Time to Value

Time to value (TTV) is similar to return on investment (ROI), but instead of realizing the financial success of an investment, it implies achieving the effectiveness of an investment. It is the amount of time it takes a new customer to realize value from your product. It can vary by client, product, service, or project but tracking it can help you make sure your customers are happy, see your value, and are getting maximum ROI. Time to value can vary greatly depending on your ideal client, the product/service you offer, the type of project you’re working on, or even your client’s ideal client.

Time to value is the amount of time between the beginning of an action and the value the customer sees from the action taken. This is applied mostly to added technology—data center hardware, network infrastructure, system security, etc. whereby the promised improvement becomes measurable. Depending on the product or service you offer, customers may see your time to value immediately, or it may take them more time to truly see how you’re helping them meet their goals. It can even be argued that in cases such as data security, TTV is more important than ROI since the security may only have financial benefits in banking and commercial industries, but has value—the protection of personal and/or corporate data—in every industry. To maximize time to value, your customer success team must gather, understand, and act on customer information.

Purpose

The time to value (TTV) measures the length of time necessary to finish a project and realize the benefits of the solution. To maintain full momentum and provide a customer experience that helps your customers discover the ROI in your offering, you need to track your TtV as a key metric. The concept is used to help decision-makers evaluate the proposed benefit of an investment in time and/or money. Your customer came to you with specific goals. Providing them with value as quickly as possible is your way of giving them peace of mind that they’ve found the right solution.

Limitation

While the concept is easy to understand and explain to management or investors, the problem is that “completion”, “benefit”, and “value” are not as easy to define, can change over time, and the technology may even obsolesce before the installation is completed. Time to value in e-commerce is a critical concern for marketers who need to know how quickly new technology will deliver results and prove that tech was a wise investment.