any limitations in your software development process and make necessary improvements. This can encompass software architecture, design, and development procedures.
In our many engagements, we’ve seen the worst when it comes to development code…or tech debt. This is an absolute nail-in-the-coffin if you don’t at least have a 3rd party audit your DevOps processes and tech expertise.
It doesn’t matter how good the design is, if you can’t execute in development, your company will suffer as you wait and wait after that launch date gets continually pushed later and later.
Your engineering team has been in the code for years and hasn’t learned the latest tech stacks, they may have limited bandwidth, but these are all valid reasons that will slow a new software product launch to a halt. Get an experienced team to help rapidly design and develop a POC for you and then leverage that along with your team for a collaborative and less problematic launch.
This hybrid approach has worked well for our clients.
7. Marketing Strategy
The success of a new software product depends on a well-designed marketing strategy. This includes both digital and traditional marketing channels, as well as a robust public relations strategy.
8. Beta Testing
“We know what we know.”
The product killer command that generally tends to be shouted by certain leadership to launch faster.
Before launching the product, it is essential to conduct user testing. This will help you figure out what problems need to be fixed and how to make the necessary changes. (See UX again…in case you glossed over it).
9. Channel for Sales and Distribution
It is essential to have a well-defined sales and distribution channel in order to bring your product to market. This includes a network of partners, resellers, and other channels that assist you in reaching your target market.
Pricing is a crucial aspect of the product’s introduction. Ensure your pricing strategy is in line with your target market and the competition.
10. Customer Service (CX) Strategy
Good customer experience design (CX) involves creating a seamless and positive experience for customers at every touchpoint with a company. It takes the customer’s needs, expectations, and emotions into account and designs the interactions, processes, and systems to meet those needs.
Effective CX design takes into account the whole customer journey, from getting to know the brand to get help after the purchase, and uses a variety of channels and technologies. A good CX design results in satisfied customers, increased loyalty, and improved business results.
If you have a great product, but the final mile experience is awful, then you are risking leaving a bad taste in your customer’s mouth.
One of our clients asked us to change their packaging and how they handle customer service during delivery because they knew that customers were complaining a lot when they got the product, but it wasn't because of the product itself but because it was hard to open.
Launching a new software product successfully requires careful planning and execution. By following the top ten things a C-suite executive needs to do to launch a new software product successfully, you can increase the chances of success and get your product out on the market.
By using proper UX design and product and development expertise, they can improve their software development processes and make better products for their customers.
IIIMPACT has successfully collaborated with hundreds of companies worldwide to build better and more usable software products through coaching better strategy and proper user-centered thinking.
Please drop us a message to set up a quick call.
There are a lot of risks and problems that come with launching a software product. Let us help you find more efficient solutions to your organization’s problems so you can feel more confident launching your digital product.