Goals Drive Success, but Metrics Drive Goals
In a previous post I wrote about the challenges B2B SaaS companies face in successfully building and delivering mobile products. Now it’s time to put it to test.
Many of today’s founders have acknowledged the importance of a mobile platform, and despite the challenges associated with driving adoption, some have achieved great success. But what’s been working for these companies and what can others learn from their model? Are there metrics management teams are using to help them attain such success?
Metrics, in some capacity, have always been a fundamental approach to setting goals and measuring success within a company. When SaaS was introduced as a business model, founders and investors alike began inventing new methods to evaluate the health of these companies and understand when it was or was not necessary to spend money on what (e.g. R&D vs. sales & marketing).
While mobile-focused companies have similar business models to their traditional SaaS counterparts, there are key differences in the strategies and goals these companies pursue. Unfortunately, metrics for mobile-focused SaaS companies haven’t yet been universalized or adopted. We’re hoping to change that.
OpenView’s Mobile Software Business Report
OpenView is constructing a report on metrics for software companies with a native mobile presence. Our goal is to highlight key performance metrics that will help management teams of these software companies measure and manage their mobile product strategy, especially in periods of high growth and expansion.
In our survey, we’ve identified the important themes that will be helpful for founders and operators to track. They’re the usual suspects: revenue metrics, product development and marketing costs, and engagement.
Those who complete the survey will receive a customized set of benchmarks drawn from your peer companies. Yes, that’s in addition to having a hand in guiding one of the world’s fastest growing sectors.
Participate in the survey here: OpenView Mobile Software Business Survey
Without getting too specific, these are some topics will cover in our report:
Similar to traditional SaaS companies, revenue is one of the most telling KPIs to track. These include:
- Revenue growth rate
- Proportion of revenue attributed to mobile
- Mobile revenue growth
- Monetization strategy
Development and Marketing Cost Metrics
Mobile product development is conclusively different from that of a web-based app. Nonetheless, management teams are still twiddling their thumbs when debating the appropriate amount to spend. A more sweeping issue is that teams, to no fault of their own, cannot make the necessary differentiation between web-based and mobile-based go-to-market strategies. They will want to pay close attention to some key metrics:
- Length of mobile app development time prior to release
- Total mobile product development / sales & marketing costs
- Proportion of team dedicated towards working on mobile strategy
Engagement has for long been imperative to mobile app success, and companies already set internal goals around metrics. However, the immature stage of mobile B2B SaaS has left these companies without accurate benchmarks for where they should strive to be. Things to consider:
- Annual monthly active user growth
- Percentage of overall users on mobile application
- One month mobile user retention rate
I’m eager to find trends among the data and see how these companies stray from the traditional SaaS model. If you’re leading a software company with a mobile presence and are interested in confidentially contributing, make sure to fill out the survey.