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The most important metric from growing companies is their ability to hit revenue growth targets to validate their current and future valuation.  While sales pipelines provide a point-in-time snapshot of deals expected to close, the revenue generated over time from these opportunities is an overlooked part of the equation. This article will explore what information your pipeline divulges and the next required step to translate that piece of your business into your value on revenue growth.

By revVana Software | September 21, 2021

OPEXEngine joins Bain & Company, the top management consulting firm and a leading advisor to technology companies and the private equity industry globally. This partnership with Bain will help our clients extract more insight from benchmarks and take action.

By Lauren Kelley | September 15, 2021

Effective and strategic CFOs incorporate accurate benchmarking into the daily business of the company and especially into the budgeting and planning process. Benchmarks provide context for initial budgeting drafts and provide guide rails for managers to use in forecasting their needs for the upcoming year.

By Lauren Kelley | September 9, 2021

Tech debt refers to the cost of redeveloping existing products and code that would otherwise not be able to scale or evolve over time to meet shifting consumer needs. And while the concept has been around for years, for most of that time, tech debt was primarily the concern of product and engineering teams. In this guest post from Espresso Capital learn to measure tech debt and understand why it matters.

By Espresso Capital | August 31, 2021

Business operates in a climate of constant change. Here’s how you can make your planning and budgeting process more Agile.

By Bain & Company | August 24, 2021

If you’ve underestimated the importance of financial operations for both the short and long-term success of your SaaS business, you’re not alone. With the explosive growth of the SaaS business model impacting businesses worldwide, many are navigating SaaS financial operations and subscription management for the first time.

These 7 best practices work for growing B2B SaaS businesses.

By Business 2 Community | August 17, 2021

Flexibility and Budgeting rarely appear in the same sentence. That’s a shame as better budgeting and planning tools can bring far more flexibility into the planning, forecasting, and budgeting process. A new budgeting/planning tool should usher in a new process, new insights, and new metrics for running the firm.

This guest post from Sage Intacct explains what an ideal new solution should help with and how to identify if your organization may need to update its budgeting and planning tool.

By Sage Intaact | August 9, 2021

As companies commit to transforming their FP&A function, choosing the right focus and pace is essential. They should align with business leaders on the sources of value creation for the future, then work backward to redesign FP&A around them. And they should carefully choose their spots for investment. That will raise the odds of FP&A shifting its role from scorekeeper to a true business partner.

By Bain & Company | August 3, 2021

We invited an expert on Scaling Finance, Anup Juneja, an Expert Senior Manager at Bain & Company, for part of the SaaS Finance MeetUP. Anup works on G&A and FP&A transformation with numerous clients. He shared his perspective on the four things that world-class Finance organizations have to get right. His presentation took the traditional focus on People, Process and Systems to a far more strategic level when thinking about how SaaS and software CFOs need to frame their organizational planning for scale.

By Lauren Kelley | July 27, 2021

CFOs benefit from tracking and sharing customer experience and other operational key performance indicators; it can help in getting alignment on investment priorities across the organization. CFOs oversee operations or are asked to make budget decisions based on what operational metrics are showing, they can benefit from setting up these types of metrics if they don’t have them.

By CFO Dive | July 20, 2021

This is the 3rd in our 5-part series on the benefits of Software as a Service (SaaS). Our initial post offered some definitions of cloud and SaaS. Our last post explored the value of SaaS in terms of cost savings. In this post, we turn our attention to a different kind of value: innovation. By way of review: All […]

By Sage Intaact | July 13, 2021

Venture debt is a specialized form of corporate credit that differs from traditional corporate lending in a number of important ways. While traditional credit is typically backed by assets or cash flow generated by a business, venture debt is used by fast-growing companies that are consuming — rather than producing — cash to support their […]

By Espresso Capital | July 6, 2021

The sales strategy of “Land and Expand” is common among software companies. So common, in fact, that it might be fair to call it accepted wisdom. First land the customer, then expand them. In this guest post by Chris Mele, CEO of Software Pricing Partners, you will learn the advantages of ‘Expand and Land’ and how to integrate a strategic monetization model.

By Chris Mele | June 29, 2021

The CAC Payback Period, also known as Months to Recover Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), measures the number of months of subscription revenue it takes to recover the costs to acquire one customer. This metric is one of the many ways to look at the capital efficiency and profitability of a SaaS business.

