Impact Pricing Blog

Q&A: Top 5 Pricing KPIs for SaaS companies

Question:  What are the top 5 pricing metrics/KPIs that SaaS companies should track? Thanks, Tim

Answer:  Nothing like a hard question Tim.  ????  Of course, the answer is “it depends”.  Here are a couple of answers.

In the first year or so of a product, you must be tracking the Viability Metric = Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)/Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).  You need to get that metric over 3 before you aggressively spend resources on sales and marketing. To get to that number you need to track the right KPIs.

The Top Pricing Metrics for SaaS Companies:

  1. Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
  2. Monthly Recurring Revenue Churn Rate
  3. Gross Margin
  4. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  5. Net Dollar Retention Rate (NDR)

Pricing Metric: Viability

Let’s say you find your viability metric is less than 3.  That means you have to raise LTV or lower CAC. Probably the single best way to do this is focus your market segment.  Having a viability metric over 3 says you have product-market-PRICE fit.

Customer Acquisition

Once you’ve proven viability, then you want to shift more of your attention toward customer acquisition. In this phase, you need to win new customers as quickly as possible.  You’re probably looking more at conversions as a key performance indicator.  Price plays a big role here.  Don’t take your eye off the viability metric until it’s well over 3 (if ever).

This is also the phase where you should put more resources behind retention, keeping your customers happy and buying.  All churned customers deserve a call to find out why.

Expansion

Price plays a big role in these first two phases, but it plays a HUGE role in the final phase, expansion.

The best companies find ways to get their current customers to pay more.  The key metric here is Net Dollar Retention Rate (NDR).  To calculate this, you take a cohort of subscribers, say everyone who is a subscriber as of January 1, and look at the total MRR from them in the month of December.  Multiply the December MRR times 12 and you get how much money you should make from them this year if nobody churns or buys more.  If that’s exactly what you sell to them this upcoming year, then you have a 100% NDR rate.

Your goal is to get the NDR rate greater than 100.  Zoom, in the S-1 for their IPO, demonstrated an NDR rate of 140%.  Remember, that includes any customers in the cohort that churned out. Pretty impressive.

Pricing

Pricing plays a HUGE role in getting NDR over 100.  Pricing plays a role in in how you determine prices for different market segments, choosing the right pricing metrics and creating good, better, best packaging.

You will also want to watch other KPIs to see where the NDR comes from.  How much of your expansion revenue came from upsell, cross-sell and/or usage?  Then, put programs in place to grow one at a time and measure the results.

This probably isn’t the answer you expected, but I hope it helped.

**Note: Mark Stiving has an active LinkedIn community, where he participates in conversations and answers questions. Each week, he creates a blog post for the top question. If you have a question, head over to LinkedIn to communicate directly with Mark.

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