SaaS Metrics & Benchmarks
Helen Lin is the founder and CEO of Discern. As a business end-user of business performance data, she discovered that the data required for analysis was locked in the system of records, such as the CRM, ERP, or HCM. This required a dedicated team of analysts to identify the source of the required data, a process to extract the data from the system of records before they could even begin the process of analyzing the data.
During this episode, we cover three main areas with Helen:
The challenges with managing the customer acquisition funnel in 2023
How full-funnel analytics impacts GTM efficiency
What is the future of full-funnel analytics
2023 was the year of efficiency, especially in the Go-to-Market functions. One of the key GTM efficiency metrics is the CAC Payback Period which measures how many months are required to payback the cost of acquiring a customer, after factoring in the Gross Margin. Marketing departments focused on the cost per lead, coupled with the associated conversion rates while Sales departments were laser-focused on productivity per sales rep, including an enhanced focus on average sales price per deal.
Helen dove into the challenges of measuring "cost per x" due to the difficulty in assessing the cost data which is often locked in the human capital management and/or core financial platforms.
A key point that Helen highlighted is that "growth" has re-emerged as the number one factor in enterprise value to revenue multiples, which suggests a heightened focus on Sales and Marketing investments and the associated returns.
Full funnel analytics goes beyond new customer opportunity inspection or pipeline inspection, and provides a full picture of how the end-to-end funnel is performing from initial lead creation to Closed-Won ARR through customer retention and expansion. The role of management and Revenue Operations is to identify the areas, often the bottlenecks that negatively impact funnel conversion performance.
Helen provided a customer example that assessed the profitability of each customer segment. The analysis went beyond measuring just customer acquisition performance and extended the analysis to include both churn rates and expansion ARR by segment. That analysis resulted in identifying a customer that was not profitable and thus ended all future investments in acquiring customers in that segment.
Marketing and Sales currently have a difficult time assessing the data that highlights how each unique stage of the customer acquisition process performs as measured by conversion rates to the next stage and simultaneously how much time a lead or opportunity remains in the same stage. One primary example is that many companies experience 80% of deals forecasted to close in the current quarter being pushed to a subsequent quarter. Another key metric is "Win-Rate" which is not a point-in-time measurement, rather it is a range that evolves over the period that opportunities remain in the pipeline.
IF you are a Go-to-Market leader or the CEO or CFO of a B2B SaaS company, this discussion with Helen on the need and approaches to better understand the entire customer's journey from acquisition to retention to expansion + customer segment profitability, this conversation with Helen Lin, Founder and CEO of Discern.io is a great listen!