New Product Idea? 5 Things to Look for in a Salesforce PDO

By Bobby Singh - November 24, 2021

If your company is ready to develop a new product or update existing one, it’s time to find a qualified product development outsourcer (PDO).  

But not all PDOs are created equal. Do they have the skills and insight to help you iterate, build, launch, and promote your product?  

The right PDO should have a history of helping their ISV partners flesh out their product concept into a real, viable product design that gets traction on Salesforce AppExchange while guiding you through the three stages of readiness:  

1) Define the product and get it ready for market 

2) Prepare your organization to be a product company 

3) Make sure your customers are prepared to use your product and you are ready to support them 

Here are the top five things you should look for in a PDO, plus a quick look at how changes in consumer behavior are driving product development.  

The Top Five 

1) Discovery and Ideation 

The first step a good PDO takes is to confirm the scope of your project and provide an analysis of current use cases.  

They should take a careful look at your existing UX/UI strategy and ensure that your product UX/UI is optimized based on industry trends and best practices.  

Next, they should set the architectural strategy and team composition, including developers, DevOps engineers, a QA team, business analysts, and product managers.  

The last step in the discovery and ideation process is to determine feature definitions, product roadmap, and ROM estimation.  

A good PDO completes this process thoroughly to ensure that your product is clearly and correctly defined. Their vertical expertise will play a big role here, as they can speak to the current state of the market and ensure that your product can succeed in driving engagement.  

2) Detailed Design & Build  

The design and building phase will have several steps:  

  • Detailed feature design 
  • Architectural and technical design 
  • Environment set up, including build, test, and QA 
  • Feature build and QA 
  • Candidate release with security and compliance reviews 
  • Beta customer release and collaboration  

This process should involve collaborative build sprints between your internal teams and your PDO’s build teams.  

Product bugs and customer issues will occur, and your PDO should have a well-documented plan for handling ongoing QA, fixes, and feature releases. 

3) Beta Release and Support Services 

When the beta version is released, your PDO should provide all release documentation. They should also handle beta customer installation and support services, collecting and aggregating feedback so it can be reviewed by the product engagement team and the product delivery team.  

Product and Customer Support teams should be deeply involved here, providing environment monitoring and support throughout beta testing.  

4) Go-to-Market Strategy 

Currently, there are more than 5000 products on AppExchange. Where does yours fit in that ecosystem? What’s its niche in the sellable market?  

A good PDO goes beyond building to establish go-to-market strategy and then goes further still to mobilize your product within Salesforce.  

If they’ve got a strong SI background like Customertimes does, they’ll have a deep understanding of Salesforce go-to-market strategy so they can align your product with it. 

5) Support and SI Services 

A PDO that understands the key challenges and pain points for your industry is critical because they can draw on their vertical experience to make feature recommendations that resonate with your customers.  

Your PDO should help you mobilize for success, and then go beyond that to provide Salesforce sales team support and training. After all, no matter how good your product is, it won’t make any impact at all if no one from Salesforce understands how to sell it.  

What you’re looking for – and what Customertimes provides – is essentially a managed service that takes care of your product once it’s been launched on AppExchange.  

Your PDO should handle: 

  • SI Services stand-up 
  • Release Management and app release to AppExchange 

Once that’s complete, they should establish a customer ecosystem forum to monitor feedback that can be used to drive product decisions.  

Product Development for the New Consumer 

The way consumers behave has changed over the last year. More than ever, consumers want self-service capabilities, and companies that want to keep interacting with them need to align with that behavior.  

As a result, products that allow for simpler customer engagement are being built every day. They are designed to add value to the customer experience and enable ecommerce, but only some of them will succeed.  

The differentiator? Mobilization.  

If you are planning a new product, we strongly encourage you to work with a PDO that is an experienced, global Salesforce SI. They’ll be able to advise you from the discovery phase to the Salesforce support phase, successfully mobilizing your product to drive greater adoption.  

 

Customertimes is a global SI, ISV, PDO, and Managed Innovation partner. As a leading product development outsourcer, we build custom products on or off the Salesforce platform, and our team of 1600+ experts handle every aspect of development, from design, validation, and build to QA, feature updates, and promotion. Read one of our PDO case studies right here, or contact a PDO expert at experts@customertimes.org 

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Work with Customertimes PDO experts

Customertimes is a global Salesforce SI, ISV, PDO, and Managed Innovation partner. Find out more about our PDO services right here.

Explore PDO

Bobby Singh

Bobby Singh is the Sales Director for UK&I. His chief objective is to ensure his customers are fully aware of the solutions available from Customertimes Corporation to make an impact on their bottom line while aligning corporate objectives & GTM strategy with the technology platform.

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