100+ SaaS KPIs that drive Growth

Why SaaS growth management is challenging? The fact that there are over 100 KPIs that need to be tracked before you can truly say you have your finger on the pulse of the business gives you a big clue as to why.

To help, there are over 100 SaaS KPIs in this post to consider using.

100+ SaaS KPIs that drive Growth

Why SaaS growth management is challenging? The fact that there are over 100 KPIs that need to be tracked before you can truly say you have your finger on the pulse of the business gives you a big clue as to why.

To help, there are over 100 SaaS KPIs in this post to consider using.

KPIs Are Nuanced

The importance of KPIs is that they will not only show you what is going well, they can also be predictive of what is likely to provide you with challenges.

But KPIs are nuanced. For example, understanding which are Leading Indicators and which are Lagging Indicators of performance is key to mastering the art of being a metric driven business. A fall in the MQL to SQL conversion rate is a Leading Indicator and predicts a lower number of demonstrations, trials, closed-won deals and MRR.

You also need to understand which metrics have the potential to not be predictive and potential vanity metrics. Website Sessions is a good example of this. Sessions could rise yet not correlate with a rise is goal conversions.

Why KPIs & OKRs Work Together

KPIs and OKRs work brilliantly together.

Objective have multiple Key Results. Each containing a KPI that tells the story of your desired Objective.

For example, Organic Search is a great source of website traffic and goal conversions like sign-ups. Yet KPIs like Rank and Sessions from Organic Search can look healthy yet not translate to revenue. This means you need to balance KPIs like Sessions with goals like Sessions from Organic Search that convert to a Goal like Sign-ups.

Balancing KPIs with others is a skill. Take KPIs like the number of MQLs. This would be a better KPI if paired with MQL : SQL Conversion rates.

3 Checks To Do When Reviewing These SaaS KPIs

Below there are KPIs for SaaS teams. When looking through them have a thought for:

  1. Are you currently tracking this?
  2. Should you be tracking this?
  3. Should this KPI be in an OKR?

KPIs For Leadership

These are KPIs you’re likely to find in Board Packs, Investor Decks, and Company OKRs. What drives these KPIs is the Acquisition and Retention efforts of Marketing, Sales and Customer Success, and the Product and Engineering efforts needed to deliver a high value software solution to a valuable problem.

Number Of Customers / Accounts

The total number of customers / accounts.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

MRR is all of your recurring revenue normalized to a monthly amount.

MRR Growth Rate

The % Growth Rate of MRR.

Annual Recurring Revenue

ARR is the yearly version of MRR. It assumes there is no churn, new customers or growth. It’s literally MRR x 12.

Average Revenue Per Account (ARPA)

ARPA is the average MRR per account.

Billings

The money that is collected in the period and will be different from revenue due to timing.

Revenue

Revenue happens when the service is actually provided. To keep this simple it’s been assumed all the billings have been recognized in the same month, this is often not the case, and in the case of annual upfront payments we could only recognize 1/12 in any month. Also, real historic account values have not been used and instead new account ARPA has been used.

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

There are no Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) rules on the type of costs that are included in Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). It’s recommended you do not include: sales commissions, allocated overhead charges, customer success costs associated with cross-selling/up-selling, product development costs, third-party software use in-house for operations but not packaged in your product.

Gross Profit

This is the Revenue less the Cost of Goods Sold

Gross Margin %

For SaaS companies this is often targeted at over 80%

Total Operating Expenses

Typically includes: Sales & Marketing, Research & Development, General & Administrative, Professional Services

EBITDA

EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization is a measure of a company’s operating efficiency.

EBITDA %

EBITDA as a % of Gross Margin / Gross Profit.

Rule of 40

Your Y-on-Y MRR Growth rate + your Profit should add up to 40%. For maturing SaaS companies this is a good metric, but for early stage companies, whose Gross Profit metric may exceed 100% or more, founders should focus more on the unit economics.

SaaS Quick Ratio

A simple way to evaluate the growth efficiency of early-stage SaaS startups. A rule of thumb is that high-growth companies should aim for a Quick Ratio of 4 (meaning that for every dollar they lose in a month they add 4).

Revenue Per Employee

The best companies are able to maintain or even accelerate their revenue per employee. It indicates that the company is achieving economies of scale and understand the increasing or decreasing efficiency of the business.

Marketing KPIs

For company growth to occur you need to be able to scale your lead generation through Marketing. Not being able to scale acquisition is a common reason for low growth rates and SaaS failure. These are KPIs Marketing should be tracking. Many of these are perfect for use inside your OKRs.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

An index ranging from -10 to 10 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others.

Lifetime Value Of Customer (LTV)

The expected lifetime revenue from a new customer signed in the period.

Cost Of Acquiring Customer (CAC)

The amount it cost to acquire a customer during the period. Note that where the customer journey is long using the costs in the same month might not be optimal.

Cost Of Acquiring Customer (CAC) Ratio

The amount it costs to add $1 of Annual Contract Value. The 2016 Pacific Crest SaaS Survey Median CAC Ratio was $1.13

LTV to CAC Ratio

A measure of how much you make vs what it costs to acquire a customer – ideal is often quoted as >3.

