What does Drinking Champagne have to do with building modern enterprise software?

When we brought together leading organizations and leaders in companies to create a modern, open, balanced measurement scorecard — the Open Customer Metrics Framework (OCMF) — there were some measures we called ’emerging measures’. These are measures we felt were important, but we didn’t really have specifics on how to capture them. I’ll walk through one of the more intriguing ones, and how we use this internally at Klever Insight.

Side note: For those of you not familiar with the term ‘drinking your own champagne’, it is an updated version of ‘eating your own dogfood’. In the very early days at Akamai, a potential customer who was about to commit to testing new software asked ‘Are you using it‘? The answer was no. Leadership immediately made the decision to test, use and deploy the software (and all subsequent software) internally first. While it was a painful exercise, I remember it vividly even today because it showed that we were willing to run our business on something that we were asking our customers to trust theirs on.

Back to emerging measures — specifically Customer Time to Value.

A quick recap:

Time to Customer Value = Time to Value (before sale) + Time to Value (after sale) + Time to Smile (after interruption).

It is measured in days.

Time to Smile was first mentioned here.

Let’s break it down.

Time to Value (before sale) is a measure of how quickly the customer sees value before they pay for your product or service. Measured in (negative) days.

How we add value before sale:
As part of paying it forward, we have talked to hundreds of leaders about the OCMF standard. The single biggest issue that innovative leaders face is knowing where they stand relative to the standard today. After all, in order to get to where you want to go, you need to know where you are. We aren’t consultants anymore, so we released a free self-assessment tool that allows organizations to see where they are in terms of OCMF.

A subset of people who download the free tool started a Proof of Concept of Klever Insight software (which can do so much more). The median time between first contact and starting the Proof of Concept was 90 days. We use this as a proxy for when the customer sees value from us before buying anything from us.

Time to value (before sale) negative 90 days.

Time to Value (after sale) is a measure of how quickly the customer sees value after they pay for your product or service. Measured in days.

We estimate the time a user of the software (manager or team leader) takes to see value is 60 minutes. However, in many cases it is even lower.

“We had blocked off one hour for me to learn the (Klever Insight) software. In 15 minutes, I knew how to use and administer it. I called my team in and trained them on how to use it in 30 minutes.

And I still had 15 minutes left over.”

Actual quote from senior manager.

Time to value (after sale) 1 hour.

Time to Smile (after interruption) is a measure of how quickly a customer has their ability to use the product/service interrupted  to the time they got back to a happy state. Measured in hours.

Based on 6 months of work with users in multiple continents, we have not seen a single ‘ticket’ for this. Yes, you read that right. Despite the managers and their teams supporting tens of thousands of customers and protecting millions of dollars in revenue. In the service world, this seems impossible. Recall that our software coaches managers on converting strategy to bite-sized steps that they can quickly and confidently do.

Time to Smile (after interruption) 0 hours.

So: Time to Customer Value = Time to Value (before sale) + Time to Value (after sale) + Time to Smile (after interruption).

Time to Customer Value =(-)90 days+ 1 hour + 0 hours

(-)89 days, 23 hours.

What’s interesting is that focusing on this emerging measure as we built the software allowed us to work across all groups to focus on time to customer value. This exercise also adds value to employees and the business as we don’t have to throw people and resources to wrangle complexity out of the system — we have worked to take as much out of the system from the very beginning.

Questions for you:

How does your software or service stack up with Time to Customer Value?

Do you drink your own champagne?

Leave a Reply