4 ways cybersecurity startups can boost adoption and shorten time to value

The amount of time it takes for a user to realize and experience the value a product offers is known as time to value (often abbreviated as TTV). In a way, TTV is inversely proportional with adoption and directly so with churn — the less time it takes for a user to realize the value of your product, the higher the chances they will adopt it and the less likely they will churn.

Cybersecurity products are notorious for having a very long time to value. This is because historically, products in the space would fall into one of the three buckets:

  1. Sales-led, B2B enterprise-focused tools. Companies in this category would require several demos, sales calls and pre-qualifications before access to the tool could be granted. Then, after the sale is closed, onboarding or setup would need to be completed (often with a white-glove service) before the user could see the value of the product.
  2. Marketing-led, B2C tools. Companies in this category would employ fear-based marketing techniques to sell a “sense of security.” While a person would not necessarily be able to realize the product value right away, strong marketing could convince them that the tool keeps them safe.
  3. Open source tools. Unlike the previous category, products that could be categorized under this bucket were open, transparent and accessible. However, time-consuming manual deployment, setup and configuration would often be required before the value of the product could be realized.

However, this has been changing in the past few years due to the widespread adoption of SaaS and the product-led approach. People and companies are no longer willing to wait months before they can start seeing returns on their investment.

Instead of unleashing a ton of information about all your great features and capabilities, introduce new users to your product gradually.

The large number of vendors in the space, marketing buzz and the reliance on expert recommendations have made cybersecurity buyers cynical when evaluating new tools. One of the best ways to break through this cynicism is to show that users can accomplish something in five minutes when it used to take a few weeks. Short TTV is a powerful argument for people to spend more time exploring and further evaluating your product.

To increase adoption of PLG cybersecurity products, companies can take four steps:

  1. Increase the likelihood of people trying a product.
  2. Make it easy to get started.
  3. Help users understand the value of the product quickly.
  4. Measure and learn.

Increase the likelihood of people trying your product

Build trust with transparency

While the most obvious area to focus on when it comes to TTV is the onboarding experience’ you need to build trust long before onboarding.

To make it easy for a customer to take action, try to eliminate fear and ambiguity by being transparent about your product, its functionality and pricing. The easiest way to expose functionality is to make technical and support documentation easily accessible from your homepage.