Months to Recover CAC

A measure of how long it will take to recoup your sales and marketing investment.

Users

A user is a uniquely identifiable visitor to your website.

New User

A new user is a new uniquely identifiable visitor to your website.

Sessions

A session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. By default, a session lasts until there’s 30 minutes of inactivity, but you can adjust this limit so a session lasts from a few seconds to several hours.

Bounce Rate

A bounce is a single-page session on your site. Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.

Pages / Session

The average number of pages viewed during a session on your website.

Average Time On Page

The average amount of time spent on a page

Average Session Duration

Average session duration is: total duration of all sessions (in seconds) / number of sessions.

Organic Clicks

Organic Clicks are reported in Google Search Console

Average Position

Your Position in Google for a Keyword is reported in Google Search Console. This metric is for the Average Position.

Rank

The Search Engine Ranking Position for a Keyword or Average for a group of Keywords.

Backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites to your own content, and improve the authority of your website and Organic Search Traffic.

Mentions

Mentions are mentions of your brand and content from other 3rd party-content.

New Subscribers

New Subscribers that have opted-in to receive communications.

Total Subscribers

The total number of Subscribers that have opted-in to receive emails.

New Followers

New followers from a Social Network.

Total Followers

The total number of followers of a named Social Network.

Email Open Rate

Of the emails sent, this is the % that opened your email.

Email Clickthrough Rate

Of the emails sent, this is the % that clicked-through using a link.

Email Bounce Rate

Of the emails sent, this is the % that bounced.

Email Unsubscribe Rate

Of the emails sent, this is the % that unsubscribed.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate to a goal like Trial Sign-up.

Page Conversion Rate

The conversion rate % of a user completing a specific goal e.g. Trial Sign-up.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

The cost of a paid media click, usually an ad in media like Google Ads.

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

The cost of achieving the goal of acquiring new lead.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

The cost of achieving the goal of acquiring a new customer.

Goal Count

Goals measure how well your site or app fulfils your target objectives. A goal represents a completed activity, called a conversion, that contributes to the success of your business e.g. download, sign-up, demo request. For the selected goal, this is the count of the number of matching conversions.

Goal Conversion Rate (%)

Goals measure how well your site or app fulfills your target objectives. A goal represents a completed activity, called a conversion, that contributes to the success of your business e.g. download, sign-up, demo request. The Goal Conversion Rate % is conversion rate to the specific goal selected.

Solution Awareness

The level of awareness of your solution by your Ideal Customer Profile or Target Market.

Average Star Rating

The average review star rating of your product on a review website.

Review Count

The number of reviews.

Product Reviews

A review of your product on a review website or blog.

Leads

A lead is a prospect that needs to be qualified as a real sales opportunity. Once qualified, you convert the lead and the lead becomes an Account and Contact and Opportunity.

Lead Score

Lead scoring is a methodology used by sales and marketing departments to determine the worthiness of leads, or potential customers, by attaching values to them based on their behaviour relating to their interest in products or services.

Trial Sign-ups

The number of Trial-Sign-ups.

Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)

A marketing-qualified lead (MQL) is a website visitor whose engagement levels indicate that he is likely to become a customer.

MQL Discovery Calls Completion %

The % of MQLs that receive a completed Discovery Call.

MQL : SQL Conversion %

The conversion % of MQLs becoming SQLs.

Sales KPIs

Marketing have passed the baton and if you’ve a Sales Team, it’s your time to shine. These are KPIs that will allow you to assess Sales Performance and know where to focus your attention for Objectives like “Optimizing your Sales Pipeline”.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

A sales-qualified lead (SQL) is a prospective customer that has been researched and vetted — first by an organization’s marketing department and then by its sales team – and is deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process.

Demo Requests

The number of Demos requested by Leads.

Demo’s Booked

The number of Demos booked.

Demo’s Complete

The number of Demos completed.

Opportunity

An Opportunity is something associated with revenue. An Opportunity is neither a business, nor a person, but rather a quantifiable potential future sale.

SQL : Demo Booked Conversion %

The conversion % of SQLs to Demos Booked.

SQL : Demo Complete Conversion %

The conversion % of SQLs to Demos Complete.

Lead : Opportunity Conversion %

The conversion % of Leads becoming Opportunities.

Demo : Trial Sign-up Conversion %

The % of Demo’s that result in a Trial.

SQLs Per Rep

The average number of SQLs assigned to each Sales Rep during a month.

Closed Won

The value of Opportunities Closed Won.

SQLs to Closed Won Conv. Rate %

The conversion rate % of SQLs to Closed Won deals.

Closed Lost

The value of Opportunities Closed Lost.

Demo : Closed Won Conversion %

The conversion % of Demos becoming Closed Won.

Opportunity : Closed Won Conversion %

The conversion % of Opportunities becoming Closed Won.

Trial Sign-ups : Closed Won Conversion %

The conversion % of Trials becoming Closed Won.

Sales Velocity

Sales velocity measures how quickly you’re generating revenue. It captures the amount of time it takes to turn your SQL into revenue and is expressed as dollars per time period. Calculation: Sales velocity = (SQL Count * Deal Value * Conversion) / Sales cycle.

