How to Calculate the ROI of Customer Success Software

Barry Devon
Feb. 28th, 2023

Tldr: skip to the bottom to access a spreadsheet that calculates the Return-on-Investment (ROI) of a Customer Success platform PLUS a quick explainer video on how to use the spreadsheet.

Customer Success Platforms (CSPs) are designed to move the needle on Net Revenue Retention (NRR). Improving your rate of NRR directly impacts your SaaS company’s revenues and profitability. So, why delay? Just invest in one and get on with growing your revenues, right?

Whoa! Maybe (probably), but there is a lot to consider before signing up to a CSP.

This is a decision that will impact the entire business. Data from every dusty corner of your tech stack can be passed into the CSP and, in return, the CSP will ensure insightful data will be shared back across the business, adding value to every customer interaction. This will (should) influence the effectiveness of Customer Success, Sales, Support and back-office operations, ultimately resulting in less churn and higher per-customer revenues.

But, it also requires buy-in from all of the relevant departmental stakeholders. Most importantly, you will need to involve your IT department, as they will have to manage the integration, configuration and maintenance of some (or all) of the data sources. There is also the friction around change management to be considered, building confidence that this is the right decision and driving adoption of the new solution to maximize the returns.

So, speaking of returns, whether you are making this decision yourself or lobbying for a new solution internally, it’s vital that you have a solid understanding of the kind of benefits you expect to accrue, i.e. what is the expected Return-on-Investment (ROI).

Below I share a simple spreadsheet to help you calculate the ROI. To use it you will need to plug in the following information:

  • Your Annual Churn Rate
  • Your Annual Expansion Rate
  • Your Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
  • The Annual Cost of the CSP Software you are Considering
  • Your Goals (%) for Churn & Expansion

The short explainer video below walks you through how best to use the spreadsheet [the sheet is very simple but needs to be used in a specific order ].

Click here to access the ROI spreadsheet

Caveat: this is a [deliberately] simplified tool that will help inform your investment decision. To get a much more accurate result you can, of course, add a multitude of up-front and ongoing costs to the direct cost of the CSP but if this initial calculation returns a healthy ROI then you know it should be a project worth investigating.

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