So in the early days of SaaS, we looked mostly at ARR growth.  Then, we realized NRR was just about as important.  NRR is the mathematical key to keeping growth going and going.

But now fast forward to today, and we have a large swath of public SaaS and Cloud leaders.  And one thing that’s become clear is that not only does high NRR keep scaling well past $1B in ARR … so can net new customers.  Yes, you will exhaust your core ICP and buyer at some point.

But you have to keep growing that circle, that sweet spot of customers.  So you can keep growing new customers ideally at least +20% a year, even at $100m+ ARR.  And yes even at $1B+ ARR.

What do we see?  The leaders in SaaS and Cloud keep new customer count up in the double-digits … even at billions in ARR.  The averages:

  • + 14% new customer count growth

  • + 23% ARR growth even at

  • + 1.25B ARR on average

But that’s the average.  You want to do better than that, given that the average public SaaS company only trades at 6x ARR.

  1. So aim for 20%+ new customer growth at scale ($100m+), and 50%+ as you approach $50m ARR.  Below that is just too low.  Your present may be secure, but your future is at high risk.
  2. And try to keep your customer count growing at least 50% as fast as your NRR, higher if you are SMB.  That ensures you have a future, and you aren’t overly reliant on upsells from the base.

Your net new customers are your future.  This probably is your most important metric at all.

It may be just as important a goal as ARR and NRR every year — if you really want to go long.

Set a Net New Customer goal for this year.  It will help you hit the 2026+ plan.  And just as importantly, hopefully it will keep the team from pushing existing accounts so much, that they break them.  That they leave.

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