Beyond KPIs: Benchmarks that Empower Modern Businesses

Beyond KPIs: Benchmarks that Empower Modern Businesses

Revenue Operations leaders have been tracking KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) like “ARR”, “MRR”, and “Churn Rate” since the early aughts when SaaS models first started gaining steam amongst software companies. These metrics were a great starting point for plotting year over year trends, but how much can they really tell you?

They can’t answer deeper questions like:
“Are we losing customers and revenue because of failed electronic payments?”
“Is our ability to make agile decisions hampered by a lack of real-time visibility into our revenue numbers?”
“Are we offering pricing & packaging options that meet the needs of all of our potential customers?”

These complex questions require more analysis and synthesis to answer.

The Power of Benchmarking 

With nearly two decades of experience supporting revenue operations leaders across various industries, sizes, and monetization strategies, Zuora is uniquely positioned to answer these questions and provide actionable observations to drive decision making.

In 2016, we began to closely examine the treasure trove of insights our incredible set of clients has provided over time and published the first Subscription Economy Index (SEI) to report on growth trends and the health of companies adopting the customer-centric models that modern business relies on. This April (2024), we published our 8th annual report and once again found that even with the economic headwinds that have slowed down growth across the board, the 600+ companies included in the SEI continued to outperform those in the S&P 500.

From the very first report, our next question has always been, “Why is that?” and we dove deeper to find out, eventually identifying the traits that made top-performing companies in the SEI so successful. With this valuable insight, we developed the following benchmarks to help companies compare their own progress against industry leaders and peers:

  • Quick Payments Rate
  • Automated Billing Efficiency
  • e-Payment Success Rate
  • Speed to Close Books
  • Annual Pricing Updates
  • Flexibility Index
  • Proportional Usage Billing

Personalized Insights to Drive Better Decision Making

Distilling these leading indicators of growing businesses into a “report card”, we’ve been leading deep, strategic conversations with our customers to help them prioritize areas for improvement and find new ways to get more value out of their Zuora solutions since then.

“We dedicated dozens of hours to data extraction, anonymization, analysis, interpretation, visualization, and crafting a compelling narrative for each customer,” recalls Jonathon Brown (then Senior Director of Customer Data Insights).

“We brought together teams that were often unaware of how their individual efforts contributed to overall business outcomes. The teams we presented to ALWAYS walked away more aligned and educated on their total monetization strategy, thanks to discussing these benchmarks with us and each other.”

Zuora quickly realized we needed to get these benchmarks into the hands of all customers, and not just on the once-a-year, white-glove basis our success teams could manage. These benchmarks had to be available 24/7, in the product.

With the introduction of our in-app Benchmarks Dashboard, Zuora customers can now tap into our extensive historical data and analysis to stay competitive in a rapidly changing market whenever it’s convenient.

 

Charts showing benchmark data from Zuora Platform
Get an overview of your organization’s performance amongst your industry and peers with the Benchmarks Dashboard

 

Now, RevOps leaders can prep for board meetings, annual project planning, and optimization meetings with an up-to-date picture of where you stand against these industry-leading benchmarks, regardless of when your next business review with us is.

Keep an eye out for “Beyond KPIs: Self-Service Strategic Planning” for information on each of the Benchmarks and how to use them in your organization, and in the meantime, if you see something in your benchmarks you’d like to discuss in-depth, you can always reach out to your CSM to start a conversation.

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