How to prepare for a SaaS launch from the tech perspective
Implement a pre-launch strategy to hit the ground running and make the most of your product's launch
A launch timeline with key milestones
Businesses often prefer to enter the market with an MVP (minimum viable product) rather than full-featured software. This is a smart decision because, in case of failure, you save money and can quickly edit your development strategy. However, MVP's failure is plan B. Whereas plan A is growing product demand and extensive customer base.
So, if you want to respond in a timely manner to customers' needs, you should have a clear plan for product features implementation. It is vital to set realistic deadlines considering app complexity and available resources. Having a product rollout plan in place, you can launch the initial product version and be sure that it evolves and matures along with your customers’ expectations.
A SaaS pre-launch checklist for CTO
If you want to make sure you haven't missed anything, take a look at this handyproduct launch checklist for B2B. This will help you cover all the important bases.
One of the most important aspects of a successful launch is ensuring that your product is ready for primetime. This means going through a rigorous quality assurance (QA) process to eliminate any potential bugs or glitches.
During QA, your team should test every possible scenario and use case to make sure the product is functioning as intended. This includes putting it through its paces on different devices, browsers, and operating systems.
It's also important to have a solid beta testing program in place. Such a program will give you the opportunity to get feedback from real-world users and make final tweaks and adjustments before launch.
Tech documentation prepared
Well-structured technical documentation will help you during the development process, as it will provide a blueprint for your developers to follow.
Tech documentation will also be invaluable during the QA process, as it can help you track down any potential issues before they become a problem. In addition, technical documentation will help support specialists solve customer issues in a faster and more efficient way.
Finally, it can be used as a marketing tool to help you sell your product to potential customers.
When preparing for a product roll out, it's important to consider your cybersecurity strategy. You need to make sure that your data is safe and secure, and that your system is resilient against attack.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Invest in good security software
2. Train your team in cybersecurity best practices
3. Harden your system against attack
4. Create a disaster recovery plan
5. Monitor your system for threats
Customer contracts, and other legal documentation set up
Compliance with legal regulations should be on top of your SaaS roll out checklist. In order to properly draw up contracts with partners and customers, comply with local laws, and not violate the rules for dealing with personal data, you need to make in-depth study of the legislative framework of the target region.
If you do not have an in-house legal department, our experts can help you with all the legal activities. We can draft agreements that are fair and protect your interests, as well as help you to navigate any legal and regulatory hurdles you may encounter.
Customers have many questions during the interaction with a software product. Customers have twice as many questions during the interaction with a new software product.
To help your users with any issues they may experience, you need a team of trained professionals. Make sure you hire L1, L2, and L3 support specialists to address any complaints or queries as quickly as possible.
By having your support team trained in advance, you can ensure that your launch goes off without a hitch and that your product makes a big splash in the software industry.
Bugs and issues handling instructions provided
Before your product goes live, you'll want to create a plan for how you'll handle bugs and issues. This is especially important if your product is complex or has many features. You'll need to decide who will be responsible for fixing bugs and addressing customer complaints, and how you'll track and report these issues.
As a part of your software launch plan, it's also crucial to develop a strategy on how you'll deal with negative feedback. You'll need to decide whether you'll respond to individual complaints or issue a public statement, and how you'll handle criticism from customers and the press. By being proactive and planning for these things ahead of time, you'll make sure your SaaS launch goes as smoothly as possible.
No matter how ideal your software product launch plan is, all stakeholders will be interested in having a backup strategy. You should guarantee that all data will be securely stored in case of an outage or system failure. You should also be able to quickly roll back to a previous product version if something goes wrong with the current version.
If you're not sure how to go about setting up backups or creating redundancy plans, talk to your software development partner. They should be able to help you develop stages that will ensure your product launch goes off without a hitch.
Possible disputes between CEO, CTO, and other stakeholders and how to avoid them
One of the biggest challenges you'll face when preparing for a SaaS launch is keeping everyone on the same page. This means avoiding any disputes between the CEO, CTO, and other stakeholders.
