Get the updated nexus guide

Deciphering ever-evolving nexus rules

Know your nexus: This updated guide from Avalara helps you determine where and when you need to collect and remit sales tax.

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Your biggest nexus questions answered

Nexus is the connection between a business and a taxing authority, such as a state or local jurisdiction, that establishes a tax obligation for the business. Sales tax nexus is not the same as income tax nexus: A business can be obligated to collect and remit sales tax in a state with no income tax liability.

Confused? You’re not alone: Nexus stumps even the savviest tax and accounting professionals. This guide helps you understand:

  • What is nexus?
  • What triggers nexus?
  • How does nexus work for international sellers?
  • How do I keep up?

Find all this and more in our quick, easy-to-understand guide. Download your guide today.

Ebook

B2B Quote-to-Cash Best Practices and Checklist

Immediately improve your order-to-cash process with this step-by-step guide, crafted specifically for B2B SaaS leaders in partnership with Finvisor.

Streamline your Q2C

Streamline your sales workflow and stop revenue leakage with our comprehensive guide. This guide dives deep into the intricacies of the order-to-cash process, offering a blend of checklists and best practices crucial for streamlining operations, enhancing efficiency, and driving revenue growth in your B2B SaaS company. Whether you’re a new or established company, this guide was designed to help you create an airtight quote-to-cash process for your business.

Key benefits:

  • Tailored for B2B SaaS. All recommendations and best practices are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of SaaS business models.
  • Actionable checklist. This isn’t just strategy. Included are step-by-step actions to refine and perfect your quote-to-cash process.
  • Software recommendations. The guide includes software recommendations tailored to each stage of the customer journey, ensuring you have the right tool for every task.
  • Proven best practices. With insights developed through industry expertise, this guide will ensure you avoid common pitfalls and drive operational success.
  • Expert insights. Discover proven strategies for data alignment, sales operations, billing automation, and customer success that can help you optimize your quote-to-cash process and achieve sustainable growth.

Ready to elevate your financial operations? Download this guide and start making strategic improvements to your quote-to-cash process today!

CFO Playbook

Key Performance Indicators for SaaS Companies

Get an in-depth look at the key metrics and KPIs every SaaS CFO should be tracking, from GAAP financials and SaaS metrics to pipeline conversion and customer success metrics.

Introduction

Traditional financial metrics and legacy ERP systems don’t provide adequate insights into the performance and growth of SaaS businesses. That’s because these metrics and systems were created for companies selling “one-time” products. They simply don’t work for a recurring revenue business model.

We understand—we’ve spent over a decade building a financial operations platform to help SaaS businesses better manage the recurring relationships with their subscribers and streamline the entire customer lifecycle.

We’ve teamed up with Fulcrum Equity Partners to give you a 360-degree view of the key SaaS metrics you should care about.

Fulcrum is a growth-equity firm focused on providing expansion capital, operating expertise, and relationships to rapidly growing companies. Fulcrum invests in SaaS businesses and partners with other SaaS funds. They’ve sold companies to top strategic enterprises—including IBM and Oracle.

Together, we’re leveraging our combined experience to share insights on the key performance indicators you need to scale your SaaS business. The journey to reliable SaaS financial operations and future investment capital starts with measuring what matters most.

Revenue growth performance metrics for SaaS companies

Revenue growth performance metrics provide visibility into the health of your business and its potential for growth. You’re likely familiar with these, but we’ll recap what they are just in case.

Foundational metrics you should know:

  • MRR and ARR
  • ACV
  • CAC, CLV, and CAC Payback

MRR and ARR

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) each represent the value of the contracted recurring revenue components of your term subscriptions normalized to a one-month or annual period, respectively.

We break ARR/MRR down into the following categories:

  • New ARR/MRR: New sales to new customers
  • Expansion ARR/MRR: Existing customers who expanded their subscriptions or licensed additional products or modules
  • Contracted ARR/MRR: Existing customers who downgraded their subscription and/or reduced their consumption
  • Canceled ARR/MRR: Existing customers who canceled their subscription

These components are frequently measured in both absolute value and relative value, and they’re often presented in the context of incremental changes from period to period.

Learn more about ARR on SaaSpedia, the encyclopedia of SaaS metrics.

Average Contract Value

Average Contract Value (ACV) is a measure of the average revenue generated per customer. It’s usually calculated on an annual basis.

