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SaaS metrics that matter (Image by Octobits)

Octobits Blog – We all know how metrics are more than just numbers; they are essential indicators that guide strategic decisions and resource allocation.

These key performance indicators (KPIs) provide valuable insight into various aspects of a SaaS company’s operations.

For example, they help assess the effectiveness of customer acquisition and retention strategies, whether marketing campaigns are resonating with potential customers, and whether existing customers are finding value in the product or service.

In addition, these KPIs illuminate the company’s financial health, indicating revenue generation, profitability, and growth trajectory.

Tracking these metrics also fosters a culture of continuous improvement within the organization.

By regularly monitoring KPIs, SaaS companies can identify areas where they excel and areas that need attention, allowing them to make data-driven adjustments to their strategies, processes, and product offerings.

So, shall we get into the details of SaaS metrics?!

What are SaaS Metrics and Why They Important?

SaaS metrics are ways of measuring how well a SaaS business is doing. They can be anything from financial things like revenue and customer lifetime value (CLTV) to operational things like churn rate and customer acquisition cost (CAC).

They’re really useful for SaaS companies because they give them a data-driven understanding of their business’s performance, its direction, and its overall health.

For SaaS companies, these metrics are really useful for making key business decisions.

For instance, understanding the churn rate can lead to better customer service or product enhancements to help customers stay with you longer.

Metrics also allow businesses to measure their progress against their strategic goals.

If revenue growth is not meeting expectations, a company might need to amp up its sales tactics or marketing activities.

Additionally, these metrics help spot trends in customer behavior and market conditions, enabling companies to proactively adjust their strategies.

If customer acquisition costs are going up, it might be time to try a different marketing approach or optimize current campaigns.

By analyzing metrics, companies can find and fix inefficiencies, like in customer support or billing processes.

Plus, if you know these metrics inside and out, it makes you look good to potential investors.

It shows you’re committed to data-driven decision-making and that you’re ready to take on future funding.

Kindly readBest Tools for Automating SaaS Subscription Processes: Future of Profit, for perspective about SaaS tools.

Key SaaS Metrics to Track

Now, let’s look at the key SaaS metrics that form the basis of your business analysis. These metrics give a clear picture of your core operations and financial health.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

MRR is the predictable monthly revenue generated from your subscribers. 

This metric is key to figuring out how stable your revenue stream is and making smart decisions about how to attract and keep customers.

MRR is calculated by multiplying the number of active subscribers by the average revenue per account (ARPA) or average revenue per user (ARPU). This calculation helps us keep track of our finances month by month and is really important for understanding how our business is growing and doing financially.

There are different types of MRR, including New MRR, which comes from new subscribers; Expansion MRR from existing customers who upgrade; Churn MRR from cancellations; Reactivation MRR from returning customers; and Contraction MRR from downgrades. Net New MRR combines these factors to show whether the company is growing or shrinking overall.

Plus, MRR helps you evaluate other important financial metrics like Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV). This gives you a complete picture of the financial situation and helps you manage resources effectively.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)

In the world of SaaS, Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) is a metric that shows how much money a company can expect from a single customer over the course of their relationship.

To calculate CLTV, you need to understand how much revenue each customer generates on average.

This can be done by looking at things like Average Revenue Per Account (ARPA) and by taking into account things like customer churn rate and how long they’ve been using the service.

One way to figure out CLTV is to divide the ARPA by the churn rate. This shows how many customers leave over a specific period.

This formula shows you exactly what you can expect to make from each customer as long as they keep using the service.

Another way to get the CLTV is to multiply the ARPA by the average customer lifespan.

This is the number of months or years a customer stays with you. This gives you a perspective that takes into account how long customers stick around.

SaaS companies need to understand CLTV, because it affects decisions about marketing spend, sales strategies, and product development.

It helps you figure out how profitable your customer relationships are and adjust your acquisition strategies accordingly.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is the total cost of getting a new customer, including marketing and sales expenses. 

This metric is a great way to assess the effectiveness of your marketing and sales strategies. It shows you how much you’re spending to acquire each new customer.

Knowing your company’s CAC means figuring out how much you need to spend on customer acquisition and seeing if that’s paying off with customers who are worth the investment.

For instance, let’s say a company finds that it’s spending a lot more money to get a customer than that customer is actually worth to them (measured by Customer Lifetime Value or LTV). If that’s the case, it might need to tweak its acquisition strategies or pricing model to stay afloat.

Businesses often compare CAC to LTV in the LTV:CAC ratio to see if CAC is efficient. If you want to get a detailed understanding of the ratio, you can read “The Metrics SaaS Investors Care About Most” by SaaSCan.

A healthy ratio is usually around 3:1, meaning the lifetime value of a customer is three times the cost of acquiring them.

This ratio helps businesses determine how much they’re making back on their investment in new customers and ensure their long-term profitability.

