All product teams should have different metrics they are following to determine success factors for their business. The more the product manager understands these key metrics, they should be able to tie features on their product roadmap to improving the key performance indicators (KPI) that they are measuring. As a Product manager you do not want to make changes, and guess if the change you made improved the business. You should be able to monitor your metrics, plan changes to improve them and then track the results to see if they worked or not.
While every business is different, here are some common metrics you should be tracking as a product manager:
Trial Conversion Rate: Across the business, everyone monitors this number as sales drives a business but a product manager should be looking at the number and trying to dig deeper on where drop off occurs within the product in order to get it improved. For example, if you have a setup wizard, how far are your trials getting in the setup process before they leave. Do you know what your conversion funnel looks like and what steps people are dropping off at? If not, know this data and build a metrics view of your funnel and drop offs. This will help paint a picture of where your on boarding flow needs the most work to increase your conversion rates.
Feature Adoption: If you were to break your product down into distinct features, do you know the percent of adoption of those features across your user base? If not, you may be missing some key information on what your strength and weakness really looks like. If you offer 10 features for example, and 90% of users take advantage of 3 of them and then it drops from there in the remaining features this tells you a lot about your product. This would let you know where to focus your energy, what you should be marketing as a product and also where you need to reach out to users to find out what is missing in the other features to improve adoption. Data is available to you as a product manager and the more you rely on it to make your decisions the more clear the picture becomes and confident in your steps.
Churn Rates: By looking back at who churned the month prior you can build profiles of the type of setup and reasons people leave your product. If you were to look at the characteristics of everyone who churned, you may find that they never achieved a value point, or become stale and stopped logging in or ran into a support issue which was a deal breaker for them. If you see these profiles, they are solvable but you need to first identify the data points and confirm the issue you are trying to solve. For example, if someone is becoming stale, perhaps you have not made your product sticky enough. A good way to increase this is to provide email alerts to the user on certain events or tie your product into their daily flow more to see what are the common tasks healthy users. Always look at churn reasons and surveys to start bucketing churn into categories to be able to see why people are leaving at a high level and be able to drive product improvements to reduce churn in the areas you can control.
When you work on your product roadmap, you should be able to tie each feature you decide to work on to accomplishing an objective to improve your product and business. These objectives should be generated by looking at your key performance indicators and based on those metrics generate ideas to grow your business by implementing changes and following the metrics to see the metrics improve. If you do not track your metrics, you have no way of knowing what is working and what is not.