The SaaS CFO: Best Practices for Success

June 15, 2022 | 5 Mins Caitlyn Simons

A SaaS CFO can help to rapidly innovate product and service delivery via financial support for investment in cloud deployed applications or digital platforms that have the capacity to innovate and drive high-growth for their SaaS business.

If the CFO does this on a consistent basis and is in a position to make confident decisions quickly that are supported by information from key technology stakeholders within the business, then major market gains and revenue streams can become a reality.

A SaaS CFO has the ability to develop a thorough understanding of their business over time and can have an insight into the company’s strengths and weaknesses. When provided with the right data, then the SaaS CFO can add significant value to the business and know what sort of investments will be needed to drive growth and development.

This article will take a look at some of the best practices for success that a SaaS CFO can look to incorporate into their business practices.

Understanding customer behaviour

Key metrics and financial reporting provided in real-time can have the ability to inform the chief financial officer over time of trending consumer behavior and spending habits. The CFO and surrounding finance team can then have the opportunity to analyze reports and draw conclusions about the nature and popularity of the products and services being delivered to the market by the multinational company that they are working for.

The numbers don’t lie, and they always tell a tale. But of course, they are not telling the full story and you always need to hear from the actual customer base on the ground to get a more thorough understanding of what the customer is feeling and how they are acting.

The numbers will reveal behavioral trends, bottom line revenue and profitability, and other numbers are in a position to reveal how their competitors are doing in a similar space, so the data can give a lot of insightful information when it comes to understanding consumer behavior. Significant key conclusions can be drawn from this data and the SaaS CFO can then sit down and collaborate with other finance leaders, as well as the broader business leaders within the company, to come up with accurate decision-making when developing a new plan in response to what these figures are saying.

Furthermore, the level of technology investment that is available for SaaS companies doesn’t always define success nor how many qualified people exist within the company. What is important and significant is, if there is not a clear understanding of consumer behavior and trending analysis within the company and on the radar of the finance leaders, then the CFO will be unable to move in the right direction and optimize new opportunities to the fullest.

Incorporating learnings into new features

This is very much connected to the previous section on understanding consumer behavior. Any requests in SaaS finance for investment in digital platform technology or technology applications need to be aligned to the learnings from the SaaS metrics that exist around current consumer behavior and spending.

A SaaS CFO will need to justify any spending on new technology investments and this person will also want to know that this investment will be incorporating key learnings into any new features of the product or service.

It must be in response to what is currently happening in the market, and there must be strong indications that this technology investment will result in new features that are desired in the market and result in strong revenue growth and income streams. If a SaaS CFO decides to carry out any new spending or investments into a technology that has no definite connections to what is happening in the market, then it will most likely end up not adding any real value or purpose to the company. This is why carrying out research into the current state and trends of the market is so significant when it comes to these investments and help the SaaS CFO’s business decisions to have positive results for the company.

The decisions made today in terms of investment in technology for the advancement of new features could have implications for years to come so it is important to take the time and get it right. This is why the metrics from the reporting and analysis of consumer behavior have a key role to play in investments.

Every company makes mistakes, but it is failure to learn from those mistakes that can really lead to disappointing long-term results. Learning quickly and adapting to new trends by introducing new features into products or services can help a company quickly recover any lost ground, catch up with competitors or even create a niche new revenue stream for themselves.

Rapidly deploying upgrades

Responsiveness is always going to be key, when in possession of the right data and information that you can fully trust, then it comes down to how fast you can act. If you don’t act quickly, then somebody else will and that means the competition will come in and take up that revenue share that could have been yours. Therefore, always being aware and on top of the latest trends that are emerging in the technology market is highly important, by staying informed on what is happening then it is possible to stay one step ahead when it comes to being in front of the competition and ensuring your business is up to date with all the latest technology developments and initiatives.

A SaaS CFO will want their investment to reap dividends as quickly as possible and they will want to see rapidly deployed upgrades that can produce results quickly and meet all of their business needs. These results will be measurable in consumer reaction, for example in the SaaS space this could mean a significant uptake in subscription services revenue and more new customers.

Deploying upgrades quickly and efficiently, supported by strong technology investment and hardcore data that is indicative of the right thing to do, can have the ability to separate a company from the competition. This involves making the decision to act decisively and then deploying technology upgrades as part of a clear plan in the business model.

This is about deploying upgrades in response to existing measurements and metrics that help the SaaS CFO to track, interpret and report on existing customers behavior and then invest in the kind of strategic tools and technology platforms that represent the best response to what the data is telling them about consumer behavior.

 

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