Marketers: How timely are your post-sale customer expansion tactics? Too soon and you could thwart implementation. Too late and you might not have enough time to “earn” an up- or cross-sell at renewal. Data from Insight Partners’ portfolio companies suggests how you should measure customers’ “time-to-value,” a milestone that ought to precede expansion tactics.
First comes implementation. The sooner you help customers implement, the quicker you can shift your focus to adoption and expansion therein.
How fast should your customers implement your product? It depends. We found a clear distinction between companies with differing average selling prices (ASPs): a median implementation of 32 days for companies with ASPs < $25k, 84 for $25k – $100k, and 60 for $100k+.
Second, a customer implemented isn’t necessarily a customer who’s realizing value (nor ROI). While a majority of our portfolio companies do mark time-to-value (TTV) at “go-live,” many others wait until their customers’ “first wins.” Yet others wait until customers achieve tailor-defined adoption or business goals. We recommend a blend of these methods: Marketers should measure time-to-first-value (TTFV) and time-to-ROI-value (TTROI).
How do top Marketing programs shorten TTFV and TTROI? They deploy tactics that cut implementation times. Big customer sets benefit from repeatable training and change management guidance content. For strategic accounts, Account-based Marketers and Customer Success Managers partner to host 1:1 personalized customer kickoff events and internal communications programs. In the latter case, I’ve even seen roadshows and demo days for a single account.
For example, in a past marketing role, I’d film high-production-value videos featuring our champions just so they could share those videos within their organization. While we never published the videos publicly, we did drive our biggest accounts to realize value faster. (And we later used the videos to drive expansion sales, too.)
So, when Marketers measure that customers have realized their first value from their product (TTFV), it’s an early indicator that customers are emerging from the “fog of implementation.” When the same customer achieves ROI, Marketers have earned a strong basis for their expansion sale argument. As 2x ABMie award-winning Amber Bogie put it to me: the customer must pass a series of “level-up” experiences before they’re ready to level-up to the up- and cross-sale.