Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has a number of important metrics for the business model with one of the most important being customer renewal rates / customer churn. Josh James, the co-founder of Omniture, which was bought by Adobe for $1.8 billion a couple years ago, sent this tweet out last week:
The idea that they’d sign up 1,200 customers per month and have 800 customers leave per month drives home the need to closely watch customer renewals. The ratio of new customers to lost customers is critical and now has a formal name:
Leaky Bucket Number = New Customers Per Month / Customers Lost Per Month
Note that it doesn’t take into account the average revenue per new customer vs the average revenue per customer that leaves as well as customer upgrades or downgrades. Generally, it’s a good metric to monitor because it’s easier for people to understand we signed 29 customers and lost 11 customers because it continues to keep the number of lost customers top-of-mind. And, it’s especially important for this number to be greater than one otherwise the startup is losing more customers than it’s adding.
What else? What do you think of the SaaS leaky bucket number?