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Why You Need to Craft a Winning Product Adoption Strategy

The CloudShare Team

Jan 22, 2024 - 4 min read
Why You Need to Craft a Winning Product Adoption Strategy

How do people engage with your product? At what point does a new user become a dedicated customer? What can you do to maximize each customer’s return on investment?

Not sure how to answer? You’re not alone. It’s part of why the failure rate for new products ranges from 40-90%.

Your SaaS application need not be part of that grim statistic. By understanding how to drive product adoption, you can significantly improve your chance of success. We’ll explain why, and then walk you through what’s involved in creating a winning new product adoption strategy.

Why is a Product Adoption Strategy Important?

No matter how good an idea seems on paper, there’s no guarantee it will translate into a successful app. There’s a lot that can go wrong both during development and post-release. Maybe your marketing didn’t reach the right people, the market underwent a major shift, or you were blindsided by a competitor.

Or maybe your business hasn’t done enough to increase product adoption, something which goes hand-in-hand with effective customer education.

Per Wyzowl, 86% of people will stay with a company that offers a positive software onboarding experience, and 80% of people have deleted an app with poor onboarding. By knowing how product adoption looks for your software, you can identify the best way to get users to that point. You can accelerate product adoption, reducing time to value for new customers and greatly enhancing your onboarding in the process.

The Building Blocks of a Product Adoption Strategy

Developing an effective product adoption strategy requires that your business first have the following elements in place:

An Understanding of Your Users

For each user segment or buyer persona, you must identify their needs, preferences and pain points. More importantly, you need to map out their adoption journey from beginning to end. Generally, this can be broken down into a few stages:

  • Awareness. A prospect knows your software exists, but they’ve yet to intentionally engage with your company.
  • Interest. The prospect has started seeking more information about your product and how it might address their needs and pain points.
  • Evaluation. The prospect is assessing whether your product is the correct option for their use case versus competing offerings. This is generally done through research, including customer reviews and expert recommendations.
  • Trial. The prospect has taken the first step toward becoming a customer by undergoing a trial period or running a proof of concept.
  • Activation. The prospect recognizes the value of your software, understands how it works, and has an idea of how to use it to its full potential.
  • Adoption. The prospect is now a dedicated customer, and has fully committed to using your software.

Getting Buy-in From Internal Stakeholders

Product adoption does not happen in a vacuum. To support your strategy, you’ll need to make sure your sales, marketing, and customer success teams are all on the same page.

After all, what good is a product adoption strategy without support from key stakeholders? Buy-in plays an important role in ensuring staff understand the purpose of adopting a new product, how it will improve their workflows, and boosts cohesion when key stakeholders get behind the initiative.

Creating Necessary Resources

Sometimes product adoption requires more than aligning your teams. You’ll also need a full inventory of your resources, including product education materials, marketing collateral, and sales enablement tools.

This will help you identify content gaps and better understand what materials need to be created to support your adoption strategy.

Onboarding

No product adoption strategy can succeed without customer education. Effective onboarding must be seamless, intuitive, and personalized to focus on the most valuable features for each user.

Effective onboarding not only helps customers understand how to use your software, but it also reduces the likelihood of them requiring additional IT support and training — driving additional cost savings in the process.

Personalized Support

Give your customers access to on-demand, tailored support both during and after onboarding. This doesn’t just help improve product adoption – it can also improve retention.

And the numbers don’t lie. In fact, Userpilot found 63% of customers say onboarding plays a key role in subscribing to a platform, with 74% saying they’ll switch solutions if it’s too complex. Adding to that, 86% of customers say onboarding and continuous education keep them loyal to a company.

Analytics

Data and product adoption often work together. You need to measure and monitor key metrics associated with product adoption such as adoption rate and acquisition rate. You must also look at data around user behavior – how they use your software, features they interact with most frequently, features they avoid, and so on.

Continuous Improvement

Always work to improve your software, from onboarding to user experience. Leverage data on how users engage with your software alongside feedback to identify bottlenecks or optimization opportunities.

Crafting a Winning Product Adoption Strategy

Whether targeting a business or a consumer, product adoption strategies generally all follow the same basic framework.

They begin with an understanding of your users. You need to know who your customers are, what they want, what attracts them to your brand, and – most importantly – what adoption and activation. From there, it’s a matter of securing the buy-in and resources you need to create and distribute materials such as marketing collateral and onboarding content.

Finally, with all the other pieces in place, all that’s left is to analyze, measure, monitor, and continuously seek out opportunities to improve, experimenting and iterating to find the most effective tactics for your specific audience.

There are many reasons why a new product might fail. But onboarding shouldn’t be one of them. Now that you understand a bit more about product adoption, you can develop and execute a strategy that both maximizes success and drives growth.

Interested in learning more about onboarding and its role in product adoption? Check out How to Increase Product Adoption with Customer Training.