Time to Value: Why It’s a Killer Metric for Accounting Tech Startups

'Time to Value' is revolutionising accounting tech startups. Learn to measure and maximise this metric for rapid customer satisfaction and business growth.

Is your accounting tech startup spending enough time talking about 'Time To Value' or TTV? In a SaaS sector where delivering value is fundamental to your offering, you’d assume that TTV is baked into your KPI dashboard, right? But, in our experience, many software startups in the accounting sector are not tracking and measuring TTV effectively.

Ask your team this: ‘How long does it take for our customers to experience value in our product for the first time?’ If you don't know the answer, then getting a better grip on TTV and the focus of your value offering is probably long overdue. 

Let’s start by getting the lowdown on the true meaning of TTV – and why it’s a client experience and value performance metric that should be front and centre in your accounting tech dashboard. 

What the hell is Time To Value?

Time To Value (TTV) measures the time it takes for a customer to realise the benefits and value of your product or service – in this case, your accounting technology solution. 

In other words, TTV is a measurement of how long it takes your customer to go from ‘What’s this new app?’ to ‘We couldn’t live without this app!’. TTV is a key indicator of the effectiveness of your software, a barometer of customer satisfaction and a measure of how quickly your product becomes invaluable to your audience. 

It’s about how long it takes for your customers to:

  • Implement the software – this includes setting up the software, configuring settings, integrating with existing systems and training your end users.
  • Adopt the software – this involves users getting familiar with your software's features, integrating it into their daily workflows and relying on it for practice tasks.
  • Realise the benefits – if implementation and adoption is a success, your customers will start to experience the tangible benefits of the software. This could mean improved efficiency, increased productivity or greater practice automation.

The quicker you can move the implementation and adoption phases, the sooner your customers will get that warm, cosy feeling that ‘added value’ brings to the table. And turning your customers into rabid brand advocates is a major pathway towards growing the business.

What can tracking your TTV score bring to the table?

Why is TTV such a critical metric for your accounting tech startup? It’s all down to what it tells you about your customers’ perception of the product. 

Yeah, you want to have a solid pipeline of sales bringing in recurring revenue. But you also need those paying customers to get the value you’ve promised. If your tagline is ‘Transforming your practice management with smart AI tools’, you’d better bloody deliver on that value promise!

What your TTV score does is give you a way to quantify and drill down into that value proposition, so you can start refining, nuancing and improving your offering.

Shortening your TTV can lead to:

  • Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty – if you shorten your TTV, that’s a sign that customers are grasping the value in your solution more quickly. That enhances your customer satisfaction and helps you start creating loyal brand advocates.
  • Reduced customer churn and better retention – satisfied customers are less likely to churn and disappear off the radar, reducing your customer acquisition costs and making your whole operation a lot more profitable as a result. 
  • A boost in word-of-mouth marketing – if your customers are totally stoked with your product they’ll want to sing your praises from the rooftops. A true advocate will refer you to their mates and their network, helping you expand your customer base fast. 
  • Better data-driven decision-making – TTV data gives you golden insights into where your startup may need to up its game. That might mean upgrading your UI, adding missing product features or making the onboarding process a whole lot easier. 
  • A competitive advantage over other market players – in the super-competitive accounting tech market, a shorter TTV is a fundamental way to differentiate your startup from the competition. If your customers get to the value prize more quickly, that’s an edge that your competitors will find it very difficult to overcome.

What can you do to supercharge your TTV?

So, what does a shorter TTV tell you? Basically, it’s a great indication that your accounting tech solution is easy to implement, user-friendly and quickly delivers value to customers (in other words, you’re killing it!). Startups with a good TTV score are likely to have higher customer satisfaction, increased retention rates and incredible word-of-mouth marketing.

So, what can you do to boost that TTV number and start seeing better results?

Here are some core areas to focus on:

  1. Ease of implementation – make it as easy as possible for new customers to get up and running. Streamline the installation process, provide comprehensive documentation, and make sure your onboarding support is second to none.
  2. An intuitive user interface (UI) the simpler your UI is, the faster people can get up and running. Design a user-friendly UI that has clear navigation, consistent design patterns and context-sensitive help features to get new users out of trouble quickly.
  3. Quick wins and visible benefits – make it clear why your solution is the one to choose. Highlight the software's immediate value benefits, whether that’s automating repetitive tasks, reducing manual data entry or generating real-time financial insights.
  4. Training and support – top-notch training helps remove the hurdles when a firm first starts using a new solution. Offer comprehensive training resources, including tutorials, webinars and online communities, to help customers quickly grasp the software.
  5. Continuous improvement – your product never stands still, so make sure there’s a process of continuous development embedded into your culture. Get feedback from your customers, analyse usage data and do your utmost to address every single customer pain point, while delivering the ultimate customer experience. 

