Theory SaaS Startup Key Metrics Template
Over the last decade or so, I’ve compiled a metrics sheet to summarise a SaaS business. While no living document like this is ever perfect, this is currently the best board-level summary of the overall health of a business I have found. I’m sharing it so that others may benefit and improve it. If you have suggestions, please email me.
Google Sheet: Theory SaaS Metrics Template
Direct Download: Theory SaaS Metrics Template (xlsx)
The template is broken into six sections: People, Bookings & Revenue, Cash, Sales, Marketing, Customer Success.
People is the first section because people are a startup’s most important element. This section covers employee satisfaction, headcount, and recruiting metrics. Indicators of challenges include a spike of non-regretted attrition or a decreasing employee satisfaction score.
Bookings and Revenue illuminates the company’s performance in closing new business (bookings) and recurring revenue. These are pretty straightforward.
Cash works through the cash balance, burn and implied number of operational months.
Sales breaks down the new customer acquisition metrics: total AEs, number of ramping account executives, bookings capacity, quota attainment and so on. It’s important to track the number of leads in the conversion rates to sales generated by sales. Oftentimes, companies won’t make explicit the lead generation responsibilities between sales and marketing, but I think that’s really important to diagnosing potential issues in the go to market.
Marketing digs into lead generation and conversion metrics. Also, unit economics for repayment and lead velocity rate. Months to repay is a powerful composite metric that describes the ultimate efficiency of the marketing lead acquisition portfolio.
Customer Success reviews the net dollar and logo retention, plus churns and expansions.
You’ll notice there is no engineering section. I found it’s really difficult to identify consistent metrics of engineering performance. Lines of code, count of P0 bugs, days of delay in releases. So engineering tends to be more qualitative, if so I hope someone can surface a better way.
The template is meant to provide a high-level overview of a business and identify where areas of excellence and areas worthy of deeper investigation. It’s another tool for your workbench.