SaaS Magic Number

The SaaS Magic number is a critical sales efficiency metric. Learn more and access our free magic number calculator below

SaaS Magic Number

The SaaS Magic number is a critical sales efficiency metric. Learn more and access our free magic number calculator below

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SaaS Magic Number Calculator

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Efficient growth is more important than ever for SaaS businesses in today’s market. Sales and marketing investment is a critical growth lever, but it is important that capital is only invested where it can be used effectively. That’s why it’s important for business leaders to understand how much revenue is generated for each dollar invested as they work towards sustainable growth and profitability.

What is the SaaS Magic Number

The SaaS Magic Number is a widely used sales efficiency metric for software subscription businesses. It measures the ratio between S&M spend and ARR generated, or in other words, how many dollars of annual recurring revenue is created for every dollar invested in Sales & Marketing.  

How to Calculate the Magic Number

The formula for SaaS magic number is:

(Current Quarter Revenue - Previous Quarter Revenue) * 4   /  Previous Quarter Sales & Marketing Spend

The numerator of the equation is used to calculate annualized revenue growth, and dividing by prior quarter Sales & Marketing spend illustrates the ratio between ARR generation and S&M spend.

Why is the Magic Number important?

Understanding a business’ Magic Number is important in both gaining a clearer picture of the efficiency of Sales & Marketing investment, as well as understanding where capital should be allocated moving forward. A common benchmark for a ‘good’ Magic Number is typically 0.75.

  • A Magic Number below 0.75 without an upward trend suggests a need to reduce sales & marketing investment. Sales efficiency at this rate is likely suboptimal, and continued sales & marketing investment without reevaluating key growth and loss drivers will result in increased burn rate and ineffective capital allocation.
  • A Magic Number greater than 0.75 gives businesses more freedom to operate and suggests that sales efficiency is effective enough to continue investing in sales and marketing functions. Businesses should continue to monitor trends over time to ensure the right balance of capital allocation, as sales efficiency may dip as investment scales. 

How to improve your Magic Number

Improving your SaaS Magic Number can be achieved by focusing on both sides of the equation, either increasing QoQ revenue growth or optimizing sales & marketing spend. 

  • Revenue growth can be achieved in a variety of ways, including maximizing existing customer growth via upselling and cross-selling existing customers, evaluating new markets and customer segments, improving sales enablement, and revisiting pricing strategies 
  • Sales & Marketing spend optimization can be achieved by focusing investments only in the most efficient channels and teams, exploring net new marketing channels, and auditing all sales & marketing expenses (tools, subscriptions, etc) 

In Conclusion

Understanding sales efficiency is critical at any point for SaaS businesses, but especially in today’s market as businesses focus on sustainable growth and maximizing runway. There are several metrics that businesses may use to track efficiency, but SaaS Magic Number continues to be a widely used choice by operators and investors alike. 

FAQs

What are other commonly used sales efficiency metrics?
There are several metrics that businesses and investors look at to best understand sales efficiency. Metrics most commonly used include the Bessemer CAC ratio and CAC Payback Period, while metrics such as Net Revenue Retention are often used in parallel.
What are the best ways to calculate burn rate and runway?

Ramp offers several free tools for calculating core efficiency metrics, including a free burn rate & runway calculator, as well as a unit economics model. You can access these tools and more through our Startup Resource Hub.
What metrics do investors look at beyond sales efficiency when evaluating a business?
Sales efficiency is just one of many metrics that investors and operators take into consideration when evaluating the health of a business. View a comprehensive set of metrics that are important to measure across the lifecycle of a company, as well as 100+ examples of how these metrics have been used in pitch decks, by accessing our free metric overview and pitch deck database.

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