Time to Value

What is Time To Value?

Time to value (TTV) measures the time it takes post-purchase for a customer to realize significant value from a product or service. This metric is particularly important in SaaS, where the speed at which a product can deliver measurable benefits directly impacts customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In simple terms, time to value (TTV) answers the question: “How quickly can a customer start benefiting from their investment in your product?”

Five main factors contribute to TTV:

  1. Onboarding time — How long it takes to get a customer set up and trained on how to use the product.
  2. Configuration time — The duration required to customize the product according to the customer’s specific needs.
  3. Implementation time — Any necessary integration or installation processes needed for the product.
  4. Time to first value (TTFV) — The amount of time it takes for a customer to experience the product’s first benefit or solve their initial problem.
  5. Time to full value (TTFV) — The total time it takes for a customer to realize the full potential and benefits of the product.

Since it means clients quickly see the return on their investment, a shorter TTV enhances the customer experience. In markets where products offer similar functionalities, a shorter TTV is also a significant differentiator. If your users adopt your product quickly, you’ll also have a better feedback and improvement cycle.


  • TTV
  • Time to value in SaaS

Importance of Time To Value

Importance for Customer Success

Customer success is all about ensuring clients get the maximum benefit from a product or service, leading to higher satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, retention. In this context, time to value is one of the most accurate ways to measure the success of a newly onboarded customer.

  • When customers start seeing the benefits of a product or service quickly, their overall satisfaction increases. A shorter TTV means they feel they’ve made a good investment, which is essential for building a positive customer relationship.
  • The sooner customers realize value, the likelier they are to fully adopt and use the product. This is especially important for complex products or services that require significant effort or behavioral changes to integrate into your existing workflows.
  • Delivering value quickly establishes trust and credibility with your customers. It shows your company understands their needs and is committed to delivering solutions that work effectively.
  • When you meet customer expectations quickly, they’re generally more open to exploring additional products. You’ll have more upselling and cross-selling opportunities (and increase their lifetime value).
  • Customers who quickly see the value in your product are more likely to recommend it to others. Over time, this leads to more organic growth and lower customer acquisition costs.

Importance for B2B Companies

In the B2B space, customer retention is the ultimate measure of success. Time to value plays a significant role in ensuring high customer retention rates for B2B companies. In fact, how quickly your customers realize value directly impacts whether they’ll be around this time next year.

  • A shorter TTV allows for quicker feedback from customers. Product teams iterate based on real user experiences with this feedback to more accurately reflect customer pain points and use cases.
  • It also reinforces your value proposition. An efficient user onboarding process improves your brand reputation and
  • Your company can quickly pivot more easily if they have to. If adoption rates aren’t meeting expectations, you have a clear picture of where to investigate and what changes your product team has to make.
  • Shorter TTVs lead to quicker revenue generation. If you have freemium, trial, or usage-based pricing models, a shorter TTV means customers convert to paying customers sooner.
  • Reducing your TTV means your processes become more efficient. Yes, you’ll streamline customer onboarding. But you’ll also optimize your internal support processes, reduce the number of onboarding touchpoints required, and minimize the number of support tickets in the process.

How to Measure Time To Value

Time to value isn’t a regular “metric” in the sense that you can’t plug numbers into an equation and get a definitive answer. Instead, it’s a concept you can break down into several measurable components.

1. Define the meaning of “value.”

First, you need to clearly define what ‘value’ means for your customers. For example:

  • Improving a particular KPI by X%
  • Solving a specific problem or pain point
  • Achieving a goal they set out to
  • Realizing $X in cost savings

On its own, time to value is kind of ambiguous. Since “value” could be something qualitative like “increased user satisfaction,” or something quantitative like “ROI,” you need to contextualize what it means for your organization and your customers.

Most companies do this by first breaking customer goals down into more manageable metrics. For example, instead of saying “improved customer satisfaction,” you’d say something like, “reduce churn by X%.”

You might also consider “value” to be onboarding completion or the point in which customers become self-sufficient. In that case, all you have to do is look at the average time it takes from the beginning of the customer onboarding process to the end.

2. Identify milestones in the customer journey.

After determining what value generally looks like for customers, you can start looking at particular milestones in the customer journey. These are what eventually lead them to value.

  • Onboarding phase completion
  • Product adoption (use of core functionalities)
  • Use of advanced features or integrations
  • Full autonomy

Depending on your product, you may have more milestones to track. For instance, a complex software product might require splitting onboarding milestones into phases of completion or tracking adoption of individual features.

3. Calculate the time it takes to reach each milestone.

Once you’ve identified the milestones in your customer journey, you can begin calculating the time it takes for customers to reach each one. This will give you a general idea of how long it takes for customers to see value. For all your customers, average these numbers out.

To get more accurate and detailed data, use analytics tools to track customer behavior and progress throughout the user journey. You can also survey customers at different points in their journey to get a better understanding of their experience and the time it took them to reach value.

4. Run customer satisfaction surveys.

One way to measure TTV retrospectively is to ask customers how long it took them to realize the value from the product. You can do this through periodic surveys or during onboarding and implementation processes.

Although this isn’t a way to get a holistic view of every customer, you can use customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores to gauge how satisfied customers are with their overall experience and if they feel they’ve reached value in a timely manner. When multiple customers seem to have an issue with one particular part of the onboarding process, there’s your cue to investigate further.

5. Monitor churn rates.

Customer churn is one of the most crucial metrics in SaaS (and any other B2B industry). High churn rates indicate a problem with time to value, among other things.

If you notice high customer churn during or shortly after onboarding, this may be a sign that customers are not seeing value in your product fast enough. This can be a red flag that your TTV needs to be improved.

