As a founder of a SaaS business, you're probably well aware of the importance of understanding your financials, especially when it comes to key SaaS metrics like Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR).
In this article, we will discuss the challenges founders face in tracking their MRR and ARR, the benefits of having accurate and real time financial data, and how using an analytics solution like Wingback can help your SaaS company overcome these challenges and grow the business.
Why MRR & ARR Matters
We all know we should be tracking MRR and ARR to a T. These essential metrics aren't arbitrary - they can make or break your chances of attracting investors, and for good reason - they're the primary indicators of traction for any subscription business.
Informing Other Metrics
The other reason you should care about prioritizing accurate, up-to-date MRR and ARR is because it informs all the other metrics you may be tracking (and using to make decisions). From cash flow to conversion rate, customer acquisition costs to high churn rate -- all of these depend on first knowing your MRR and ARR can be trusted, making it all the more critical for SaaS companies to meet their business goals.
Psst: Having accurate MRR/ARR also helps with investors!
Presenting accurate and comprehensive financial data to investors is not just a must-have checklist item when you're fundraising. Investors want to see that you have a solid understanding of your financials and are using this information to make informed decisions about your business strategies. So showing that your data is reliable and up-to-date, and that this is the basis for your strategic decisions, also helps build trust and credibility, which can ultimately lead to more funding opportunities.
The Benefits of Accurate MRR & ARR Data
Accurate Financial Data
By having a clear and accurate picture of your MRR and ARR, you can ensure that you are making informed decisions about your business strategies. For example, maybe you're considering making a PLG play, or hiring more staff to handle enterprise sales. Maybe you can identify opportunities to improve the user experience and optimize an email marketing campaign. Sure, you can learn a lot from simple Google analytics to track page views, a customer journey tool like FullStory, or a product analytics tool like Amplitude to provide insight on user behavior. But these are only really valuable once you already have a basic understanding of your core financial metrics.
This accurate financial data, as we already mentioned, is also considered a must-have for investors, as they rely on these numbers to evaluate the potential of your SaaS business.
Once you know your MRR and ARR, you can make informed decisions about your SaaS product, too. Having an understanding of your core subscription analytics bleeds into having good product analytics and being able to tell which features matter most to your customers, and what they're willing to pay for.
For SaaS businesses, knowing your MRR and ARR at any time enables you to make informed decisions about your business strategies. With accurate financial data, you can identify areas where you need to invest more resources, optimize your marketing campaigns, and improve customer acquisition and retention efforts.
Challenges in Tracking MRR & ARR
No single source of Truth
Many founders struggle to get an accurate picture of their real MRR and ARR, and often what it comes down to is not having a reliable, single source of truth for their revenue analysis. One of the most significant challenges founders face when it comes to tracking MRR and ARR is the sheer volume of data sources they may have in play, and no singular place to bring it all together and make sense of it.
This issue is further exacerbated when large enterprises pay invoices and have unique payment terms. Most PLG-focused billing solutions, such as Stripe Billing or Chargebee, provide inaccurate data on ARR/MRR in these cases, which can further complicate and confuse financial data.
Selling in different countries or currencies
Moreover, selling in different countries and currencies adds another layer of complexity to tracking MRR and ARR. This lack of clarity and accuracy in financial data can lead to difficulties when presenting your numbers to investors, who often require this information to make informed decisions about funding your business.
Founders, sales, and marketing teams often have to compile this data manually, which is a time-consuming and error-prone process. This struggle to gather accurate financial data can hinder your ability to make informed decisions about your business strategies and allocate resources effectively.
How SaaS Analytics Platforms Can Help
A SaaS data analytics system like Wingback can simplify the process of tracking MRR and ARR by providing a single source of truth for all revenue analytics data. This ensures that your financial data is accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date, allowing you to focus on growing your business.
Here are some features and benefits of using a SaaS analytics platform like Wingback:
Compiling revenue data manually without the use of an analytics tool is not only error-prone but also time-consuming. By using SaaS analytics software like Wingback, you can save valuable time that can be better spent on growing your business and focusing on other important tasks. In this regard, it's important to not just consider having subscription analytics tools in general, but to consider the time cost of manually reconciling or having to pull this data together.
Wingback's real-time data analytics tools ensure that your MRR and ARR calculations are always up-to-date, accounting for unique payment terms, different currencies, and other complexities. This helps you avoid surprises when discussing your financials with investors and enables you to make informed decisions about your business strategies.
What to look for in an analytics tool
A SaaS tool like Wingback provides a visual and easy-to-understand dashboard that showcases all relevant metrics in one place, making it easier for founders to track their business's performance. This comprehensive dashboard allows you to monitor MRR, ARR, customer acquisition cost (CAC), customer lifetime value (CLTV), churn rate, cohort analysis, and other key metrics.
