Last month I spoke at SaaStr Annual 2023 on The Strategic Use and Abuse of SaaS Metrics (video here). When I wrote that presentation I found myself with something of a content blivit on my hands. I had a bunch of strategic things I wanted to say, but darn it, I had a lot of tactical things I wanted to say as well.
While the strategic use of metrics is key, poor tactical presentation of metrics can lead to anything from obsfucation to disaster. Never forget Edwin Tufte’s reminder that tactical presentation mistakes can lead to quite strategic problems, demonstrated via his analysis of a Powerpoint deck that was used in a discussion of the Columbia re-entry decision.
So, instead of trying to jam everything into a single deck, I decided to write two different presentations:
- The Strategic Use and Abuse of SaaS Metrics, which I presented at SaaStr Annual 2023 last month. This presentation starts with 15 signs of a strategic SaaS metrics problem followed by the introduction of a SaaS Metrics Maturity Model to help you determine where you are and plot a path forward.
- How To Present SaaS Metrics Like a Pro (By Avoiding These 10 Common Mistakes), which I presented at SaaS Metrics Palooza 2023 today. This session is more tactical and covers everything from amateur presentation of metrics to excessive use of smoothing, with a lot in between.
While there is a touch of overlap between the two presentations (e.g., piecemealing), they are designed to be consumed together and reinforce each other, so please take a look at them both.
I have discovered a new mantra in building these decks. Because so many SaaS metrics problems are ultimately driven by a lack of trust, and because templates can do so much to build both trust and alignment, I am now in the habit of repeating:
Templates build trust. Templates build trust. Templates build trust.
I also have a new theme song (and walk-on music) for mistake number seven, excessive use of smoothing. Don’t be a Smooth (metrics) Operator.
I’ve embedded the slides of the SaaS Metrics Palooza presentation below. You can download a PDF of them as well. You can find a video of the presentation at the SaaS Metrics Palooza Website (registration required, but free.)