Roadmapping Prework

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In this guide, you’ll find information on what to do before you actually build your roadmap with your team, including gap identification and classification, and how to prioritize those gaps before you start generating ideas for roadmap items.

Classifying Gaps

There are lots of different kinds of gaps, but we like to break them down into three key categories:

  • Customer Experience Gaps – These are the gaps that your customer is feeling right now. Because buyers are hard to please, these gaps often cause the biggest drop in conversions. On the flip side, fixing these gaps will also usually have the biggest positive revenue impact.
  • Scale Gaps – These are the gaps that are making it hard to increase carry capacity as your team grows. Fixing these gaps will make it possible to bring in more leads without seeing lead leakage or huge conversion drops.
  • Efficiency Gaps – Often these can be red herrings, so proceed with caution. It’s easy to spot gaps in how we do things from a process standpoint and focus on efficiency. Efficiency is great, but it’s not always the right thing to focus on. Make sure the work you’re doing is actually going to make an impact, and isn’t just improving upon something that’s already good enough.

Finding Gaps

Looking for gaps requires consistent investigation. There are 2 ways to find a gap: retroactively and proactively.

We recommend creating a regular cadence for performing pipeline analysis and durability testing. This way you’ll have the clearest possible picture of how the way your business is operating might be causing your customers to spend less money with you.

Retroactive gap-identification, which is done by analyzing your pipeline for trends that indicate a problem, will help you not only find those existing gaps, but quantify their impact to your revenue, as well. This information will allow you to prioritize gaps by their revenue impact and do the most important work first. 

Proactive gap-identification is a way to test a hypothesis. If you or someone on your team has raised a concern about a specific process or moment in the buyer journey, you can design and perform durability tests to validate whether the gap exists and further explore the problem space. 

The goal of each of these methods is to gather information quickly enough to respond to business challenges in real-time.

Here are some ideas for gap-spotting activities:

  1. Secret Shop the team & competitors
  2. Customer Journey Mapping with internal stakeholders
  3. GTM Rep Rides (from lead capture to meeting booked)
  4. Data Analysis (by key cohorts)
  5. Customer Interviews

Prioritizing Gaps

Before you start coming up with initiatives to put on your roadmap, you need to prioritize your gaps by impact. The highest impact gaps are the ones you’ll want to focus on fixing first, so how do you determine which ones they are?

Intuition – Sometimes you’ll just know. For example, if you’ve seen that manual lead assignment is causing long response times, that’s pretty clearly a P1 problem that needs to be addressed.

Experience – If you or someone on your team has seen a similar problem before, you can lean on that experience to make the case for prioritizing it. This happens a lot with senior stakeholders that come in from other companies in the same industry.

Analysis – If you’re not sure how to prioritize something, you can run durability tests to more thoroughly explore the impact the gap is having on the customer experience and, ultimately, your revenue.