By Lauren Kelley | June 23, 2021

This time last year, we were all on our 5th, or 20th version of a 2020 operating budget/plan, working 100% remotely, and trying to forecast the rest of the year. Most companies hunkered down, shifted to fully remote sales and marketing, transferred unnecessary travel budgets into other buckets, and conservatively managed expenses.
We’ve published the latest benchmarks incorporating 2020 actuals in our platform and the results are in. Read on to learn about the changes, shifts, and trends we’ve analyzed.

By Lauren Kelley | June 9, 2021

In the unique world of enterprise SaaS, where the buyers are sophisticated, the sales cycle is interminable and the product is invisible, sales teams face a number of unique challenges. Read on to discover the roadblocks you face selling enterprise SaaS solutions, and how to overcome them.

By Laire Digital | June 8, 2021

Smart pricing enabled process management software provider Cherwell to get the most from its subscribers while new businesses languished. When the pandemic hit, executives at Cherwell had to focus growth on existing customers, as the mid-sized businesses it targets with its enterprise service management software would be too hunkered down to try something new. “People […]

By CFO Dive | June 2, 2021

Hiring top talent is one of the most important things you can do to help make your business successful. High-performing talent brings experience and business acumen to the table. They’re also willing to go above and beyond to succeed in their position.

By Espresso Capital | May 25, 2021

Valuations of private companies are generally a mix of quantitative and qualitative analysis, including market sizing and intangibles, like management team reputation, experience, and network. ​​In this blog, we are looking at the business metrics that can be measured quantitatively and providing a few insights on how investors analyze them.

By Lauren Kelley | May 18, 2021

Having happy customers is critical for the success of any business, and SaaS companies are no exception. In fact, attracting, retaining, and establishing profitable long-term relationships with customers is even more important for SaaS companies because it’s the key to the recurring revenue model they’re built around.

By Espresso Capital | May 10, 2021

The most sure-fire way for aspiring CFOs to attract the notice of CEOs and boards is to bring a strategic mindset, communicate well and showcase a background in operational finance, recruiters say.

By CFO Dive | May 4, 2021

High growth software companies are valued based on forward revenue multiples. But, how does the market set the multiple? What predicts the forward multiple, or correlates with it?
Tomasz Tunguz explains how to calculate and predict revenue growth, sales efficiency, and the forward multiple of a SaaS or software company.

By Tomasz Tunguz | April 27, 2021

In today’s final installment, we review the 2021 plans regarding “Hybrid & Remote Work Models for 2021,” and “Office Space Planning” from approximately 100 senior Finance executives in SaaS & cloud companies. As well as key findings from Microsoft’s Work Trend Index regarding hybrid-remote work.

By Lauren Kelley | April 21, 2021

In today’s installment, we review the results regarding the “Top Growth Initiatives for 2021,” “Internal Investments,” and “Strategic Finance Goals” that those surveyed are planning to make. In 2021 competition for customers, product category leadership, and acquiring new employees is expected to be fierce within the SaaS market[…]

By Lauren Kelley | April 14, 2021

In the first installment of this three-part series, OPEXEngine shares the results from our recent SaaS Q1 2021 CFO Pulse Survey, conducted in March. In this post, we analyze the responses to the question:
What Are the Most Significant Factors Impacting the Business Environment for Your Company in 2021[…]

By Lauren Kelley | April 8, 2021

In mid-June 2020, a PwC survey of 330 U.S. finance leaders found that one-third of US CFOs now expect it will take more than six months to get there. Two months earlier, just 2% of CFOs anticipated recovery would take that long. Finance leaders are in a critical position to help assess the options and […]

By Workday Adaptive Planning | April 6, 2021

CFOs want FP&A to become stewards of value creation, not just to keep score. If you’re a business leader or CFO committed to future-proofing your company, we highly recommend that you read a new brief from Bain & Company, When Financial Planning and Analysis Needs an Overhaul.   To operate in the post-COVID-19 digital world, […]

By Lauren Kelley | March 31, 2021

Venture debt is a specialized form of corporate credit that differs from traditional corporate lending in a number of important ways. While traditional credit is typically backed by assets or cash flow generated by a business, venture debt is used by fast-growing companies that are consuming — rather than producing — cash to support their […]

By Espresso Capital | March 30, 2021

By, Anna Talerico, for SaaSX My SaaS and startup DNA includes a lot of experience in running professional services organizations. But knowing how professional services revenue is valued in the market (not as much as you would think), and how hard it can be to maintain high margins, I can never recommend a SaaS launch […]

By SaaSX | March 24, 2021

Throughout the world, businesses of every size are feeling firsthand the impacts of instability. In a time of uncertainty, surviving and thriving comes down to how promptly your business can identify disruptive changes and proactively respond to them. That’s not so easy when your business is mired in static planning—characterized by long planning cycles, immediately […]

By Workday Adaptive Planning | March 17, 2021

In August 2020, Zenefits CEO Jay Fulcher posted on LinkedIn, saying, “Success takes work, study, time, grit, courage, experimentation, resilience, and a belief in yourself that may not always be steady but never goes completely away … there are no shortcuts.” Garnering nearly 1 million views, 14,000 likes, and more than 1,100 comments, his message […]

By Underscore VC | March 9, 2021

Where is the SaaS world relative to how far it can go? With valuations of as-a-service companies and all-time highs or close to it, and more and more startups leveraging this model to serve an ever-larger number of consumers, I wondered how much more business is there to capture? Let’s try to estimate. We do […]

By Tomasz Tunguz | March 3, 2021

As non-GAAP measures, they might be based on variables other companies don’t share, but they can be made more accurate, says SaaStr head Jason Lemkin. If your monthly recurring revenue (MRR) numbers don’t add up to your annual recurring revenue (ARR) when you extend them out for a year, you’re misreporting the financial health of […]

By CFO Dive | February 24, 2021

For many of us in tech, we’re going 9+ months strong working from home. We miss seeing colleagues in person, there may be distractions galore in a home office, and there’s no clear end in sight. How can leaders keep employees engaged and effective during these challenging times? To find out, we hosted a discussion […]

By Underscore VC | February 16, 2021

The SaaS market is expected to reach $164.29 billion by 2022 — which means the key innovations of this business model are about to inspire even more businesses. And with more popularity comes more confusion, especially over what metrics are most important to drive the best results. We’ve done a lot of work with B2B […]

By SaaSOptics | February 9, 2021

Last week, FLG Partners, a group of experienced CFOs in the Bay Area, put on a webinar called “Pivoting to SaaS: Best Practices, Lessons Learned, and Case Examples” for traditional software and hardware companies. I participated, along with a terrific panel moderated by CFO Eric Mersch, to talk about the lessons learned over the past […]

By Lauren Kelley | February 2, 2021

Many founders and CEOs have seen their business plans upended by COVID-19. That’s because very few contingency plans accounted for the scale and nature of the disruption we’re all experiencing. In fact, even many of the largest and best managed public companies withdrew their guidance as the full impact of the pandemic became clear. The […]

By Espresso Capital |

How COVID-19 has affected Customer Acquisition Cost Calculations A good business practice every year is to review your KPI calculations and adjust for any changes. Right now, this is especially true because of all the changes every company undertook due to the pandemic,  especially moving to remote work and contactless selling to customers. This post […]

By Lauren Kelley | January 27, 2021

Net Dollar Retention is one of the most important metrics is a SaaS business. It measures the value of a cohort of customers over time including expansion, cross-sell, and churn (loss of revenue). But how do you measure NDR? Imagine this is your company’s data. The first column is the cohort month for each cohort […]

By Tomasz Tunguz | January 26, 2021

Customer success in SaaS is fast becoming the first line of attack to boost conversions, raise customer happiness, and reduce churn. Every day, a strong customer success strategy is becoming more and more essential for SaaS companies. So what exactly is customer success, how does it work, and are you “doing it right”? Don’t worry, we’ll explain it […]

By SaaSX | January 20, 2021

If 2020 is remembered as the year of COVID-19, 2021 will be remembered as the year of change. Putting aside everything else that may change, let’s just focus on SaaS in 2021. Cloud and SaaS companies overall benefited from the dramatic shift to digital and remote work in the US and around the world since […]

By Lauren Kelley | January 13, 2021

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is a key SaaS metric that accounts for how much it costs your company to procure each new customer. The received wisdom is that reducing your CAC is one of the best ways to increase your company’s profitability and likelihood of success. However, this metric calls for discerning judgment. What it […]

By Lighter Capital | January 5, 2021

Each year, we do our best to provide you with valuable SaaS insights and share best practices through case studies, reports, webinars, and blog posts. We also invite other CFOs and thought leaders from the SaaS and Software industry and VC executives to share their content on our blog and provide different perspectives into financial […]

By Lauren Kelley | December 31, 2020

Some SaaS startups develop a form of zero-sum delusion early in their evolution, characterized by the following set of beliefs. Believing that: A customer has a fixed budget that is 100% fungible between ARR (annual revenue revenue) and services It is in the company’s best interest to turn as much of the customer’s budget as […]

