We were lucky enough to do a deep dive with the co-founders of Monday.com, Eran Ziman and Roy Man. It was great and will be released soon on their podcast and ours.
But ahead of that, I wanted to write up my top learnings while they were top of mind:
#1. Monday Has Top Tier NRR today, but getting there wasn’t easy. It took going multi-product.
A great point and one the HubSpot co-founders also made at SaaStr Annual. If you want to get to 100%+ NRR with SMBs, you really do need to go multi-product. It took Monday a long time to cross 100% NRR from SMBs, and they have to have multiple offerings to get there.
#2. Very focused on ROI from marketing spend, but set aside 10%-15% for experimentation.
Monday has been very rigorous about its market spend since Day 1. The rule was spend to an 8 month CAC, but not a day longer. Being very careful here is especially critical with SMB SaaS, where the ACVs are lower. Monday’s ACV was only $2k. But still they set aside enough to experiment. They even ran a Super Bowl ad. Eran and Roy disagreed a bit about how to measure its ROI 🙂 but both agreed that their brand marketing clearly works.
#3. Was very hard for Monday to get VCs to understand how they’d make money from $2k ACV, took very careful cohort analyses.
Monday’s investors struggled to understand the unit economics for small ACV deals until they iterated how they presented cohort analyses more clearly. Most important was segmenting the analyses to separate out the very newest customers, who were obscuring how well older customers were performing. Even today, most SaaS VCs would have trouble believing a $2k ACV product like Monday could truly scale. But scale it has.
#5. GRR is as important as NRR, but what’s most important there is that it doesn’t go down. GRR will vary by segment and category.
NRR is the NorthStar metric in SaaS, but we all agreed it can be gamed, to some extent. Price raises can increase NRR, without adding value. Long-term contracts can boost NRR, without adding long term value.
#6. Most important metric to them is the % of paid base actively using the product.
A B2B version of MAU/WAU/DAU. They care most about making sure the vast majority of their paid seats are active. Too many don’t track this, and have too many “junk” and unused seats and capacity. They see this ultimately tracking to the highest renewals and upsells.
#7. Ultimately, at scale, everything is NRR. At some point, you capture so many customers, it’s all about selling them more products they love.
At Monday’s scale, approaching $1B, you start to have everyone in our database. Yes, new customers and logos are key, but finding ways to add more value and sell to the base become what really matters. Put differently, Eran’s point is that there is a good reason NRR/NDR is the #1 metric public investors look for. It’s the one that really matters at scale.
Co-CEO Eran Ziman Will Be at 2023 SaaStr Annual Sep 6-8 in SF Bay Area!!
And a great look back at an earlier deep dive with the Monday founders on their top mistakes scaling Monday here: