Digital

Choose the right metrics for your SaaS portfolio

With the onset of everything digital, organisations are applying data-driven techniques across their business processes to get that 5-star customer rating.

In today’s digital world, one of the biggest concerns is how to assure a rewarding customer experience across various touchpoints. Every role requires data-driven thinking, be it in engineering, product management, sales, customer success, or marketing. Data-driven is more than just a trending topic. Almost all companies today are recalibrating their resources for collecting and analysing data on all aspects of their business. In addition to providing information on how various processes function, metrics help drive improvement.

The power of metrics

Metrics tell you how various processes function and more importantly provide a base to drive improvements. Establishing the right metrics early can help you make better decisions about your product and your roadmap. A good practice is to discuss success metrics as soon as you can during the product development phase – and well before the product is launched.

The real challenge is to start identifying the few metrics to focus on at the earliest. According to a recent Forrester Consulting survey commissioned by Collibra, data-driven companies are 162% more likely to exceed their revenue goals than those that aren’t. Moreover, they see significant spikes in customer trust and are more compliant. Measuring the right metrics is important in any business, but in SaaS, it could be the difference between profit and loss.

As per a Forrester Consulting survey commissioned by Collibra, data-driven companies are 162% more likely to exceed their revenue goals than those that aren’t.

Pillars of success metrics

Nowadays, there is an abundance of data, but ‘more’ data does not necessarily translate into ‘better’ data. All this data is useless without proper analysis. It will result in the fallacy of being data-rich, but with poor insights. With the right set of metrics, you can identify how your overall business and each function are performing and thereby determine where to focus your efforts. In essence, the right metrics keep you on track!

If your organisation is customer-centric, then all product decisions are driven by metrics related to customer health than any other KPI. After the metrics are identified, they must be assigned to a clear owner so that they can drive improvements. Tracking growth rates is also very important. This tells you whether you are growing strong or stalling at any given point in time. For most metrics, rates are better than totals.

Product leaders should avoid vanity metrics. These numbers give product management little insight into how a product will resonate with customers and how much revenue it will generate. In reality, it is better to track the number of signups per week or, even better, signups associated with a specific campaign, since you can directly link the growth of users to specific actions you have taken.

Nowadays, there is an abundance of data, but ‘more’ data does not necessarily translate into ‘better’ data. All this data is useless without proper analysis.

Key customer success metrics to measure

The best way to get started is to analyse the data generated by your prospects and users each day to find out what’s working with your product or marketing efforts, and what needs to be changed. Client relation metrics are key to unlocking revenue growth by unraveling growth opportunities and highlighting weak areas in your revenue stream. In order to be successful, your company must leverage customer data to determine its sales and marketing strategy, product updates, and community-building initiatives.

Some of the key customer success metrics to measure include product usage or adoption, customer churn rate, average revenue per user, monthly recurring revenue, conversion rate, customer acquisition costs, renewal rate, net revenue retention, net promoter score, and customer satisfaction score. Tracking these metrics will give you a clearer picture of how and where your company is generating revenue and help you make smarter, customer-focused decisions.

Using data to drive strategy

Through consumption data, business leaders can pivot and adjust learning plans throughout the technology migration process. In addition to bolstering investment in technology, developing and demonstrating ‘future state scenarios’ increase the probability of behavior change – an effective strategy for improving digital adoption rates.

Some of the engineering metrics that we track internally while developing our product include platform uptime, defect leakage to production, defect density, and inflow of customer success issues. Using this information, we can assess whether our product is improving communication within the organisation and whether there are things we can do to make the process easier and more intuitive for our customers.

Developing and demonstrating ‘future-state’ scenarios increase the probability of behaviour change – an effective strategy for improving digital adoption rates.

In order to improve digital adoption in the workplace, analysing data and customising the rollout are key to a strong user adoption strategy. These lessons can be used to optimise future digital adoptions.

Dattatri Radhakrishna
Manisha Sharma | DATAQUEST

Dattatri Radhakrishna is VP – Engineering, Whatfix.

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