By Dave Kellogg | December 23, 2020

Churn is the enemy of subscription-based businesses; it measures the rate at which your hard-won customers cancel their subscription to your service. Left unchecked, what seems like a relatively low customer churn rate month-on-month can quickly escalate into a crippling annual churn rate that your business can’t sustain. Fortunately, small improvements in your customer churn […]

By Cobloom | December 15, 2020

Each class has different demand signal patterns that can help with model selection. Companies often group their demand series according to a business or organizational structure, such as a planning hierarchy or reporting hierarchy. Although this type of grouping is easy to organize and report, it is poorly suited for modeling purposes. Instead, companies should […]

By Bain & Company | December 9, 2020

With help from cloud platforms and AI-assisted technology, going back to the start each budget cycle is easier and leads to more accurate cuts. Zero-based budgeting is gaining in popularity as companies cut costs because of the pandemic, but it’s not the slash-and-burn tactic it used to be. Instead, businesses are having success applying the […]

By CFO Dive | November 30, 2020

While many of these mistakes or potential issue items are likely to be more prevalent in a business with a lean (or essentially non-existent) finance team, we’ve seen large businesses deal with many of these same challenges. Here are the top 8 mistakes I see most frequently (along with some potential fixes if you are […]

By SaaSX | November 23, 2020

If there is one thing I have learned in my decades of building businesses, it is that KPIs are most useful if you are clear about the goal of the metric. You have to know what the KPI should be telling you in order to understand how to calculate it. If you don’t, you may […]

By Lauren Kelley | November 17, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the broader economy have created unprecedented uncertainty for management teams and investors, while rendering many existing business plans irrelevant. This uncertainty has made it much more difficult for most businesses to accurately forecast growth, operating metrics, and liquidity. To better prepare for the future, and any challenges and […]

By Espresso Capital |

To outline a hands-on, effective approach to customer health scoring, Underscore VC sourced insights from the Customer Success Core. In this framework, you’ll learn how to design a scoring system that aligns to your growth strategy, brainstorm and select leader indicators of success, and operationalize the system across your startup.   After Jebbit raised its Series B, […]

By Underscore VC | November 11, 2020

If you are in SaaS you already know the days of software vendors pitching monolithic enterprise solutions to corporate executives are quickly giving way to a growth model that centers on the end-user discovering software solutions on their own. This is product-led growth, a grassroots distribution model that scales from the bottom up, instead of […]

By SaaSX | October 30, 2020

While a handful of tech companies like Zoom and Shopify are enjoying massive gains as a result of COVID-19, that’s obviously not the case for most. Weaker demand, slower sales cycles, and customer insistence on pricing concessions and payment deferrals have conspired to cloud the outlook for many tech companies’ growth. Compounding these challenges, a […]

By Espresso Capital | October 23, 2020

Instead of considering the budgeting process a rote exercise or an operational hurdle, CFOs and their companies can use it as a significant opportunity. This is now of greater importance given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those CFOs who are able to successfully transform legacy budget and planning processes can act quickly when faced with change, […]

By Workday Adaptive Planning | October 13, 2020

It’s October—start of Q4 for many, or end of Q3 for some. The 2021 planning process is kicking off or already underway at most companies. Plus, most companies are currently finalizing their Q3 numbers. We took a look at a select group of SaaS companies to see how Q2 differed from Q1 2020 and any […]

By Lauren Kelley | October 7, 2020

Jason Purcell, Co-founder and CEO of Salsify, saw firsthand the crippling economic impacts of the 2008 Great Recession. In building Salsify, a product experience management company, he and his executive team expected another recession to occur at some point, and they knew they’d have to plan for the worst. In turn, they made contingency planning […]

By Underscore VC | October 6, 2020

From accountants to FP&A professionals, the Office of Finance is fast becoming the engine of insight in the modern enterprise. This hasn’t always been so. For years accountants were seen as “bean counters” and CFOs as gatekeepers. But that’s changing as powerful new technologies help finance teams transform corporate data into insights that help organizations […]

By Workday Adaptive Planning | September 29, 2020

Net dollar retention is the most important metric in SaaS. We find that companies with great net dollar retention (100%+) grow quickly and are more cash efficient than those with mediocre or poor net dollar retention. They’re also far more attractive to acquirers and VC. Sprout Social, which provides software for managing social media and […]