Quota Carrying Reps

The number of Sales Reps with a Sales Quota.

Rep Quota Attainment %

The % of Reps achieving Quota.

Ramped Rep Count

The number of Ramped Reps with a Pipeline that is delivering a full Sales Quota.

New Bookings At Total Contract Value 

New Bookings at Total Contract Value (TCV) is total value of new contracts signed in a given period. If the agreements have different lengths, it is the value of the full agreements not some arbitrary period.

Number Of New Customers / Accounts

The number of the new accounts signed in a given period.

Average New Contract Value

Average New Contract Value (ACV) is average Total Contract Value of new accounts signed in a given period.

% Of New Customers Paying 12 Months Upfront

The % of new accounts that have opted to pay for a long period upfront e.g. 12 months.

New Contract Average Months Up Front Payments

The average number of months a contract is paid up front by new customers which improves cash flow.

Average New Contract Length

The average length of new contracts signed in a given period.

Average Revenue Per Account (ARPA) – New Contracts

ARPA is the average MRR per account. We’ve used the ARPA for new accounts signed in the period here.

New Monthly Recurring Revenue

The MRR from new accounts signed in the period.

Customer Success KPIs

Customer Success are the champion of Customer inside your company, and as such care most about how best to help a customer succeed with your software.

The result of their single-minded focus on Customers should translate to revenue, because Customer Success are stakeholders in the creation of New MRR, and the Owners of KPIs that involve the retention of existing MRR, and MRR from Expansion Sales.

Trial Sign-ups : Closed Won Conversion %

The conversion % of Trials becoming Closed Won.

Churned Monthly Recurring Revenue

CMRR The MRR that has churned in the period due to cancellation or downgrades.

Expansion Monthly Recurring Revenue

The MRR that’s been earned through customer / account growth in the period e.g. upgrades.

Net New Monthly Recurring Revenue

The Net MRR in the period after Churn and Expansion have been taken into account.

% Of NNMRR From Expansion

The % of New MRR from Expansion Bookings

Number Of Churned Customers / Accounts

The number of accounts lost during a period.

Churned Monthly Recurring Revenue

The MRR that has churned in the period.

Gross MRR Churn %

The Gross MRR Churn expressed as a % of the starting MRR for the period.

Net MRR Churn %

The Net MRR Churn which includes Expansion MRR expressed as a % of the starting MRR for the period. If your Net MRR Churn is above 2% per month you have an issue. The median SAAS business loses about 10% of its revenue to churn each year and that works out to about 0.83% revenue churn a month (Tomasz Tunguz). Bessemer Venture Partners say that an acceptable churn rate is in the 5 – 7% range annually.

Annual Churn Rate Forecast

Annualized Net MRR %.

Customer / Account Churn %

The % of total accounts lost during a period.

Human Resource KPIs

KPIs are there for Humans. Human Resources are the link between Humans, Human Performance and Company Goals. As such, all KPIs are of interest to HR. There are also KPIs that are measures of HR performance.

Employee Retention Conversion %

The % of employees retained during a period.

Cost Per Hire

The average cost of hiring new employees.

Referred New Hires

The number of new hires referred by employees.

Absence Rate

The % of Absence Days to Working Days shows whether there’s improving health or decreasing health.

Employee Satisfaction

Employee Satisfaction is an Index that can me measured through internal surveys.

Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement is another Index that can me measured through internal surveys.

Internal Promotion Rate

The % of new positions filled by internal candidates.

Quality Hire Score

The rating managers give to new employees after their first review.

30, 90, 365 Day Quit Rate

The % of new hires that quit after 30, 90, 365 days is a guide to quality of hire, company and workplace health.

Product Management & Engineering

The strategy, prioritization and delivery of a Product that Marketing can Market, Sales can sell, and Customer Success can retain clients with by making them successful, in order to grow MRR in a fast, sustainable and scalable way, is the remit of Product and Engineering. Here are KPIs they own. They are also collaborators, with other teams KPIs requiring their support.

Customer Development Calls

A call with customers that match your Ideal Customer Profile to ascertain the problems they need solving that have a high level of value to them.

Development Resource

Allocation Conversion %
The proportion of Development Resource that is directed at specific areas e.g. Innovation, Technical Debt, Customer Requests.

Completed Sprints

The number of completed Sprints.

Completed Epics

The number of completed Epics.

Bugs

The number of Bugs Resolved. P0, P1, P2 etc.

Code Reviews

Code reviews are where developers systematically check each other’s code for mistakes, and has been repeatedly shown to accelerate and streamline the process of software development.

Daily Active Users

The Number of Users that are active in your application on a daily basis.

Customer Engagement Score

A measure of how engaged your customers are.

Owners And Collaborators of KPIs

The reality of KPIs is that lots of KPIs are influenced by more than one team. If you want to improve KPIs you often require cross functional teams.

This is why OKRs are a great evolution of KPIs. They allow for grouping of KPIs, targets to be et, parent child hierarchy, and ownership and collaboration.

ZOKRI is designed to allow you to define and manage your KPIs and use them in OKRs.

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