The job of a CFO is, in many ways, the challenge of finding the signals in the noise, the stories in the data.
Stories require the observation of change over time. For SaaS metrics, this is the rate of change (or slope) of your key metrics. While many analytics providers show the absolute values of your metrics such as MRR, ARPU, and Customer counts, it can be difficult to see whether growth is accelerating, decelerating, or constant for each.
With the addition of "Growth Rates" tab (located under Subscription Metrics of the Trends page), startups can now see how the growth rates of their metrics are changing over time.
In addition to the basic, single-metric takeaway (ex. "Revenue is decelerating") startups can see how trends may diverge. What does it say about our business that ARPU is accelerating while Trials are decelerating or staying constant? Moreover, what does a flattening of these curves say about any performance ceilings that may be on the horizon?
This "Growth Rates" area is a part of the free tier for anyone that connects their SaaS metrics. We look forward to seeing how you use these insights to guide your business!
As anyone close to billing can tell you, invoicing and collections are not the same thing. Especially in enterprise SaaS, where the time between sending a customer invoice and collecting cash can be upwards of 3 months.
Even for companies relying on credit card payments, according to Chargebee, the first charge fails nearly 6% of the time.
To account for these challenging realities, the simulator inside Summit now collects cash at an offset from invoicing, depending on the size of the transaction. For non-credit card transactions, while NET 30 (cash collected thirty days after invoice) is the most common, Summit uses a normal distribution to simulate delays (aging) of up to 6 months.
For credit card payments, payment terms are assumed to be NET 0 (pay immediately); however, Summit will now simulate the failure (and need to retry these charges) up to 5.95% of the time.
These changes provide users of Summit with a more realistic stress-testing of cashflow.
Here is a cash balance forecast for an enterprise SaaS before these payment terms are incorporated. We are showing 5 forecasts to illustrate a range of possible futures:
And here is a forecast for the same business, with realistic payment terms:
Users will see the effects of this change the next time they generate their baseline forecast or growth plans.
Summit now supports non-USD currency notation. Simply head over to your Account Settings page and pick your denomination. This will replace all of the default USD "$" symbols with your desired notation.
Did we miss yours? Let us know and we'll add it!
I started this business focused strictly on the world of SaaS, and at the same time engrossed in the tool I was building (simulation). But over the past 6 months I've become increasingly aware of the disconnect between that name (SimSaaS) and my evolving vision of what the market really wants and needs.
Summit: it's the vantage point that provides the best view of the horizon, a view that both inspires and informs. It's also emblematic of the goals that we strive for, metaphorically and sometimes, for adventure, literally. It's aspirational. And frankly, it inspires the kind of confidence I want to feel every time I think about this business or help someone else plan theirs.
Thanks for turning the page with me.
Our first premium feature for growth-stage companies has arrived! Role-based permissions.
Users invited to join accounts can now take the role of administrator, contributor, or observer. These roles break down like so:
Account Administrators can modify users, send invites, create and update forecasts, goals, growth plans, and metrics (trends). The full gamut from sign-up to management to billing.
Team Contributors can participate in an account by creating and modifying forecasts, goals, and growth plans, without the additional admin privileges for the account (billing and user management).
Metrics Observers can view your team's latest metrics and trends -- forecasts on your KPI's that extend into the future. These trends also show goals and goal progress bars, so users with this role can check in on how you're doing any time they want to see the latest.
Free accounts can only invite other Account Administrators. The other roles are made available immediately upon upgrade.
Expansion revenue is a beautiful thing. And for many SaaS companies, it's the source of inevitable, compounding rewards. Though small when a startup is beginning, the lift created by expansion, manifested as a growing ARPU--or average revenue per user (or customer), can become a major source of revenue.
As such, it only made sense for ARPU to be leveraged in the SimSaaS model ... and now it is!
Founders with a metrics provider will have this new intelligence auto-infused into their forecasts. For those without, ARPU can be set manually. The benefit of a metrics-powered ARPU is taking advantage of a trend:
The positive trend will be fed into the simulator, causing expansion revenue to occur well into 2021 (in this case, the startup has had a strong expansion trend for years!).
This release includes other goodies, like an improved slider UI for creating growth plans. All of the adjustments now remind you of your Baseline values, and include a reset for undoing any changes. Exploring the levers of your business has never been more fun, or safer. :-)
Lastly, this release provides a much-improved view of changes when viewed in the context of a growth plan page, several bug fixes, and some technical debt removal which you can't appreciate now, but will eventually.
With this release, the free version is feature complete and nearly ready for prime time later this month. Our focus now shifts to premium features. What do you want? Let us know!