By Blossom Street Ventures | September 22, 2020

There’s a lot of attention being paid to the concept of agility right now. Given the world we’re living in, that’s hardly surprising. Against a backdrop of uncertainty, agile businesses have the ability to rapidly adjust their people and processes to create more value and react quickly to changing conditions. Yet, from a finance perspective, […]

By Workday Adaptive Planning | September 15, 2020

As we head into the final stretch of the year, here’s a look at some of the top operational and business trends that we are hearing about. Most SaaS and Software companies are starting to gear up for end of the year budgeting and planning exercises. Part of that exercise requires forecasting both the close of […]

By Lauren Kelley | September 10, 2020

Exercise one time, and you will get benefits. Exercise daily, enough to build your muscle mass, and your metabolism actually increases. Similarly, run a business change program once and you may reap short-term benefit. Do it repeatedly, with purpose, and your organization’s ongoing ability to change will jump. In today’s business environment, change is the […]

By Bain & Company | September 8, 2020

“People over 45 basically die in terms of new ideas.” said venture capitalist Vinod Khosla in 2011.  “People under 35 are the people who make change happen,” he further asserted.  Taking the exact opposite tack, in a recent CNBC interview, Alan Patricof, founder of Greycroft Partners, an elite venture capital firm, said: “academic studies show that the success rate […]

By N2Growth | September 1, 2020

Financial modeling is like a superpower—one that lets you test your assumptions and hypotheses across dimensions, versions, and time before executing budgets and plans, but every superpower has its kryptonite. In this blog we discuss how to generate flexible and robust financial models powerful enough to drive strategic decisions and help your business leap over the competition in a single bound.

By Workday Adaptive Planning | August 25, 2020

There has never been so much data and insight available around accounts and individuals that enables organizations to do all sorts of activities more effectively and efficiently than ever before. From prioritizing your target universe to knowing when buyers are in-market, who to approach and which specific messages to use when targeting, data has opened […]

By InsightSquared | August 18, 2020

It’s common to design a SaaS renewal process that starts about 90 days before the date of renewal. It’s common, but that doesn’t make it right, does it? A great, proactive SaaS renewal process really starts the day the customer signs up. And renewal is just really one huge part of the overall initiative to retain customers. Let’s start with […]

By SaaSX | August 11, 2020

This week, the Mass Technology Leadership Council kicked off the Tech Compact for Social Justice with 60+ leading tech companies making over 180 commitments in their organizations to affect change. In Massachusetts, only 5% of tech occupation workers are African or African/American and 7% are Hispanic or Latino.  According to the Boston Globe, “the tech […]

By Lauren Kelley | August 5, 2020

Modern tools use integrations to eliminate rekeying data, share information across teams or departments, and gather intelligence to enable broader analysis and faster decisions. For most companies following a best-in-class technology strategy, the finance system is the hub for the other systems they use. It becomes a go-to point for making strategic decisions that affect […]

By Sage Intaact | August 4, 2020

Second quarter numbers are in and results are mixed.  Overall, companies were up for first half results 2020, but second quarter was tough.   COVID impacted sales for most companies in April and May, with many companies reporting sales coming back in June. We recently fielded a quick survey of SaaS companies to help the SaaS […]

By Lauren Kelley | July 31, 2020

At a Glance It often seems as if traditional strategy development processes have no place in the fast-moving, always changing technology industries. But in many respects the way top tech performers define a mission, shape a portfolio and allocate resources looks a lot like what companies in more traditional industries have done for decades. The […]

By Bain & Company | July 28, 2020

Mention the words “dark data” and it immediately conjures up images of the Matrix, hackers, black hat tactics, and so on. Yet despite its cyberpunk connotations, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Dark data is an incredibly useful source of information that SaaS businesses can tap into to improve their processes. But what is […]

By Lighter Capital | July 21, 2020

Every few months I take a look at the top read blog posts on OPEXEngine, to make sure I have a solid understanding of the topics that you are looking for more insight on. And month after month, I see some of the same topics come to the top of the list. As a result, […]

By Lauren Kelley | June 11, 2020

Here’s a shout out to Dave Kellogg’s Key SaaS Metrics podcast, recently released on Aznaur Midov’s SaaShimi series.  Dave does a terrific job explaining the current state of the art on important SaaS metrics.  The podcast is an excellent SaaS Metrics 101 listen even for experienced SaaS finance experts. Dave was most recently CEO of […]

By Lauren Kelley | May 22, 2020

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