North Star Metric

I was having a call the other day with one of our customers and he wanted me right there and then to look into his data and tell him how to grow his SaaS business.

Here’s what I told him.

Basically, I told him there are no silver bullets, and that we need to take a step-by-step approach, but he wouldn’t listen. He was very persistent. So I said ok, let’s do it.

The first thing we did was to look at how many people that signed up managed to get to the promise of the business.

The promise of the business was cleverly phrased on his website.

So, we looked at how many people created an account and how many of them managed to experience that promise.

That’s what we call at InnerTrends the ‘onboarding process’.

The second thing we did was to look at all the people that finished the onboarding process, meaning they got to the promise of the business. What we wanted to analyse was the activity that they did in the first seven days after reaching that promise.

We were looking for actions that were specific to people that stuck to the product, meaning they returned and used it after, and not specific to people that churned. That also gives you the North Star Metric, or how we prefer to call it: the ‘Common Conversion Activity’.

The idea is that if more people do that, more people will stick with your product, more people will become customers.

So that’s the recipe that I gave to the customer:

get more people to the promise of your business, and then get more of them to experience the Common Conversion Activity.

If you need help to do this exercise for your company, let’s get in touch!

Author: Claudiu Murariu

InnerTrends' founder and lead analyst Claudiu Murariu is also the author of DataDiary, a newsletter about and for companies that use data in their business decision making process. You can follow him on Twitter @cllaudiu.