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The Wrong type of Product features (and prospects!)

I really like the way your product can automate tasks. I wish it had a feature that could also send me alerts when something goes wrong.

Heard this or similar before! I am sure you did!

Unpopular opinion:

“You can learn a lot about a prospect’s needs or goals from their favourite feature or the wish” – WRONG, No you don’t

Dealing with ‘Wishes’

Feature requests from prospects make it hard. Prospects list their favourite features and wish lists, and our minds jump to competition and if we need to add new features or improve our existing ones. All these ‘wishes’ are a big distraction.

We need to understand what the prospect is struggling with, what their goals are and why they decide to hire our product in the first place. And mind it, their ‘wishes’ or ‘favourite features’ don’t give us any clue whatsoever.

Simple next steps: if next time a prospect stresses the importance of a feature 🙂

1) What does the prospect actually want? Why this feature? What is it going to help them do?

2) Are you accelerating development or taking a detour? – Is the feature already part of  your roadmap and you have enough signal from the market to prioritise the development. And if you’re taking a detour then evaluate the upside.

3) Decide if the customer is the right strategic fit? – if a prospect is requiring you to make enhancements to your product before they even start using it? Take a step back and evaluate. Constant hand-holding, and customization can create long-term repercussions and shift your focus in the wrong direction.

The bottom line is

Nobody wants to turn away sales, but do watch out if the opportunity is legit or not. Is the request a one-time ask… or tip of the iceberg?

As long as the prospect needs some baseline items like: to meet security requirements and integrate with their LDAP to enable SSO. It’s a sign that they’re a serious customer that wants a seamless implementation enabling company wide adoption.. But if they’re asking for a lot of little things that aren’t core to your product’s primary functionality, it may be a hint what kind of ‘lifetime cost’ you have to bear for this client.

I hope this helps!