A big challenge for most early-stage startups is developing a clear Go-To-Market (GTM for short) strategy for growth and success. Early in a companies life, the value-prop and ideal customer can be murky and being resource and cash strapped, most startup will grab any customer that comes their way. We wanted to discuss some simple tips startups and founders can do with their revenue/billing data to help unearth insights that can help direct your GTM game plan.
The first thing you can easily do is go into your billing/subscription system (Stripe, Zuora, etc.) and analyze your revenue retention. Revenue retention is the amount of revenue still being paid by an initial group of customers (ie, all the new customers you landed in July or everyone that is a software company). Say to start they paid you $10,000 in MRR back in July and now in October they are paying you $9,200 in MRR then their Net Revenue Retention would be 92%. Some billing/subscription management systems can perform these calculations for you though they usually only can do it for your entire customer base as a whole which can be misleading.
An easy work around is to pull the data into excel or google sheets and just go through it a group customer by certain characteristics like we discussed above. If you are early-stage (less than 1,000 customers) this should be easy enough to do manually, you can do some analytics on it using SQL if you have someone with the requisite skill sets on your team. Once you have a few defined characteristics (customer segments) you can then go through your monthly billing data and see how much those groups are still paying over a period of time. Then look across these groups and see which ones have the best Net Retention, ideally you would like to find a group with retention >100% but for early-stage companies still finding product-market fit it is ok if you don’t just yet.
Once you have identified the best group or two, take a look at their customer journey, which channels did they come in through, what products/services did they buy initially and did they add additional products or units after their initial purchase? These are all clues to help you uncover a clear go-to-market plan. Say most of your leads came in via marketing buys, and bought a certain product to start and then expanded to another feature later shows you the value-props they are finding as a customer, so you can start putting that message into your marketing messaging. Once you identify that group, mapping that journey will reveal to you their GTM experience with your brand and allow you to emulate it moving forward.
Starting with billing data is an easy way for an early-stage startup to segment their customers and find their top performers. From there a review of their customer journey and you find yourself with a pretty nice roadmap for a GTM strategy. If you and your team are working on a GTM strategy and you want to chat more with me about how you can use billing and other data to help uncover customer insights, shoot me and email and mention this post!