A growing or contracting ACV is a good indicator of the value you’re providing to customers. This metric is also a critical input for your sales and marketing plan, as it provides visibility into how many leads (MQLs) and opportunities (SQLs) are needed to achieve your plan’s goals.

ACV = Current ARR / Current # of Customers

Customer Acquisition Costs

These metrics help you make important decisions about how you allocate sales and marketing spend. They’re valuable in understanding how much your company is making from each new customer and how long it takes to surpass the money you spent to acquire that customer.

  • Customer Acquisitions Costs (CAC): Total costs (not just sales and marketing resources) associated with acquiring a new customer
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Average revenue or profit a customer will generate before they churn
  • CAC Payback: The time it takes (in months) to recoup the cost of acquiring a customer

You can also measure your CLV against CAC, which will tell you what you can expect to net for every dollar you spend to acquire a customer.

Learn more about CAC on SaaSpedia, the encyclopedia of SaaS metrics.

The investor’s point of view: Revenue growth performance metrics

MRR or ARR

Quarter-over-quarter revenue growth provides valuable insights into the momentum and velocity of the business. Growth investors consider this to be one of the best leading indicators of overall business performance.

Average Contract Value

Tracking ACV over time is valuable to understand evolving customer behaviors. It helps drive decision making for sales and marketing strategies, customer success retention strategies, and your product road map.

ACV is also a useful metric to measure the success of land-and-expand growth strategies, upsell initiatives, and a company’s ability to deliver continued value to customers.

Customer Acquisition Costs

CAC, CLV, and CAC payback are used to track and measure the performance of sales and marketing teams. They’re also extremely valuable in understanding the efficiency of a company’s growth model.

Investors will spend a significant amount of time in diligence, analyzing the scalability of your sales and marketing organization. These metrics are great validations that additional investment in sales and marketing activities will drive value creation.

Momentum and velocity metrics

How many leads are we adding to the top of the funnel? Where are my leads coming from? What does the pipeline look like over time? What are my funnel conversion rates? How productive is my sales team in closing deals?

The answers to these questions will provide management teams and investors with better predictability of future performance and more accurate forecasts.

Foundational metrics you should know:

  • Lead Generation
  • Pipeline Conversion
  • MQLs
  • SQLs

Lead Generation

Lead generation is the process of attracting quality prospects and moving them into the top of your funnel.

Consistently generating marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs) is essential for growing your SaaS companies. A true marketing “mix” will have a variety of methods for acquiring new leads.

Tracking which methods and demand generation activities are producing the best results helps you weed out programs that aren’t working and continually replace them with more effective ones.

Pipeline Conversion

Once you’ve generated leads, you’ll need to convert them into customers. A strong sales and marketing technology stack, sales process, and content generation engine are all critical for pipeline conversion.

It’s important to build agile sales and marketing teams that can test, iterate, and refine your marketing and sales funnel tactics to drive increased conversions.

The investor’s point of view: momentum and velocity metrics

Lead Generation and Pipeline Conversion

Accelerating rapid growth in a SaaS business involves lead generation, CRM, marketing automation, and a strong understanding of your conversion metrics. Having an infrastructure in place to produce and track your pipeline of prospects—and a proven history of converting those prospects into customers—is critically important in raising capital.

Investors are looking for strong lead generation and pipeline conversion rates that provide a high predictability of future revenue growth.

Customer success metrics

As a subscription business, establishing positive relationships with your customers is vital. From onboarding and implementation to adoption and support, every touch point can impact whether or not you retain that customer over time. Measuring customer success and setting goals around those metrics is instrumental in growing your SaaS business.

These metrics are indicators for measuring the health of your customer base:

  • Churn and Retention
  • Expansion Revenue
  • Cohort Analysis

Churn and Retention

There are many reasons customers churn, but as one of the most important indicators of the health of your business, you need to understand why.

As the size of your subscription base grows, the revenue lost to churn can also grow, requiring more bookings from new customers to replace what was lost. This can be a significant drag on growth.

Here are two formulas commonly used to calculate churn:

Net Churn = Sum of churn and contracted MRR – Sum of expansion MRR / MRR at start of period

Gross Churn = Sum of churn and contracted MRR / MRR at start of period

Another common metric for analyzing retention is logo churn, found by replacing MRR in the formula above with Number of Customers.

High churn usually indicates your product isn’t meeting customer needs and expectations. With insight into the factors driving churn, you can take action, such as improving customer engagement and onboarding or making product tweaks that can improve customer retention.