Let Journey send your TTV stratospheric

Boosting that TTV score should be high on your priority list, as the founder of an accounting tech startup. But being able to stand back and objectively judge where your solution is slowing down the all-important TTV score isn’t easy when you’re on the inside looking out.

At Journey we’re the experts in growth marketing for the accounting tech sector. So we know exactly what’s going to shorten that TTV time and get your accountant audience paying attention. 

Partnering with us helps you:

  1. Shake up the accounting technology sector
  2. Elevate and streamline your marketing efforts
  3. Amplify your presence in the accounting niche

Get in touch to find out how Journey can shorten that TTV time, transform your customer experience and help you start delivering explosive growth for your accounting tech startup.

Let’s talk about TTV

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Australian Accounting Events Suck! But They Don’t Need To

How do we revamp Australian accounting events for maximum impact, and how did we get here?

Australian accounting events are in a dire state. I'm not here to highlight the problems; I'm here to advocate for real change. 

The current landscape is bleak – events are becoming increasingly stale, un-engaging, and frankly, a complete waste of time and resources.

Vendors are pouring money into events that accountants and bookkeepers simply don't want to attend. More concerning is the trend of every vendor wanting to host their own event next year. I've heard this sentiment echoed at least nine times in the last three months alone. This is a recipe for disaster – a proliferation of micro-events all vying for the attention of the same audience, leading to even more poorly attended gatherings.

The content being served up is underwhelming at best, often feeling like a rehashed webinar from the week prior. Like many of you, I'm utterly fed up with the same old talks and lacklustre networking opportunities.

So, what's the solution? Here are a few thoughts on how conference organisers can truly shake things up:

1. Cut the Crap (Content)

We need real, actionable content. No more theoretical fluff. Give us the nitty-gritty details on how to navigate significant changes within a firm, such as exiting a partner, buying into a firm, or flipping 3,000 clients to the cloud. Show us the step-by-step process, the challenges faced, and how they were overcome. Don't just tell us the grass is greener; show us how to tend to the soil.

2. Networking That Matters (Hold my gin)

It's time to rethink networking. We need curated meetups with purpose, not just awkward gatherings with a limited bar tab. 

Create environments where meaningful conversations can happen, and ensure there's a fun element too. Accountants and bookkeepers want to enjoy themselves, not shout over a dated rock band or play pin the tail on the idiot.

3. Hands-On Skill Workshops (Deep & Practical)

Attendees should leave with practical skills they can immediately apply. Workshops should cover mastering accounting tech usage, effective client communication strategies, and navigating complex regulatory changes. Real skills for real-world application are what's needed.

The frustration from both vendors and professionals is palpable. Conference organisers have the budget and capability, yet often seem out of touch or too focused on who's paying for stage time. I understand it's a business, but it's high time for a change. The heavily discounted stands I've seen recently are a clear indicator that it's time to either step up or step out.

We're at a tipping point. It's time to transform these events from snooze-fests into valuable, engaging experiences that truly add value to our professional lives. Let's not settle for mediocrity. It's time for a revolution in Australian accounting events.

Following this call to action, a question has been circulating:

"Trent, I hear you're running your own accounting events this year. Is that true?"

Let me address this directly:

No, I'm not.

At this point in time, I'm not remotely interested.

If last year I vocalised how dire the state of accounting events is in Australia (and some of you mentioned abroad as well), then it stands to reason that adding more events into the mix is not the solution we need.

So, no.

Not right now. The last thing I want to do is add the wrong fuel to this already blazing fire.

What we need is a reset, which, in my opinion, means fewer events, not more. A few of these large-scale events will need to fail and exit the scene first. We need to let the dust settle, focus on our businesses, our client work, and perhaps then we'll be ready for something new.

The draw card for future events should not just be innovative content. The need for community, fun, and bringing people together will likely be a bigger attraction. Building connections and shared learning experiences with your crew holds more value than a big-box event with 100 talks, where 70% come with a sales pitch disclaimer.

So, if you've been wondering what my stance is on the future of accounting events, there you have it. Now you know.