To make sure no disagreements happen, it's important to outline everyone's responsibilities and ensure that everyone is kept up to date with the latest changes. One way to do this is to use the RACI matrix. Such a matrix differentiates the duties of stakeholders and shows the influence area of each of them.
In addition, you will need to create a clear communication plan and schedule regular meetings to discuss software launch progress.
As a part of communication plan development, you will have to choose communication channels considering the following factors:
Project type. Is it time-sensitive? Does it require a lot of back-and-forth discussion? These are things you need to take into account when deciding which channels will work best for your team.
Team's location. If you have team members based in different parts of the world, it's important to choose channels that will be open and available at all hours. This might include things like instant messaging platforms, project management tools for mutual work, or even good old-fashioned email.
Team's individual preferences. Some people prefer to communicate via text, while others prefer face-to-face meetings. You need to find a balance that works for everyone on the team.
You will also need to create a communication schedule so that it fits seamlessly into the working routine of each team member. Try to occupy no more than 20% of working time with meetings. Remember that businesses recognize 70% of all meetings as unproductive, so value your time and prioritize tasks correctly.
Pre-launch strategy development for product team
Once you have a good sense of what your product is and how it works, it's time to start developing your pre-launch or pre-releasestrategy. This will involve outlining your go-to-market plan and creating content that will generate interest in your software.
Your SaaS product pre-launch checklist should include the following:
An overview of your marketing and PR plans
Marketing and PR plans play a crucial role in the product launch process. This involves creating a content calendar, identifying key media contacts, and drafting a press release.
Your content calendar should outline all the content you will publish on your website, social media channels, and email campaigns in the weeks and months leading up to launch. This will help ensure that your messaging is consistent and on-brand.
Identifying key media contacts is essential for getting your story out there. Try to access reporters and bloggers who cover similar products. In-depth online research will help you find resources with well-established communities who have keen interest in your subject area.
Finally, the press release is your chance to shine. This document should highlight the key features of your product, describe your target market, and explain why you are excited to launch your product. Be sure to personalize it for each journalist you send it to.
Information on how you will measure success
It's important to set measurable goals before making steps towards product launch, as it will help you track and assess your success. Some things you may want to consider include:
Number of signups/subscribers
Number of active users
Engagement levels (e.g. pageviews, time on site, average session length, etc.)
Details on who your target customer is
Successful entrepreneurs know their customers before they actually become their customers. That is why developing detailed user personas is a crucial part of the launch planfor a new product. At this stage it is important to be as specific as possible. For example, you should not just indicate that your car rental app is needed by tourists, and your e-commerce app is required by busy housewives. Instead, you should "get to know" users personally and understand their pains and needs.
There are a few key questions to answer when trying to identify your target customer:
1. Who is your ideal customer?
2. What needs does your product fulfill for that customer?
3. What are their demographics?
4. What are their psychographics?
5. What are their buying habits?
6. What is their budget?
7. How can you reach them?
8. How will you communicate?
Availability of experienced product team
To implement all the steps of a software pre-launch strategy, you need a mature team with solid experience in product development, launch, and support. At Erbis, we have a dedicated team of strategists, engineers, and marketers who can work with you every step of the way.
The strategist's role is to help you understand your target market and identify your key demographics. They will also develop messaging that resonates with your audience and create a launch plan that maximizes success.
The engineer's role is to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that meets the customers’ basic requirements. They will also suggest a tech stack which will help to quickly bring the product to the market with minimal economic costs.
The marketer's role is to create a launch plan and coordinate all the external communication around your product launch. They will also manage your website, social media presence, and email marketing campaigns.
The steps covered in this guide will help you assess your product's readiness for launch, identify and overcome potential hurdles, and put together a plan of action to make your launch a success.
If you don't know how or don't want to prepare a launch plan for a SaaS product on your own, don't hesitate to get in touch. Our mature team of developers, business analysts, QA engineers, UI/UX designers, and project managers will help you get ready to conquer new heights.