Related Time To Value Metrics

Time to Market (TTM)

Time to market (TTM) is the amount of time it takes for a product to go from concept to launch. This is different from time to value, which focuses on the customer’s experience and journey rather than internal processes.

This metric is something you’d use when evaluating your product or dev team’s efficiency. It’s a way of highlighting your ability to quickly develop and improve products/features.

Time To Revenue

Time to revenue measures the time it takes for your company to generate revenue from a new product. It provides insights into sales efficiency and product-market fit.

While time to revenue is related to time to value, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the customer’s experience or journey. It solely focuses on the company’s financial success.

Time to Profitability

Time to profitability is the cycle from when a customer signs up for your product to when they start generating revenue for your company. It’s typically used to determine the success of a business model and how long it takes to see a return on investment (ROI).

Time to Break-Even

Time to break-even is the amount of time between your product’s launch and when the company’s total costs equal total revenue generated. It helps determine the viability and sustainability of a product or business.

You can measure this metric from a customer-oriented standpoint as well by measuring your CAC payback.

Time to Conversion

Your time to conversion depends on which conversion you’re referring to. This could be the time it takes for a lead to convert into a customer or the time it takes for an upsell/cross-sell to occur. Or, it could be any type of conversion in your sales funnel.

Most companies consider time to conversion as a similar metric to sales velocity — that is, the time it takes for leads move through your sales pipeline and become customers. In general, an efficient sales process means closing leads that are a good fit for your product and, by extention, improving the chances of them realizing your product’s value sooner.

Time to Productivity

Time to productivity is an internal metric you’d use for your employees. It tells you how long it takes for new hires to become fully productive and efficient in their roles.

While this may not directly impact your customers, a faster time to productivity can result in improved customer experiences due to more knowledgeable and capable employees. Inadvertently, this raises your time to value.

Time to User Adoption

Time to user adoption is a specific form of time to value. However, it narrows down the focus to when customers start using your product’s core features and functionalities. It ignores other milestones on the customer journey and instead focuses on that tipping point where customers see value.

It’s important to measure how long this process takes for your customers so you can identify any barriers or pain points in their adoption process and work towards smoothing them out.

Time to First Value (TTFV)

Time to first value is one of the most critical TTV metrics because it tells you how long it takes for customers to receive value from your product for the first time. The faster they can see the first value, the more likely they’ll be to continue using your product and realize its full potential.

Time to Return on Investment (ROI)

Time to ROI is a financial metric that tells you how long it takes for your company or customers to see a return on their initial investment in your product. This can be measured from the perspective of both the company and the customer — from a TTV perspective, both parties technically have a financial stake in the product’s success.

How to Achieve Faster Time To Value

To accelerate time to value, you need to have a deep understanding of your customers’ goals, needs, and pain points. This requires constant communication and feedback loops to ensure you’re consistently delivering value.

Here are a few strategies that can help improve your time to value:

  • Create a comprehensive, streamlined onboarding process that educates customers on your product and its features.
  • Develop resources (like tutorials and product documentation) that help them get the most out of your product.
  • Include in-app walkthroughs, tooltips, and guided workflows to guide users through your product’s features.
  • Offer personalized support and, for complex deals, implementation and training services.
  • Continuously gather customer feedback and use it to improve your product’s user experience.
  • Regularly measure and analyze your TTV metrics to identify areas for improvement and track progress over time.

Beyond that, one of the most important things you can do is develop a minimum viable product (MVP). Continually refine it until your actual user flow reflects your customers’ needs precisely.

It’s also a good idea to integrate automation into your onboarding process on your end and your customers’.

For your customers, this might include automated email campaigns that guide them through product features or regular touchpoints to gather feedback.

For your team, it means automating manual tasks and gathering real-time analytics from each customer interaction to understand which features are most valuable and how they’re using them.

Key Takeaways on Time To Value

Perhaps the biggest takeaway here is that time to value isn’t just a customer success metric. It’s a company-wide metric that affects everything from your customers’ experiences and loyalty to your bottom line.

Furthermore, time to value has several components, including break-even, conversion, productivity, and user adoption Not all of these impact the customer directly, which is why it’s important to measure and analyze each one individually.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind:

  • Time to first value (TTFV) directly impacts time to next value, and so on. The faster they start seeing value, the more likely they’ll keep using your product.
  • Automation, personalization, and continuous improvement are key factors in accelerating time to value. 
  • You can’t rely solely on customer success and onboarding teams to improve time to value. It starts with sales and marketing, which attract and close qualified or unqualified customers. If they bring in unqualified customers, their chances of realizing value are slim.

By making an intentional effort to improve all your TTV metrics, you’ll optimize your sales, onboarding, support, and customer success processes. Ultimately, that results in happier customers who see the value in your product sooner.

People Also Ask

What is an example of time to value in SaaS?

Let’s say you’re running a project management software company. You just closed a new deal with a team of 10 people. Time to value in this case would be measured by how long it takes for all members of the team to start using all the features with autonomy, integrating it into their tech stack and workflows, and seeing tangible improvements in their project processes and efficiency.

What is time to value in CRM?

Time to value in CRM is the amount of time it takes for customers to start seeing the full benefits and value of using your CRM system. This could include things like improved customer data organization, more efficient sales processes, or better customer communication.

What is the difference between time to market and time to value?

Time to market refers to the amount of time it takes for a product to be developed and released into the market. Time to value, on the other hand, focuses on how long it takes for customers to see value from using that product. In other words, time to market is about the development process while time to value is about customer adoption and satisfaction.