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Top Metrics for Professional Services in a B2B SaaS Company

with the Metrics Brothers

What are the top metrics for a Professional Services (PS) leader in a B2B SaaS company? During this episode, our hosts Dave "CAC" Kellogg and Ray "Growth" Rike discuss the top PS metrics including:

  • Professional Services Revenue / Billings

  • Gross Margin (%)

  • Billable Utilization Rate ($ and Hours)

  • Non Billable Utilization including reasons

  • Capacity ($ Billables and # Hours)

Before diving deep into the actual metrics, Dave highlighted that PS's primary job is to "maximize ARR without losing money". A key highlight on the role of PS is that it is not primarily responsible for maximizing PS Revenue or PS Gross Margin, but rather to help accelerate deployment to subscription revenue recognition, product adoption, utilization, and customer value all leading to increased customer retention rates and subscription customer lifetime value.

One of the key points that were discussed is that Professional Services should not be goaled, or incented for maximizing PS revenue and/or optimizing Gross Margin. Generating cash from PS is a strategy that companies that are not in a good cash position may use to lengthen their cash runway - but not a strategy that maximizes the enterprise value of a recurring revenue business.

Attach rate is a common measurement that many B2B SaaS companies use. The most common way to measure attach rate is: PS Billings / Total ARR in a specific period, such as quarterly or annually. Being able to correlate those customers that use PS and the associated GRR can highlight how the utilization of PS has to customer retention.

What % of total revenue in a B2B SaaS company is the max for professional services? Dave "CAC" Kellogg used 20% as the absolute cap on PS, measured as a % of PS revenue to subscription revenue. Dave also recommended a Gross Margin of anything above zero percent, but optimizing Gross Margin at the expense of ARR is not a good long-term strategy.

If you are responsible for Professional Services in a B2B SaaS company, or are evaluating the strategic role and associated metrics for a PS organization this is a great episode to listen to.

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