Learn more about churn and retention rates on SaaSpedia, the encyclopedia of SaaS metrics.

Expansion/Upsell Revenue

Generating revenue from existing customers is a good indicator of whether they’re receiving value from your product and expanding their usage. Expansion revenue includes customers who upgrade to a more robust plan or those who pay for additional users or features.

When expansion revenue outpaces lost revenue from existing customers, you’ll reach net negative churn—the holy grail of SaaS. At that point, your recurring revenue is expanding without adding new customers.

Cohort Analysis

Grouping customers by product, vertical, sales channel, deal size, etc., also known as cohort analysis, helps uncover trends in specific customer groups.

For example, if a large number of customers are churning in the first or second month, you may need to address your onboarding process.

Emerging SaaS companies typically have customers that vary in size, so cohort analysis by deal size can highlight which “group” has the lowest churn rates.

The investor’s point of view: Customer success metrics

Churn and Retention

Investors pay very close attention to churn because customer retention is 95% of your revenue. Everything is amortized over 2-3 year contracts in a SaaS business.

High retention and strong renewal rates are key value drivers; it’s an area investors spend a lot of time focusing on during diligence.

Expansion/Upsell Revenue

It takes significantly more time and resources to acquire and onboard a new customer than it does to retain and upsell existing ones.

Investors look closely at expansion and upsell revenue metrics and ascribe high value to businesses that can grow organically by expanding existing customer relationships.

Cohort Analysis

Analyzing customer behavior across various cohorts provides valuable insights into how different segments of your customers are interacting with your product, sales, and marketing teams.

Customers have different needs, and understanding these needs across cohorts can help improve customer relationships and go-to-market messaging, predict upsell/expansion opportunities, and combat churn.

Next steps: Measuring SaaS metrics and that matter

Whether you’re motivated by growth or by making more informed decisions about your business, the journey to reliable SaaS financial operations starts with measuring what matters.

We know how challenging this journey can be because we’ve been in your shoes

Maxio offers total subscription management—from order-to-invoice to cash and renewals. We are the only platform that can scale and deliver in-depth financial metrics and analysis, including MRR, ARR, ACV, CAC, cohort, and CLV. Maxio is everything you need to run and grow your SaaS business, all in one place.

Ready to start modernizing your financial operations?

SaaS Playbook

Scaling During a Recession–Winning Strategies for SaaS Leaders

In this playbook for SaaS leaders, you’ll learn how pricing consultants, fractional CFO’s, and SaaS veterans recommend you adapt to keep winning—even in a volatile market.

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What’s in the guide?

Our panel of SaaS industry experts share their advice on the three key business areas to focus on during a downturn:

  1. Maximizing revenue
  2. Improving customer retention
  3. Maintaining financial integrity

We provide actionable strategies and tactics to keep all your teams aligned around a single goal: beating the market downturn.

What you’ll learn

  • Pricing strategies to maximize revenue despite reduced spending
  • How to retain your users when churn is on the rise
  • How to extend your cash runway and reduce burn rates
  • Which financial metrics and KPIs you should be tracking
  • Proven methods for protecting your most valuable financial asset: cash

Ready to achieve sustainable growth in today’s market?

SaaS Accounts Receivable

Your SaaS A/R Management Playbook

Are you still having to chase down late or missing customer invoices? The AR Management Playbook is a must-read for anyone struggling to manage AR in their SaaS business efficiently.

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Getting paid shouldn’t be a problem

In a brick and mortar store, you sell an item to a customer, and they pay you at the time of the transaction. Easy. But in B2B SaaS, sales-negotiated term subscriptions are the norm, which means sometimes getting paid is difficult.

In this guide, we’ll break down the different components of effective A/R management and show you how Maxio automates the entire process so you can get cash in the door faster.

What you’ll learn

  • Best practices for collections and dunning
  • How to measure the effectiveness of your collections processes
  • How to automate your AR management process and get cash in the door faster
  • How to use Maxio to reduce AR Aging and days sales outstanding (DSO)

 

Ready to achieve sustainable growth in today’s market?

Churn Guide

The Complete Guide to SaaS Churn

B2B SaaS success doesn’t come from deals you close—it comes from the deals you keep. In this complete guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about identifying and combating churn.

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Combat churn and increase profitability—here’s how

Losing a customer through churn before you’ve recouped the cost of acquisition can have a greater negative impact on your bottom line than not signing that customer at all. Learn how you can reduce churn and retain customers longer.