Integration with Other Tools
Wingback can integrate with various platforms, such as CRMs, payment processors, marketing analytics tools / service analytics tools, and data warehouses, providing a seamless analytics experience. This integration allows you to collect and analyze data from multiple sources, giving you a more comprehensive understanding of your business's performance.
Wingback allows you to customize the metrics you track and display in your dashboard, ensuring that you are focusing on the data that is most relevant to your business. This customization helps you gain deeper insights into your business's performance and make more informed decisions about your strategies.
With Wingback, you can automate the generation of reports, saving you time and effort in manually compiling and analyzing your financial data. These automated reports can be shared with your team, stakeholders, and investors, ensuring that everyone has access to the latest data insights and important metrics.
As your SaaS business grows, so does the complexity of your financial data. A SaaS analytics platform like Wingback can scale with your business, ensuring that you continue to have access to accurate and comprehensive financial data, no matter how large or complex your business becomes.
Wingback prioritizes the security of your financial data, ensuring that your sensitive information is protected from unauthorized access and potential breaches. This commitment to security helps build trust with your investors and customers, knowing that their data is safe and secure.
If your SaaS business operates in different countries and currencies, a SaaS analytics platform like Wingback can support multiple currencies, making it easier for you to track and analyze your financial data across various markets.
Access to Advanced Analytics Capabilities
Wingback's advanced analytics capabilities provide you with deep insights into your business's performance, allowing you to identify trends, uncover opportunities, and make data-driven decisions that drive growth.
Wingback's collaboration features allow you to share your financial data with your team members, enabling them to contribute to the analysis and decision-making process. This collaborative approach can help your team stay aligned on business strategies and goals.
Customizable Alerts and Notifications
A SaaS analytics platform like Wingback can also provide customizable alerts and notifications, helping you stay informed about critical changes in your financial data. These alerts can help you react quickly to potential issues, such as sudden increases in customer churn rate, revenue churn, other major fluctuations in customer behavior.
Benchmarking and Industry Comparisons
With access to industry benchmarks and comparisons, you can use Wingback to measure your SaaS business's performance against similar companies in your industry. This information can help you identify areas where you need to improve and set realistic goals for growth.
Implementing SaaS Analytics for Business Growth
Incorporating a SaaS data analytics platform like Wingback into your business processes can provide numerous benefits, from improved decision-making to more effective resource allocation. To make the most of these benefits, consider the following steps:
Choose the Right Platform
With several SaaS analytics tools available, it's essential to select the best SaaS analytics platform that meets your business's unique needs. Consider factors such as ease of use, integration capabilities, scalability, and pricing when making your decision.
Integrate with Your Existing Tools and Platforms
Ensure that your chosen SaaS analytics platform can integrate with the tools and platforms you're already using, such as CRMs, payment processors, and data warehouses. This integration will provide a seamless analytics experience and allow you to collect and analyze data from multiple sources.
Customize Your Metrics and Dashboard
Once you've selected and integrated your SaaS data analytics system, customize the metrics you track and display in your dashboard to focus on the data most relevant to your business. This customization will help you gain deeper insights into your business's performance and make more informed decisions about your strategies.
Making the Most of Your Analytics Tools Long-Term
Set Goals and Benchmarks
Using the insights gained from your SaaS analytics platform, you can then set realistic goals and benchmarks for your business as it continues to grow. Measure your performance against these goals and industry standards to identify areas where you need to improve and adjust your strategies accordingly.
Share Data and Insights with Your Team
Another way to encourage collaboration and alignment among your team members is by sharing your financial data and insights with them. The best thing to do is make sure decision makers have these insights at their fingertips to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your business's strategies and goals. Especially for members of a product team, sales team or marketing team, knowing how your typical conversion rate differs on your free plan to your core product is a hugely valuable resource.
Continuously Monitor and Adjust Your Strategies
As your SaaS business grows and evolves, so should your strategies. Continuously monitor your financial data and adjust your strategies as needed to ensure you're making the best calls for your business, regardless of whether you crush your goals quickly or struggle to reach them. As they say, knowledge is power, and having data on what's working and what's not will empower you and your team to make the adjustments needed to get back on track.
Knowing your MRR and ARR at any given moment in time is essential for SaaS founders. It not only helps you make informed decisions about your business and product, but also improves your communication with investors. Using a SaaS analytics platform like Wingback can simplify the process, ensuring accurate and comprehensive data, and allowing you to focus on what matters most: growing your business.
By implementing a SaaS analytics platform like Wingback, you can overcome the challenges of tracking MRR and ARR, gain deeper insights into your business's performance, and make better decisions about your strategies and resource allocation. Ultimately, having a clear and accurate understanding of your financial data is crucial for the long-term success and growth of your SaaS business. Investing in the best SaaS analytics tools can significantly impact your business's growth and help you achieve your goals.