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2 minute read / Jun 4, 2013 /

Why You Should Be Measuring Time To Utility For Your Product

Do you measure your product’s time to utility? If not, you should.

The best products reward users as quickly as possible after installation and account creation. But it’s easy to forget about this and as a result, watch conversion rates from download/install-to-active fall.

CRM products have the longest time to utility of most software products. The end user, a salesperson, logs into a blank Salesforce installation. She must type in a bunch of data about a customer. If the customer account closes, great. But it’s not until twelve or eighteen months later when the customer considers renewal and she has to strategize how best to pitch the customer that this salesperson benefits from any of the data entered into the CRM.

On the other hand, sales managers' time to utility for CRM products is much faster. As soon as the team enters in the current pipeline data, he can see the sales forecast for the current month.

This difference in time to utility is one of the causes of the tension in adopting CRM tools. It’s present in many enterprise tools that generate reports for management because there’s a time-to-value mismatch between the roles.

Consumer products tend to offer faster time to utility: Google search, Facebook news feed, Twitter feed. Immediately after searching or logging in, the user receives some value: the right results or some relevant updates.

But if you think about the most frustrating software to use, by and large, the time to utility will be long and the magnitude of that utility will be small.

Measure your time to utility for all your product’s segments and try to minimize it. You’ll see the impact at every step of the conversion funnel.

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