Welcome to the User Adoption: Real Talk from the Experts series!
In this video series, we take a deep dive into UserIQ’s 2018 User Adoption and Onboarding Benchmarking Report, based on a survey taken earlier this year by over 450 SaaS leaders. We wanted to know — how are companies addressing user adoption challenges today? How are they measuring success, executing initiatives and maintaining momentum? To help us dig into these key findings, we’re featuring the customer success experts themselves.
Matt Myskowski, Vice President EMEA, Customer Success, SAP Cloud Lifetime and Founder of CustomerSuccessMatters will be breaking down the importance of time-to-value (TTV), including good first steps for companies looking to better track TTV, how to measure it and why this metric is often put on the back burner.
Find Matt Myszkowski:
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Download the 2018 SaaS User Adoption & Onboarding Benchmarking Report to see how more than 450 SaaS leaders handle these initiatives today and how your company stacks up.
Welcome back to our User Adoption: Real Talk with the Experts video series. This is a video series where we cover the key findings from the report that we released earlier this year at UserIQ, which is the 2018 User Adoption and Onboarding Benchmarking Survey. So, with this survey we surveyed over 450 Sass leaders, we got a lot of great info back on things that people are struggling with in user adoption and onboarding. And so today we want to focus on talking about time to value, and some key stats that we’ve found from that.
So, we have Matt with us today. So, I’m going to go ahead and have Matt introduce himself, just tell us about your position and maybe some projects you’re working on, your experience, things of that nature.
Yeah, thanks Kelsey. Yes, so my name is Matt Myszkowski, I’m currently the VP of Customer Success for EMEA SAP, which is part of the Preferred Success Organization. I have a team of approximately 30 customer success managers across EMEA, who are responsible for delivering something we call preferred success, which is a paid for engagement. It’s high impact, high value, proactive, and a prescriptive offering, ensuring customers get a full ROI on their investment in the range of SAP’s account solutions.
Prior to SAP I worked at a UK scale up CX Software provider called Rant and Rave. Prior to that, I worked at Autodesk where I worked for probably about five years helping to build, scale, and evolve their customer success offering across EMEA and APAC.
Before my time in customer success I worked for a variety of software companies in a variety of roles from support, to customer service, to sales, pre-sales engineering, marketing, and more. Searching for what I now know to be customer success. And that’s really my background.
Awesome, perfect. So, yeah, one of the big key stats we want to start with here is that 57% of the survey responses we had said that they are either neutral, unsure, or really cannot measure their customer’s time to value at all. So, we were curious as to why you think that is? And then backtracking a little bit, why is time to value something we should be measuring in the first place? Why is it so important?
Yeah, great question Kelsey. So, the onboarding phase is the first phase of the customer lifecycle. If the pre-sales phase was managed appropriately, and by appropriately I mean that representation of the customer success organization was involved in those latter stages of the process, then hopefully your CSM is set up to be successful. But the latter stages of that pre-sales process is the ideal time for a CSM to understand why the customer chose to make that purchase, or investment, in your solution, service, or software. And ultimately how the CSM will be working to execute on the plan that delivers that value.
And the first test of that is the onboarding phase where a poor experience dramatically decreases the likelihood of retention within the first year. And then I guess on the flip side, conversely a positive experience sets you up for retention and hopefully expansion.
The metric to value, or time to first value as I prefer to utilize in the onboarding phase, is arguably the most critical value for a CSM whilst onboarding a new customer. Optimizing for TTFE, or TTV, ensures your customers are realizing value in your solution, software, service quicker. However, the definition of value will mean many different things for many different customers. But it is exactly that, it is your customers definition of value, and not you as a vendor. And I think that’s a mistake a lot of companies make.
Use that pre-sales opportunity I referred to earlier to define what first value looks like for your customer. Ideally align a tangible value, metric, or measurement to it. Baseline where you’re starting from, and then just go all out to execute on it, and ultimately deliver on that first value.
Yeah, that’s great. And you know I think we get so lost in the metrics, we have so many metrics that we’re always looking at. And so when it comes to something like time to value, why do you think that’s something that often gets put on the back burner unfortunately?
So, from my perspective there’s one reason. And it aligns to the continued evolution of customer success. And what I mean by this is that customer success over the recent years has matured and developed from measuring adoption and consumption of software to now being about measuring the outcome of the adoption of such software. So, whilst this is totally the right thing to do in my mind, it is considerably harder to identify and measure the actual outcomes compared with the relatively easy numerical data of adoption and consumption, I.e. the number of times someone logs into something, or the number of times someone uses certain functionality within your software.
That is relatively binary and easy to measure. That’s especially true if you do not ask or get the opportunity to ask your customer what that value, or initial desired outcome looks like. So, it goes back to the first question. It’s becoming more critical for a CSM, who’s trusted with delivering that value to your customer, to understand why that customer bought your solution or service in the first place, and what that value actually looks like for them. If you don’t get that insight, or the opportunity to ask the question what that value looks like, then arguably how can you measure it?
And that I think is a large part of why potentially companies shy away from measuring time to value. They just don’t know what business problem their solution or software is addressing for them.
Yeah, that’s a really good point, very good point. I know you’ve dug into this a little bit, but kind of getting into the nitty gritty here, if there are companies that maybe have never measured time to value, or if they just want to do it a little bit differently, what are some first best steps, best practices for that?
Yeah, I’m going to be pretty blunt with this response. And my first thing that comes into my mind is just ask your customer. Ask them what they see as value using your solution or service. Why did they buy your product? Ask them what value looks like for them after the first three months using your solution, your software, or your service. But also understanding and respecting that there is different value for the different cohorts within your customer, and try to address the different needs of each cohort.
I guess if I break it down a little bit further, as something actionable that you may want to change, I’d go back to some of the points I’ve raised earlier. Start to understand your customers needs within that pre-sales process. Work with your sales leadership to get greater exposure to the latter stages of the sales process and your potential new customer.
For the customer, they’re becoming familiar with the CSM that ultimately is going to be responsible for directing them through the onboarding phase, hopefully delivering that first value that we referred to. For your sales team, they’re able to demonstrate a real life CSM in a practical environment, which in turn provides greater credibility. And then at the end, as a CSM, you’re getting to really understand first hand what the customer’s expectations are with your solution and service.
And for me, it just sounds like a win win win for everyone there. The final point on this, all of this should be documented, tracked, and be actions assigned within a customer success plan of sorts. And there are different varieties out there that you may have in existence. But this ensures transparency and accountability, where you can take the opportunity in your periodic quarterly business reviews, executive business reviews, to keep score, overcome those issues and challenges that you may come up again, but ultimately it gives you the opportunity to replay the value that you’ve delivered to your customer.
Yeah, definitely. I think two key takeaways from me out of that is that number one, don’t overthink it. Like you were saying, just talk to your customers. And that team alignment, like you said, is something that’s really important. Just making sure everybody’s on the same page there.
So, this was super great insight into time-to-value, I definitely think there’s some actionable items we can take from this. So, I will be leaving some links to where you can find Matt in the description box, and I’ll also be leaving a link to the full report. And Matt, we really appreciate your insight, and thank you for being here.
Thanks very much for the invite, and have a great day.