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Context:

I'm working in a b2b software company. We have 2 specialised products, one is a facility management software, and the other is a document management system. Both softwares are on-prem. I'm being engaged to design and transform the software to a SaaS offering(cloud software).

Complication:

My main complication here is finding the people to conduct interviews and usability test for the SaaS design. I have done usability tests with my colleagues and pretty much exhausted that channel. I have also approached my account managers to see if we can access to our client user to conduct some usability test.

However, the feedback I have received is:

  • It is hard to convince the client to join the study because there is no win-win situation for the client (especially for the SaaS design)

Audience:

We are looking for people who work in the facility management sector for facility management software.

For the document management software, we are looking for people in certain niches like HR, Procurement etc.

What I have tried:

  • I tried to source testers through Facebook group for jobs (mainly got rejected by the admin of the group due to rampant scam postings)

  • I tried posting forum threads in the local popular forums in my country (hard to qualify the leads, and most responses are unfavourable, negative or trolls)

  • Tried to post in the research group in telegram (have some signed ups from our screener surveys)

  • I have also approached the building management office of my office to chat with the facility manager (feeling that this is a long game)

  • As of now, we manage to get some client user to test some new features of our on-premise software. I'm trying funnel them into a pool for testing for our future SaaS design.

Question:

I'm just wondering if anyone in the community is experiencing this? And how do you source users in the B2B sector?

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  • Surely companies ought not limit research to clients...but account managers prefer to exclude them?? What leads them to conclude clients think "there is no win-win situation" for any one of them to contribute to service improvements? "Normal distribution" principles ensure some are likely willing. Nov 16 at 17:42

2 Answers 2

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If you can't find enough participants it's okay to loosen some of the criteria. In the book Validating Product Ideas by Tomer Sharon, they suggest making a list of the most important criteria you want the participants to meet. From that list pick a few criteria which you would be okay loosening.

You can also use the keywords and turn them into hashtags to recruit from twitter, also try posting the screener to groups on google plus and Linkedin.

Best of luck!

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Paid incentives are the easiest way to gain participants, but I'm guessing you don't have a budget for that yet. If you don't need to study non-users, I'd advise you to build a client advisory board. Your product team would meet with these clients quarterly to hear about how things are going and discuss the product roadmap. In return, they agree to have people in their organizations participate in feedback sessions, focus groups, and usability studies. The "win-win" is that their feedback is prioritized over other clients, while you gain access to the personas that you need.

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