What you’ll learn

With our partners at GoCardless, we put together this complete guide to help you understand the different types of churn, the impact it has on your business, and how you can effectively reduce churn for good.

We’ll show you

  • The different types of churn (and what causes them in the first place)
  • Several methods for calculating and quantifying churn metrics
  • Actionable strategies to combat both voluntary and involuntary churn—now and in the future
  • Real-life tips and tricks from successful, seasoned SaaS leaders on reducing churn rates

Ready to achieve sustainable growth in today’s market?

Product-Led Growth

Sales-Led or Product-Led—Which is Best for Your SaaS?

Product-led growth has been popping up in the conversations of IPO-hopefuls—but what is it really? And will it make the sales-led model obsolete?

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If you don’t give buyers options, your competitors will

Customers want more control over their buying decisions. If you’re trying to force all your customers down the same, narrow buyer’s journey, you’re leaving money on the table.

In short, it’s your job to give buyers options.

In this ebook, you’ll learn everything you need to know about product-led growth, sales-led growth, and how combining the two can help you generate more revenue and expand into new markets.

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What you’ll learn

  • Why is product-led growth being adopted so rapidly?
  • Is a free trial a good idea, or are you just attracting penny-pinching customers?
  • Is Sales-led SaaS dying?
  • How to introduce a hybrid GTM strategy?

Ready to achieve sustainable growth in today’s market?

Guide to Revenue Modeling

The complete guide to SaaS revenue modeling

It’s difficult to build a SaaS revenue model that accurately reflects your future cash position. This guide will help you master the most difficult part: revenue forecasting.

Featuring: Jon Cochrane, Debbie Rosler

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Build a revenue model that will grow with you

SaaS revenue models require you to build an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. This means you’ll need access to inputs, such as annual recurring revenue (ARR), cost of sales, operating expenses, working capital, deferred revenue, fixed assets, and debt/equity financing.

In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to collect, measure, and use these metrics to build a long-lasting revenue model that will grow with your business over time.

Why model?

  • Manage business performance and track your growth over time
  • Determine cash runway
  • Communicate your business model and company story to investors
  • Real-life tips and tricks from successful, seasoned SaaS leaders on reducing churn rates

What you’ll learn

  • Two methods for forecasting ARR
  • How to model cash flow associated with revenue
  • How to build an ARR momentum table

Ready to achieve sustainable growth in today’s market?

Data-Driven Pricing

Data-driven Pricing Strategies—Your Guide to B2B SaaS Growth

In this guide, we’ll teach you how to optimize your pricing strategy based on customer insights and analytics. Learn what to measure, how to interpret it, and how to implement changes quickly.

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Every SaaS company is a data company

Most have access to an array of data on how their customers interact with their product lines and which business segments contribute the most to revenue growth—yet they’re leaving money on the table when it comes to monetizing data.

Why is this? For starters, many SaaS companies have little experience deriving revenue from customer-generated data, and effectively packaging and pricing products and services can prove challenging.In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to leverage your company’s existing data to build a better pricing strategy.

Why data-driven pricing?

  • Take the guesswork out of pricing
  • Get more mileage out of your existing data
  • Stay ahead of market pricing trends

What you’ll learn

  • How to select the most relevant metrics to inform your pricing strategy
  • How industry titans like AWS use data-driven pricing to maximize their value capture and build a sustainable competitive advantage
  • Why conducting regular pricing experiments has a long-lasting, positive impact on revenue growth

Ready to achieve sustainable growth in today’s market?

Maxio Buyer’s Guide

What are your biggest financial challenges?

This guide shows how Maxio automates accountants, controllers, and SaaS finance leaders’ day-to-day workload, and how it can eliminate your financial headaches for good.

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Scale your financial operations with flexibility and control

You can’t expect to build a highly profitable SaaS company through manual processes alone—especially when it comes to managing your finances.

Learn you can use Maxio to spend less time on tedious, manual tasks, so you can spend more time thinking strategically about your company’s long-term growth

Two women talking while pointing to notes on a whiteboard

What you’ll learn

  • Eliminate billing and reporting errors in your spreadsheets
  • Stop wasting time on manual tasks like tracking deferred revenue, invoicing, and unbilled AR
  • Maintain ASC-606 / IFRS-15 compliance with ease
  • Adapt to changing market conditions and chart a clear path to profitability

Ready to achieve sustainable growth in today’s market?