CrossLead Case Study: Converging on Product-Market Fit

Ben Foster November 27 2020

The following is adapted from Build What Matters.

CrossLead is a platform that helps organizations of all sizes plan, manage, and track progress toward achieving important company objectives. It was founded by Navy SEAL David Silverman, co-author of the bestseller Team of Teams, which details the military’s need to become nimbler and more flexible in order to successfully fight Al Qaeda. Many commercial organizations are faced with the challenge of making similar adaptations, but they lack the necessary software tools and frameworks, which CrossLead provides. Nevertheless, the CrossLead team did not see immediate market traction.

Prodify began working with CrossLead at a time when its leadership was having difficult internal conversations about how to reach product-market fit (PMF). We facilitated an exercise that helped them identify the right path.

As CrossLead’s head of product, Paige Morschauser describes the process,

“People tend to look at PMF as just ‘product’ and ‘market,’ but that is an incomplete way of looking at it. It is important to factor economics into the equation and then consider the intersections between all three areas. Prodify provided us with a Venn diagram of these components and the key success indicators within each. We then individually graded ourselves on each metric before reconvening as a group.

We used this exercise to facilitate a discussion amongst key stakeholders and to align on the biggest gap within the Venn diagram. For us, it became apparent that there was a disconnect between the value proposition customers looked for during the sales process and what the product delivered after it was purchased.”

This insight redirected the company’s customer discovery priorities. Next, we worked with Paige’s team to develop a new customer research plan to gather further insights from their customers’ perspective. The findings led to CrossLead’s big “aha” moment, which was that the target buyer persona had been defined so broadly that they could never build enough features to satisfy all of their needs. Debates about which features to put on the roadmap next were the result of there simply being no right answer. They zeroed in on a more specific buyer persona and identified the specific unmet needs that CrossLead should address—all achievable with focused product development efforts.

According to Paige, “We were able to construct a more strategic roadmap spanning the next several quarters and establish important product development milestones that the whole company could rally behind.”

Written by Ben Foster

Ben is a co-founder of Prodify and Principal Product Advisor / Coach. In his career, he has been the Chief Product Officer at WHOOP and GoCanvas, the VP of Product & Design at Opower (which went public in 2014) and previously worked for Marty Cagan at eBay.

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