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5 Key Onboarding Metrics for B2B SaaS Companies

Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Adriaan

Have you ever tried a SaaS app but later ditched it for another because you weren’t sure how to use it? Now, imagine how many more people go through the same thing.

According to a Salesforce study, about 59% of Gen Z consumers switch brands for those they feel better reflect their priorities.

Customer onboarding goes beyond merely acquiring a product. It involves guiding users through the initial stages of using your software and helping them realize its value.

So, how can you measure the success of your onboarding efforts? The answer lies in identifying which metrics to track. This way, you can finetune your onboarding process and ultimately drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In this article, we will explore the key B2B SaaS metrics you should prioritize when assessing your customer onboarding strategies.

5 Critical B2B SaaS Onboarding Metrics

Understanding the key B2B SaaS onboarding metrics is essential for measuring progress, identifying any friction points, if any, and aligning your team with business objectives.

Here are five critical metrics you need for actionable insights that drive product growth.

1. Time-to-Value (TTV)

According to the EverAfter 2022 report, about 34% of businesses measure onboarding success using the time-to-value metric.

Image via EverAfter

But what exactly does it measure?

Time-to-value measures how quickly a customer realizes the benefits of your software. It is the duration from the moment a user signs up to when they achieve their first meaningful outcome.

B2B SaaS is particularly time-conscious because your customers may lose revenue the more the onboarding process is delayed.

Streamlined subscription management ensures hassle-free sign-up, payment processing, and access to the SaaS platform.

This means that your customers can start deriving value from your product sooner. You can refer to the Younium guide to learn more about subscription management.

Here are a few more ways to improve TTV.

  • Provide interactive tutorials and walkthroughs to guide customers effectively.
  • Segment users based on their needs and offer personalized onboarding paths.
  • Establish clear milestones to help users track their progress and understand how each step adds value.
  • Provide introductory pricing or free trials to allow customers to experience benefits quickly, while also encouraging paid plan upgrades.
  • Incentivize product exploration by highlighting new features added based on user feedback.
  • Conduct user testing to identify and resolve pain points they face on their onboarding journey.
  • Set up community forums for peer learning and support during onboarding.

2. User Engagement Rate

User engagement shows how actively users interact with your software. This metric measures the frequency and depth of user actions within your platform.

Now, depending on your product, you can monitor engagement rates in different ways. For instance, for a productivity tool, engagement could mean logging in daily and using the tasks feature.

However, for a subscription management platform, user engagement might involve regularly managing subscription details and using advanced billing features. Here are a few more ways to keep track of user engagement:

  • Track feature adoption to see which product capabilities users are leveraging.
  • Measure session length and frequency to gauge active usage.
  • Set benchmarks for workflow completion as indicators of engagement.
  • Analyze usage cohorts to identify highly engaged customer segments.
  • Track enrollment and participation in training programs.
  • Monitor click-through rates on in-app messaging and notifications.
  • Track social sharing and mentions as signs of product integration.

A high user engagement rate indicates that your customers find your product valuable and are integrating it into their workflows.

You can improve user engagement by making the onboarding process more interactive through short product tours.  

3. Trial-to-Paid Conversion Rate

Many potential customers may sign up for your free trial. But how many actually pay for your product after the trial period expires?

The trial-to-paid conversion rate measures the number of users transitioning from the trial phase to paying customers.

You can measure the conversion rate using the calculation below:

Conversion rate = Number of free trial users that converted into paid users  x 100

All free trial users

A high conversion rate indicates that your onboarding process successfully communicates the value of your SaaS solution.

Subscription management software simplifies the conversion process by facilitating transparent billing processes and automating payments. Use this curated list of the best software by Attrock to find the right subscription management software for your business.

But can the length of your free trial directly influence your SaaS app’s conversion rate?

A RevenueCat study found that trials taking four days or fewer had the lowest median conversion rate. However, apps with longer trial periods, whether 5 to 9 days, 10 to 16 days, or 17 to 32 days, had roughly equal median conversion rates.

Image via RevenueCat

This means your business strategy and the type of app will likely have a bigger impact on conversion than a “right” trial period.

Here are more ways you can improve the conversion rate.

  • Offer responsive customer support during the trial period.
  • Follow up the free trial with upgrade emails.
  • Regularly engage trial users with educational content showcasing the full capabilities of your software.
  • Offer pricing tiers that align with different user needs to make upgrading to paid plans intuitive.
  • Highlight key features that are only available with paid plans to encourage conversion.
  • Offer time-limited discounts or perks for upgrading from the free trial.
  • Allow trial users to experience the full functionality of your app through time-limited full-access passes.
  • Segment trial users based on activity and provide active users with customized upgrade offers.
  • Offer one-on-one demos or training sessions to showcase the value of paid plans.

4. Customer Retention Rate

According to a recent study, acquiring a new customer costs about five times more than retaining existing ones. Moreover, boosting customer retention by 5% can lead to more than a 25% increase in profits.

What does this tell you?

This metric can help you discover whether your onboarding process fosters long-lasting customer relationships. You can calculate the customer retention rate using this method.

Customer Retention Rate =

Number of customers at the end of a period – Number of new customers    x 100

                Number of customers at the beginning of a period

A high customer retention rate indicates that customers find ongoing value in your B2B SaaS product. Here are a few ways you can boost your customer retention rate.

  • Offer regular updates on new features or improvements to maintain interest.
  • Run re-targeted campaigns for users showing signs of disengagement.
  • Provide proactive customer support during onboarding.
  • Facilitate peer learning through community forums and expert-led webinars.
  • Offer additional training resources like online courses for expanded product mastery.
  • Reward loyalty with special perks like discounts, early access to new features, or VIP support.
  • Automate lifecycle messaging to guide users through key workflows post-onboarding.
  • Highlight customer success stories and case studies to showcase ROI.
  • Provide usage analytics to customers so they can track how they derive value from your product.

5. Customer Feedback and Satisfaction

A recent study shows that around 70% of customers abandon SaaS onboarding process if it takes more than 20 minutes.

Direct feedback from your clients can help you understand what they really feel about your product.

Image via Magazetty

Analyzing customer feedback allows you to identify pain points and areas for improvement. This way, you can refine the onboarding experience to serve customers’ needs better.

Here are some ways you can measure customer feedback and satisfaction.

  • Conduct interviews to gain in-depth insights into customer experiences.
  • Use surveys, feedback forms, or direct outreach to gather customer opinions about your product.
  • Request feedback at strategic points during the onboarding process to help you make improvements.
  • Monitor social media and review sites to track overall product sentiment and issues raised.
  • Set up focus groups of customers to test new features or solicit feedback.
  • Monitor churn rate trends to identify customer satisfaction problems over time.
  • Compare feedback from different customer personas for targeted insights.
  • Analyze onboarding feature usage to see which aspects provide value.

Make sure to address customer issues or concerns promptly. Quick and effective resolution of problems demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction.

Final Thoughts

Your customer onboarding experience doesn’t have to be complex and overwhelming. Instead, it should build trust and propel customer satisfaction and loyalty.

By closely monitoring the key metrics discussed in this article, you can create a seamless B2B SaaS onboarding experience.

Your customers deserve the best, and so does your business. Upgrade your onboarding process today!

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