Rethinking Product Roadmaps for Industry Analysts

Sonja Keerl
When I see vendor roadmaps, especially for startup SaaS companies, the common theme is that there is no theme: More often than not, it’s an export of random features and functionalities from a product management tool loosely arranged on a slide.

When I see vendor roadmaps, especially for startup SaaS companies, the common theme is that there is no theme: More often than not, it’s an export of random features and functionalities from a product management tool loosely arranged on a slide.

Product roadmaps are more than just a list of features and timelines. They are an opportunity for vendors to demonstrate their understanding of the market and showcase their strategic vision. Analysts rely on these roadmaps to assess a company's potential and ability to execute on its goals.

Side note: I’d also argue that prospects, customers and partners are not interested in every individual line item (although they may be surprisingly interested in one or two) and that a combination of strategic roadmap and tactical line items will also serve you beyond analyst relations. But that’s not the scope of this post :) 

In order to effectively engage in roadmap conversations with analysts, it's important to address key questions they have about your company:

As a vendor, you have the power to:

To successfully engage with analysts, here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Review your current product vision and roadmap to understand where you stand.
  2. Research and identify the market trends that align with your vision.
  3. Familiarize yourself with what analysts are interested in and how they evaluate products.
  4. Refine your product vision to align with these market trends.
  5. Create an analyst relations roadmap that communicates your strategy and product vision.
  6. Remain agile and adaptable to changes in technology and the market.
  7. Seek feedback from subject matter analysts and involve them in the review process.
  8. Prepare a compelling presentation that showcases your understanding of the market.
  9. Continuously update your roadmap to reflect the evolution of your product and market trends.

Remember, your goal is not just to share features and timelines, but to demonstrate your understanding of the market and how you plan to capitalize on future opportunities. By effectively communicating your product roadmap, you can build trust and increase the likelihood of positive analyst recommendations.

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