The path forward should be about quality, not quantity. We need to create spaces where real learning, meaningful connections, and genuine enjoyment are the priorities. Let's focus on making the few events we do have count, rather than flooding the calendar with more of the same. It's time for a change, and it starts with us demanding more from the events we choose to invest our time and resources in.

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The Golden Rule of SaaS Pricing: Keep It Simple, Idiot!

Simplify your SaaS pricing for clarity and growth. Break free from complexity. Your customers deserve transparency.

If your client can't figure out how much your SaaS app will cost them in the next 5-10 seconds, we've got a problem. Okay, okay, I'm not really mad. I still love you. But let's be real, pricing for your SaaS needs to be as simple as ABC for everyone involved - prospects, leads, and your loyal customers.

Just yesterday, I found myself tangled in two separate conversations about pricing. Despite our best intentions, we often end up in the same predicament. It seems we're caught between a rock and a hard place, trying to extract maximum value or making it easy for clients to scale with our solution. Ironically, figuring out the price turns out to be the hardest part.

Here's the thing - customers don't lose sleep over the mechanics of your pricing. What keeps them up at night is wondering:

- How much is this going to cost me every month?

- How does this fit into my budget?

- Does the cost justify the value I'm expecting to receive?

- Is this price set in stone, or should I expect some surprises?

If your client is scratching their head trying to work out your pricing, you're already on the back foot. They're not pondering whether to buy; they're stuck on "how much does this thing cost?"

So, what's the fix? I won't sugarcoat it - pricing is a beast. 

You've got a ballpark figure of what you want to make. You've got estimates on product usage. So, draw a line in the sand and present a three-tier package: small usage + users, medium + advanced functionality, and large + custom options.

Aim to place your desired average monthly recurring revenue (MRR) at either the entry-level or the middle tier, then upsell the rest. Granted, this advice is pretty broad and might not fit everyone's bill. And if it doesn't work for you? 

Well, that's not my problem. 😂

But if you're constantly getting feedback that your pricing model is as clear as mud, it's time for a rethink. Yes, simplifying your pricing is tough. But right now, you're making it tough for your customers or potential customers. We need to shift the burden from them to us.

And you know what? That's perfectly fine. You're resilient. You're capable. You'll crack this nut. So, here's to making things simpler. For everyone.

Transparency is key. Your pricing structure shouldn't be a puzzle that clients need to solve. It should be straightforward, allowing them to quickly assess the value of your product against its cost. This clarity not only enhances the customer experience but also builds trust. When clients feel confident in understanding what they're paying for, they're more likely to invest in your product.

Moreover, consider the psychological aspect of decision-making. 

A complex pricing model can lead to decision fatigue, where too many options or unclear costs lead to indecision or avoidance. Simplifying your pricing not only aids in quicker decision-making but also reduces the cognitive load on your clients, making them more inclined to proceed with a purchase.

So, take a hard look at your pricing model. 

Is it as clear as daylight? Does it facilitate or hinder your sales process? 

Remember, the goal is to make it as easy as possible for your clients to say "yes." By demystifying your pricing, you're not just easing their decision-making process; you're also setting the stage for a smoother customer journey and, ultimately, fostering long-term relationships.

Happy hunting, and good luck. Remember, keep it simple, idiot!

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What did SaaS vendors get right in their GTM strategy in 2023?

Discover key GTM insights from Journey's 2023 success with global Accounting SaaS vendors.

In 2023 we worked with more than 20 vendors. We helped them to execute their GTM strategy in the accounting industry here in Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa and North America. 

Over the last 12 months I saw a lot of things that worked really well. And I saw a lot of things that made me want to bang my head against the wall until the pain went away.

At Journey, we've had a big year of experimentation and strategy refinement. 

Today I’m breaking down my key takeaways from 2023 on what worked well for the Accounting SaaS community, or at least for the vendors we were working with.

My goal here, whether you work with Journey or not, is to help you think through all the areas of your GTM strategy, what are you gaps, what is your opportunity and what are you digging into in Q1 of 2024 to get back on track. 

Let’s break it down.

1. Deeply Understand Your Customer

It's startling how many businesses overlook this. 

Last year, we went the extra mile by asking our clients' customers about their product usage, the problems it solves, and their overall experience. 

Our approach was comprehensive. We conducted detailed interviews and surveys, asking pointed questions about how they use our clients' products, the specific problems these products solve, and their overall experience. 

This wasn't a superficial exercise; we delved into the nuances of their responses, seeking to understand not just the 'what' but the 'why' behind their usage.

