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How is a Product Manager responsible for User Growth and User Retention?

User Growth and User Retention Journey

Lets assume, Flight Booking Website or App as B2C SAAS Product and Cloud CRM as B2B SAAS Product.

Acquisition (Marketing) and Activation are the aspects of User Growth. Product Management for Flight Booking App involves marketing aspect as well. However, this is not directly applicable in case of CRM. The Product Management team needs to run marketing campaigns over app/ website for attracting new or existing users such that they download and activate the app. The Product Planning and Development for Flight Booking App would include aspects related to marketing features and functionalities. Hence, B2C PM would work to identify app/ website marketing problems and work with development team with solutioning and feature development. He would regularly review and analyse marketing related responses of users which would include understanding and running product marketing analytics and taking next steps based on the analysis.

In case of SAAS CRM, the Product website is essentially handled by Product Marketing team and App is handled by Product Manager. SAAS CRM’s Product Manager may collaborate with Product Marketing team for the same or if he is assigned KRAs on marketing side as well, he would run marketing activities as well. Sales Development Team would be responsible for handling inbound leads or outbound leads for generating appointments/ closures. B2B PM would work in making activation a self service and if its not, Account Executive works with Customer Success for activation.

Another aspect is User Retention such that as User visits/ downloads the Flight App, he activates the App (make login credentials), searches for flights and books the flight ticket. Then, he keeps on using the app for flight booking in future. He feels so good in using the app that he refers it his family, friends and public.

PM for SAAS CRM has to essentially work on User Retention aspects. User conversion is when an account executive (AE) gets a prospective customer who requests for the product trial within certain time frame, the customer uses the product and finally makes payment to buy subscription, then it means Trial User is converted to a paying Customer. PM’s job is to make sure that customers stick to the App after on-boarding and keep paying for the licenses. Here, the Product Manager collaborates with Customer Success Team for User Retention. On retention side, both would look at Retention and Churn Analytics (Cohort Analytics/ AB Testing can be used here). Retention KPIs will be set up for fixed time period. Say, Weekly/ Monthly retention metrics to target new users would be numbers of new installs, Bookings, Uninstalls. Other KPIs to look at would be Active User base KPIs. The retention cycle can be lower in case of B2C as compared to B2B. However, in case of enterprise based B2B SAAS, Retention and Churn Analysis won’t require you to run analytics as few customers would be there to track the same and simple numbers would speak. Both would deep dive into User Experience and Customer Success. Both would work to find reasons to abandoning or sticking to the app/ product. Possible reasons for the abandonment can be Bad UX, Poor interface, Expectation mismatch, Casual trial, Technical bug, Unexplained.

SAAS Tools are quite useful for User Acquisition and User Retention. Intercom, Freshdesk (Customer Success/ Support) are helpful for Retention in B2B SAAS while tools like Kissmetrics, Mixpanel, Full Story (Customer Usage Analytics) would be for Growth and Retention for any SAAS business.

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