There are a few ways to manage and optimize CAC. One is to focus on cheaper acquisition channels.

Another is to improve conversion rates along the sales funnel. And another is to make sure that pricing strategies align with customer acquisition costs.

Churn Rate

The churn rate is the percentage of customers who cancel their subscriptions within a given time frame.

It’s a way to assess customer satisfaction and loyalty and is crucial for shaping customer retention strategies.

A high churn rate could be a sign that customers aren’t happy with the product or service, that customer support isn’t good enough, or that competitors have better offerings.

Conversely, a low churn rate often means the product or service is a good fit for the market and that businesses have effective retention strategies in place.

This allows them to focus more on growth rather than constantly replacing lost customers.

To calculate the churn rate, divide the number of customers who left during a specific period by the total number of customers at the beginning of that period, then multiply by 100 to get a percentage.

If you start with 500 customers and lose 25 in a month, the churn rate would be 5%.

For SaaS companies, it’s usually best to aim for an annual churn rate of 5% or lower.

Anything higher can really slow down growth and stability. Monitoring both customer and revenue churn gives you a full picture of how retention efforts affect your company’s financial performance.

Customer Engagement Score (CES)

The Customer Engagement Score (CES) measures how often and deeply a customer interacts with a product.

It’s all about assigning values to different customer activities or events. These could include logging in, using specific features, or upgrading accounts.

To calculate the CES, you have to identify the key user activities that show how engaged they are, then assign a number to each one based on how important it is. Then, you track these activities over time.

For instance, a high-value action like upgrading an account might score higher than just viewing a dashboard.

So, the engagement score for each customer is just the sum of these weighted activities.

This score is linked to customer satisfaction, retention, and revenue. Engaged customers are more likely to stick around and recommend the product.

In real life, a high CES means customers are really engaged and happy with the product. A low score might show that some customers are at risk of leaving.

If you analyze and optimize your CES, you can come up with better product strategies and ways to communicate with customers. This will make your customers happier and more likely to stick around.​

You can checkHow to Manage Multi-Tenant SaaS Solutions Effectively: A Wake-Up Call for details about managing multi-tenant.

Advanced SaaS Metrics

Once you’ve got the hang of the basics, now let’s move on to more advanced SaaS metrics to get a better understanding of how your business is doing.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a widely recognized metric used to assess customer loyalty and satisfaction.

This tool functions by surveying customers on their likelihood of recommending a company’s product or service to others. Customers’ responses are categorized into three groups:

  • Promoters: Who are enthusiastic and likely to act as brand advocates
  • Passives: Who are satisfied but not enthusiastic
  • Detractors: Who are unhappy and may discourage others from choosing the product.

The NPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

A higher NPS suggests that a company enjoys substantial customer advocacy, which can drive organic growth through referrals, enhancing the company’s reputation and attracting new customers.

Quick Ratio

The SaaS quick ratio is a key financial metric for gauging a SaaS company’s growth efficiency.

It compares new and expanded MRR against lost MRR due to customer churn and downgrades.

A high quick ratio means a company is doing a good job of growing its revenue while keeping losses low, which is key for sustainable business growth.

To calculate the quick ratio, you just add up the new MRR and expansion MRR—that’s revenue from new sign-ups and upgrades, respectively—and then divide this total by the sum of churned MRR (lost revenue from cancellations) and contraction MRR (revenue lost from downgrades).

Let’s say a SaaS company brings in $900,000 from new and upgrading customers, but loses $225,000 due to churn and downgrades. In that case, the quick ratio would be 4 ($900,000 / $225,000), which shows strong growth efficiency.

This metric is really important to investors because it shows how well a company can grow its revenue faster than it loses customers.​

How Octobits Supports Managing SaaS Metrics

We at Octobits are here to simplify your process. Our platform streamlines the way you manage and analyze your data, making it easier to get a clear picture of your business’s performance.

Octobits acts as your central command center, gathering all your crucial SaaS metrics into one convenient location.

This means you can easily track your progress, identify trends, and spot opportunities for improvement without getting bogged down in spreadsheets and scattered reports.

But Octobits does more than just collect data. It transforms raw numbers into actionable insights, helping you understand what’s working and what’s not.

This empowers you to make smarter decisions, optimize your strategies, and ultimately achieve greater success in the competitive SaaS landscape.

Whether you’re tracking customer acquisition costs, monitoring churn rates, or evaluating customer lifetime value, Octobits provides the tools and insights you need to take your SaaS business to the next level.

Conclusion

Those metrics give you a good overview of how the company is doing, how happy customers are, and its financial situation. So, you should definitely use those metrics.

But please remember, the world of SaaS is always in flux, so staying on top takes some serious learning and improvement.

So, get comfortable with the data, track your progress, and let these metrics show you the way to success in SaaS.