Growth & Customers

Business Growth Tracking Strategies for SaaS Startups

Unlock the secrets to business growth for SaaS startups with our expert guide. Learn how to effectively track your progress and achieve success.

Are you a SaaS CFO looking to partner with your CRO and CTO to grow your startup? Tracking the growth of your business is essential for making collaborative informed decisions and staying on top of your game. In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of tracking business growth for SaaS startups and how you can do it effectively.

We’ll get into the key metrics that matter when tracking your business growth, like customer and revenue churn, customer lifetime value, and customer acquisition cost. We’ll also give you insights into how leveraging these metrics can drive customer retention and help you scale faster. 

Let’s dive in and learn how you can ensure the success of your SaaS startup by getting granular about growth.

Understanding the importance of tracking business growth for SaaS startups

Tracking the growth of your SaaS startup is essential for measuring success against expectations and making data-driven decisions. By effectively tracking growth, you can identify areas for improvement and optimize your strategies accordingly.

Regularly checking your revenue growth or retraction provides valuable insights into: 

  • Cash flow
  • Customer retention
MRR data for a SaaS company.
  • Acquisition rates 
  • User sentiment

Minding your metrics isn’t sufficient in and of itself, though. Your method of tracking matters every bit as much as whether you monitor your KPIs in the first place. Cloud-based accounting software with AI allows CFOs to engage with their metrics in real time, so you can immediately respond to financial threats and opportunities.

Additionally, tracking your SaaS growth metrics enables you to benchmark your performance against industry standards and see how you stack up against other SaaS companies in your market. After all, how can you know if you’re winning your market without benchmarking against the competition?

As a CFO, analyzing business growth for your SaaS startup isn’t merely about numbers and statistics. It’s about gaining actionable insights that drive strategic decisions, ultimately leading to higher valuations and continued success. By monitoring key metrics and leveraging business analytics, you can navigate the ever-changing landscape of the SaaS industry and position your business for sustainable growth.

Let’s look a bit more closely at the responsibilities and expectations of today’s SaaS CFOs as they relate to growth management. 

The SaaS CFO’s role in tracking and optimizing business growth

As a CFO, you play a crucial role in tracking the growth of your SaaS organization. You have the responsibility of overseeing financial metrics, analyzing revenue streams, and identifying growth opportunities.

Effective collaboration with other stakeholders at your company is paramount as a finance leader. From budgeting to board meeting prep, campaign management, and much more, today’s SaaS businesses rely on streamlined and centralized data and communication. You can make that a reality by getting rid of data silos in your organization.

ASC 606 compliance is also a key area where you provide guidance and support. Regulatory compliance may not seem related to SaaS growth, but it is in at least two ways:

  • Growth costs money. Compliance fines tend to be hefty, cutting back on the capital you can put toward scaling.
  • By optimizing ASC 606 compliance with cloud-based accounting, you free up significant amounts of time and cash to put toward growth initiatives.
Automated ASC 606 data for a SaaS company.

Beyond that, your understanding of venture capital and private equity firms can help secure funding for expansion. The role of the CFO goes beyond just tracking financials – you’re a vital contributor to the business’s overall success.

Key metrics for tracking business growth in SaaS startups

Your SaaS growth metrics provide objective guideposts for measuring the results of your company’s collective efforts and gauging its momentum. 

Below, we cover four of the most important metrics for measuring and improving your growth rate and optimizing the SaaS scaling process.

RELATED: Automation, metrics, and MUD: a CFO’s guide to SaaS success

Customer churn and its impact on growth

Customer churn–also known as logo churn–directly impacts the growth of SaaS startups. It represents lost revenue and potential future growth opportunities that may go unrealized. 

When customer churn is high, it indicates customer dissatisfaction or ineffective retention strategies. By reducing your company’s churn rate, you’ll increase customer retention and unlock greater revenue potential.

Analyzing churn patterns is crucial for identifying problems and referring at-risk users to your customer success team. Early intervention can often be enough to solve the issue if you catch it in time. 

For SaaS CFOs, there’s another reason to closely monitor and prevent churn. Venture capital firms, private equity firms, and other potential investors care deeply about churn rates. Investors want to put their capital where it can enjoy the highest ROI. Sizable churn rates indicate a risky and unprofitable investment.

So if your company has high logo churn, you may face challenges in attracting funding and achieving higher valuations. Cloud-based accounting software helps CFOs keep churn to the bare minimum through sentiment analysis and early outreach to dissatisfied users.

Revenue churn and its significance

Revenue churn refers to the measurement of recurring revenue loss from existing customers. It plays a crucial role in highlighting issues with customer retention and revenue stability. Reducing your organization’s revenue churn can significantly enhance revenue predictability and overall cash flow.

Tracking revenue churn also allows CFOs to identify factors contributing to customer dissatisfaction, helping you address and resolve these issues effectively. As with logo churn, early problem identification followed by a swift intervention from customer success is the golden ticket to reducing revenue churn.

Additionally, revenue churn analysis provides valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions around product development.

For SaaS companies, revenue churn is a vital metric that directly impacts your financial health and growth potential. Investors carefully consider revenue churn when evaluating investment opportunities and company profiles.

To potential investors, a high revenue churn rate may suggest a less-than-stellar user experience, leading to lower valuations and hindering your growth prospects. Monitoring and addressing revenue churn is essential for lasting business growth and achieving higher valuations.

Understanding customer lifetime value (CLTV)

Customer lifetime value (CLTV) quantifies the monetary value that customers bring to your SaaS startup over their subscription lifespan. By determining the profitability of acquiring and retaining customers, CLTV helps startups gauge the success of their customer relationships and identify their most profitable user segments.

A higher CLTV indicates strong potential for upselling or cross-selling since satisfied customers are always easier to sell to than fresh prospects. Startups can effectively allocate resources and prioritize customer acquisition strategies by closely monitoring CLTV.

On a side note, measuring your metrics with AI-based software allows for real-time visibility and feedback. By eliminating the lag that often exists in traditional accounting departments, you can evaluate the ROI of your organization’s sales and marketing efforts in real time.

The importance of SaaS customer acquisition cost (CAC) 

Evaluating the cost of acquiring new customers is crucial to gauging your company’s financial health. CAC analysis gives your company insight into the effectiveness of its marketing and sales strategies since successful campaigns invariably result in lower acquisition costs. 

Your CAC impacts your business growth in several ways:

  • Finding and focusing on customer segments with a low CAC is a very organic way of saving money and can be especially useful in tough times.
  • A low CAC is something that investors always look for.
  • The lower your CAC gets, the more cash you have for product development, market research, increased hiring, or anything else you’ve got on the horizon.

Not only does this metric improve profitability, but it also enhances business sustainability. By analyzing CAC, you can identify your most effective acquisition channels to better allocate your resources and scale smoothly across time.

Are you certain you’re tracking the right metrics?

Your SaaS metrics are indispensable. But with dozens of different KPIs to choose from, selecting your metrics can quickly start to feel overwhelming. Where do you start, what should you prioritize, and which metrics give you the clearest picture of your organization’s financial health? We’ve covered a lot of ground here, but it’s still just the tip of the iceberg.

If you’re ready to optimize your company’s growth and learn which metrics investors care about most, check out our digital guide. It covers nine of the most essential SaaS and subscription KPIs for generating long-term subscription profits. You can read it here

9 key SaaS and subscription metrics to understand portfolio company health

Learn these 9 indispensable metrics that shed light on the performance and profitability of SaaS and subscription-based businesses.

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