Somehow, 2020 has managed to both breeze by in an instant and drag on interminably at the same time. No one can deny it’s been a wild year. Some aspects have been good, others…not so much.
But regardless of how many things we could put in the “not great” category, this year has certainly seen some excellent articles on SaaS topics. With this roundup, we’re looking at SaaS metrics in particular.
Here are our 13 favorite reads about SaaS metrics from 2020.
North Star metrics help get everyone in a company working together toward a common goal. In this article, Mixpanel explains what a North Start metric is, why they’re so important, and how to find yours. Mixpanel’s crystal clear, step-by-step approach makes it easy to get the most out of North Start metrics for your company.
ChartMogul’s Ilia Markov takes a thorough look at one of the most important commercial metrics: annual contract value, or ACV. He goes over how to calculate it and, most importantly, how to use it to optimize your sales team.
“Measuring ACV accurately is the basis of any high-performing sales team. Do not overlook it.”– Ilia Markov
In this article, Maryna Sharapa shows how cohort analysis can help you increase your company’s lifetime value, improve A/B testing strategies, and boost customer retention rates. Better yet, she lays out exactly what you need to know to make that happen.
Even if you’re lucky enough to get outside funding for your SaaS startup, it doesn’t always last long. The key metric for determining fast you’re spending your cash is your “burn rate.” Victor Maia of SaaSholic is here to answer a few of the most common burn rate questions.
“…burn rate is a concept native to the changing and growing SaaS startup industry. When combined with other stats, this metric can become a powerful tool to describe your business’s broader capabilities and milestones.”– Victor Maia
Ilia Markov and ChartMogul earn themselves another spot on this list with an in-depth look at customer acquisition cost, or CAC. What is CAC? How do you calculate it? Why is it so essential for SaaS companies? Ilia’s brilliant post helps make it all clear.
This article from David Cummings is a double whammy. First, he gives a brief introduction to four ways you can calculate SaaS churn (with a bonus fifth option, too). Then, if you’re interested in learning more, you can take an even deeper dive by watching a presentation Dave Kellog gave on the same subject.
Churn is one of the most important metrics for any SaaS entrepreneur to take into account, so it should be no surprise we’d pick more than one article on this topic. Here, Kate Harvey of Chargify takes on several more ways to analyze your customer churn rate.
“If left unchecked, churn can truly be a SaaS killer. Understanding your churn metrics is the first step to reducing churn at your own SaaS.”– Kate Harvey
If you work at a SaaS company, you may already be familiar with the pirate metrics—acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and revenue. In this Appcues post, Ben Winter gets into the nitty-gritty of what they are, how to use them, and why he sees activation as the most important pirate metric for SaaS growth.
Understanding SaaS metrics is only the first step. In order to really reap the rewards they can offer your company, you have to know how to put them to work for you. While other entries on this list have touched on that aspect, this article from David Teten digs even deeper into how to get the most out of your SaaS metrics.
“The best CEOs run their companies by their metrics.”– David Teten
Establishing an effective data-driven product culture can make all the difference for SaaS growth. In this piece, Sachin Rekhi explains how weekly executive-level metrics reviews have helped him build that culture. Then, he lists exactly what you need to know to follow in his footsteps.
“I’m a firm believer that the best leaders don’t simply delegate and get out of the way. Instead, they establish strong systems of accountability as well as systems of inspection.”– Sachin Rekhi
If you want a truly comprehensive guide to SaaS metrics, David Skok has you covered. He covers just about every topic from the rest of this list, and then some. David answers any questions you may have and provides a detailed roadmap to improving your SaaS metrics game.
Who doesn’t love a tidy list of expert advice? Geckoboard’s Laura Tyson has compiled the best tips from venture capitalists on the 7 key metrics ever SaaS entrepreneur should be paying attention to. These insights are truly priceless—and backed by real-world results.
Enjoy these great reads!
Armed with the brilliant guidance these articles have to offer, you can enhance your growth strategy and achieve new heights in your SaaS journey. And good luck out there!