How to Beat the #1 Deal Breaker In New Startup Sales

Change the focus of your product documentation and sell more of it

Joe Procopio
5 min readOct 18, 2021


Your customers want to buy your startup’s product. They really do. So why haven’t they?

The problem might be that they don’t understand what you’re selling them, because you’re selling them a package of features, not a set of solutions.

You’ve probably made them aware of a few things to catch their interest in the first place.

  • They might know what your product does.
  • They might know that it does what it does very well.
  • They might know that your product is the pinnacle of cutting-edge stuff.

But they’re just not 100 percent sure what’s in it for them.

In my 20-plus years of developing both customer-facing and business-facing products, I’ve found the lack of customer focus during the product development phase to be the number-one dealbreaker for new product sales.

Everyone says they put the customer first, but when you dive into their product development process, you can quickly discover when that’s not actually the case.

So let’s fix that.

A Solutions Roadmap Puts the Customer First

A solutions roadmap is not a new concept. It’s a lot like a product roadmap, but broken out by solutions to customer problems instead of by feature set.

Traditionally, a feature-based product roadmap has always been the single source of direction for a new product. That one document usually dictates:

  1. Design of the product, including user interface and user experience.
  2. Development of the product, including feature set.
  3. Testing, including the framework for customer acceptance testing.
  4. Release, including marketing and messaging.
  5. Support, including onboarding and training.

All of those things need to be directed at the customer for the product to be successful. But when you start with a traditional feature-based product roadmap, none of those customer-facing things are…



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building & GROWERS. Write at and More at