The insights gained from this exercise were eye-opening. We learned that what we thought were the key features of a product weren't always aligned with the customer's perspective.

In some cases, features we considered minor were actually making a significant impact on the customers' day-to-day operations. This revelation was a game-changer in how we approached messaging and positioning for our clients.

You absolutely need to start the year by doing customer research. Write it down.

We offer this as a service and would be more then happy to show you through how we were able to capture over 400 pieces of product feedback in the past few months for our clients.

2. Active and Diverse Funnel Activities

How often are you engaging with your prospects?

Relying on a single channel for marketing is a strategy that will likely fail. It's important to keep a mix of activities – both big and small – to maintain a healthy and consistent funnel.

Social media alone won't cut it, email marketing alone doesn't cut it, that FaceBook group that had 7 people tag your solution alone doesn't cut it.

The magic happens when these channels work together. 

Imagine a potential customer seeing your brand on social media, then receiving a well-crafted email that addresses their specific needs, followed by an invitation to an exclusive webinar. 

This approach creates multiple touchpoints, each reinforcing the other, and keeps your brand top-of-mind for prospects. The same happens when you start partnering with other brands that operate in the same channel.

Moreover, this strategy allows for flexibility and adaptability. 

Different segments of your audience might prefer different channels, and a multi-channel approach lets you cater to these preferences. 

It also enables you to test and learn which combinations of channels and content types work best for different audience segments.

This is a core offering at Journey. This is the majority of work we are rolling out and implementing for our clients at the moment.

3. A Disciplined Sales Team

The effectiveness of your sales team hinges on their structure and discipline. 

We've seen the best results when roles are clearly defined – for instance, separating the responsibilities of SDRs (Sales Development Representatives) and BDMs (Business Development Managers). 

Having someone do both the SDR work and BDM work, as in, all the call and all the demos will be ineffective, compared to 2 people splitting the work and focusing on just making calls and/or just doing demos.

This specialisation allows each team member to focus and excel in their area, significantly improving efficiency and deal closures.

Keep it simple and the results will flow. I do a lot of consulting on sales functions and getting this process right. 

We’ve seen amazing results with some clients seeing a 206% lift in revenue in 2023 alone after we made changes to their sales and marketing flow.

4. Innovative Customer Interactions

Customer engagement methods are evolving rapidly. 

We've embraced webinars, interactive demos, and other innovative interaction methods to keep our engagements memorable and accessible. 

Webinars, for instance, offer a platform not just for education but for prospect interaction. 

They allow you to delve into key themes and topics, showcase your expertise, and most importantly, engage in real-time with your audience. 

Similarly, interactive website demos have transformed from standard presentations to dynamic, tailored experiences where prospects can see firsthand how your solutions can solve their specific problems straight on the website, before they’ve even spoken to anyone.

Integrating these interactions with your CRM can provide invaluable insights and streamline your sales processes.

We implemented a number of interactive demo’s last year and the results were crazy, in the first month alone, a brand new solution we helped launch had 400 interactions inside the first 30 days, before converting roughly 20% - without even speaking to the on the phone.

5. Seamless Transition Between Teams

A critical yet often neglected aspect is the handover between marketing, sales, and customer success teams. 

This transition should be smooth and well-coordinated, with each team understanding their role in the customer journey. Automating these handovers in your CRM can prevent manual errors and ensure a seamless experience.

By automating the process, you eliminate the risk of human error – no more missed emails or forgotten follow-ups. 

This automation ensures that every piece of critical information is captured and made available to the right team at the right time. 

Furthermore, it allows for a smoother transition of the customer through different phases of their journey, from initial engagement with marketing to sales negotiation, and finally to ongoing support from the customer success team.

6. A Functioning CRM: The Heart of Sales and Marketing

Last year, I encountered too many SaaS vendors struggling with disconnected systems. A cohesive CRM system is non-negotiable. 

It should be the central hub where your sales and marketing efforts converge and should be well-integrated with your website and other tools.

We’re officially Hubspot implementation partners. This is our weapon of choice but we play nice with all systems. We find Hubspot does an amazing job of bringing visibility and cohesion in your GTM team. 

Final thoughts

These insights are more than just observations; they are the foundation of a robust GTM strategy. 

If your current GTM strategy doesn't align with these points, it's time for a change. 

At Journey, we specialise in crafting and refining these strategies to help you scale your sales and marketing efforts.

If you're looking to enhance your approach in 2024, let's have a conversation. 

This is what we do

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