In the world of SaaS, customers are one of your most valued commodities and are continually subject to change. You have a limited amount of time to attract and engage customers, and your onboarding period is critical to determining if a customer will be a long term client or will churn and burn. Often, the initial free trial period is when a SaaS product must shine and convince customers of its overall value. Remember, this is a commitment your clients are making to your product, as well, and nobody wants to spend valuable time and effort learning a system which doesn’t even perform as expected. Time to Value describes the timeframe in which these decisions are made and is your window of opportunity to impress. Make the most of this metric to keep customers knocking on your door.
Today’s world has so many options and can often be seen as fickle and quick to change. Your TtV cycle, accordingly, must attract and impress quickly. In past iterations, a client would invest in a service or project and would not look for other options so readily, so TtV was not as critical of a metric to monitor. With more options for free trial periods and minimal front end costs, today’s landscape is quite different. Proving your SaaS can meet the client’s needs, is robust and intuitive enough, and will give the proper RoI are all measured and monitored.
In turn, a short TtV pushes companies to make their product more exciting, innovative, and necessary for new and existing clients. Your sales cycle will also see a boost, as you will determine which clients are locked in to your product and service and you can receive faster feedback from those not interested. TtV is a valuable set of figures which can sharpen the intent and focus of your company, as well as the minds of your clients.
In essence, your ttv meaning is measuring Key Performance Indicators for the initial client capture period. You are receiving a snapshot of first impressions and should actively use these indicators in moving forward. KPI’s will work to measure your product’s value throughout the life cycle of a client, including forecasted profits, gross profit margins, and inventory turnover, but should also focus on how quickly clients see their ROI for your SaaS. Clients want to know they made a good choice and you focusing on TtV may be the difference between marginal and dynamic customer growth and retention.
When thinking about Time to Value, it’s important to be able to define what value is, as far as what value your clients expect and receive from your product. Perceived value is one of the greatest factors for capturing and retaining client interest and loyalty and should be one of the tenants of your business.
Understanding what your clients value and require isn’t just an abstract figure on a graph or chart, either. Your clients are often entrusting the viability and profitability of their business, at least partly, in the performance and features of your product. TtV allows clients and service providers to get on the same page for what’s important and valued, moving forward.
When a customer first receives a new product, they want to be wowed right out of the box. They need reassurance that they have made the right choice and this reassurance often comes from how a product or service performs in the initial uses. This Time to Basic Value is the initial reactionary phase and is critical to impressing new clients that they’ve made a smart choice. In theory, there should be a short amount of time for clients to make these realizations. The features and format offered for consideration should serve as your company’s ambassador, a welcoming and gracious host, which quickly gives a lay of the land and some of the most critical features your SaaS has to offer. In monitoring your prior and current client TtV, you can often pinpoint some of the most (and least) impressive features and functions and help highlight and streamline those value points which impress and capture clients the best.
Once a client shows interest in your product and takes a trial run, you need to be able to show them all the other ways in which your product adds value to their organization. Exceeding expectations is often part of many organizations’ mission statements and couldn’t be more true for your business and SaaS system. In theory, your new clients are already enticed to continue doing business with you, and the exceeded value metric is what seals the deal. Over and above expectations can be shown in additional functions and features, which the client explores after the free trial period, the customer service they experience when tackling a big project with the help of your team, or the overall necessity of your product they perceive in the success of their own company.
This third metric describes the value customers realize after your product has been in service for an amount of time. It may not be a new value, per se, but the client comes to recognize the inherent value your product and service provides on a consistent level. Often, this value is measured as or after clients are fully onboard and have been able to experience the features and functions your SaaS can offer. Some factors may be the ROI your customers experience using your product when trying to win over clients of their own. A sales cycle might be a few months and the realization of your product’s functionality may only come to light after seeing a full cycle of growth and customer interactions. It is important to continue to monitor and maintain close communications during these times to ensure customers are seeing what they want from your product, past the initial stages of use. You don’t want clients to get lost and unable to see the forest for the trees. TtV measures client values throughout the cycle of your client/product relationship and will give powerful insights for many phases.
One of the best measurements of TtV occurs at the A-Ha moment for your clients. It may be when a function or feature shows its importance, utilitarian ability, or ease of use. It is the first time a client adds a check, mentally or otherwise, into the column of value for your product. It is the time when a client feels as if they made a smart investment. It is the defining moment at which the client truly starts to invest in your product. Making this cycle the shortest timeframe possible can also help that realization crystallize that much faster in the client psyche.
Initially, during the onboarding, you want customers to experience this wow moment, and then continually, they should be able to experience similar moments, and they can happen for a myriad of reasons. As discussed previously, it’s important to monitor when and why these moments occur for your clients and look to vault upward from these strengths.
Some important tools to help this process and be tutorials, onboarding guides, customer service options, blogs, webinars, and case studies. When a client has questions, you want to be able to answer and direct them quickly and efficiently, It’s also helpful for new clients to see and read about how existing clients have used your products. Customer reviews and insights often make clients feel as if they’re getting the inside track on a product, which increases loyalty. Make sure your clients are aware of what you offer and, if they don’t see what they need initially, you’re there to guide them in the right direction. Remember, your previously measured TtV indicators will often tell you where customers find success and where they get hung up. Work to make new client experiences even better than previous client experiences. And once they’re onboard, work just as hard to keep them there. Above and beyond expectations, every time.