The 5 Key SaaS Onboarding KPIs You Need to Track

May 31, 2022

As a SaaS company, it’s important to track certain KPIs to ensure successful onboarding for your customers. Here are the five key SaaS onboarding KPIs you need to keep an eye on!

SaaS Onboarding KPIs

There are a few key SaaS onboarding KPIs that are important to track when onboarding new SaaS customers.

When a customer first starts using your service, they might not be totally sold on it until they start seeing the benefits.

Onboarding is not just about teaching a customer how to use your product. It’s also about guiding them through their first few uses of the product.

They need to see that your product provides value for them, or else they won’t stick around for long. That’s why it’s important to track customer success, or their ability to reach those specific goals.

The faster customers start using your product, the sooner they’ll become comfortable with it. That’s why companies want users to pass through their onboarding phase as quickly as possible.

What is the Purpose of Onboarding Metrics?

Onboarding is one of the primary phases of the customer journey. It is when all the sales and marketing claims are tested.

This is the time when the customer is at their most skeptical, so it’s important to start showing them why you’re the best brand for them.

Therefore, it’s imperative for onboarding to make the customer realize the value of the product as soon as possible.

Measuring your customer’s onboard process is vital because only through this can you tell how effective your process is and where you need improvement.

Onboarding is the most sensitive time for the customer because only during this stage, most of the customers decide whether or not to stay with the product.

If a customer isn’t properly onboarded, they likely won’t continue your subscription.

So, let’s begin by taking a look at the five most critical performance metrics that gauge the effectiveness of your onboarding process.

5 SaaS Onboarding KPIs You Need to Track

1. Time to First-time Value

You can offer all the amazing customer experiences during the sales and marketing stages. You can also have an amazing interaction during the customer onboarding stage. But until they start using the product and finding value, your onboarding process is incomplete.

The first-time value is the point in time when a customer sees the value of your product. And the time to first-time value of that customer is the time it takes for them to realize that.

Now, when you are setting up your product in their technical environment you may have to do the following: 

  • Configure the product according to your business needs
  • Seamlessly integrate with other software tools
  • Create users and set their permissions
  • While these are all a part of the customer’s onboarding, they are not to be confused with the First Time Value. Even after completing all these tasks, your customer hasn’t yet experienced the First Time Value.

They’d only do so after they’ve gone through all the setup steps and are finally able to use the product in their production systems.

Now, this desired outcome is context-specific, meaning it’s measured in different ways, such as by the amount of money or the time it saves in its workflows, or the number of sales it executes within a given timeframe.

This metric would give them a clear indication of the value of the product or service.

And the amount of time taken to reach this measurable goal after the sales was closed is called the Time to first time value.

2. Free Trial to Paid Conversion

Measuring the effectiveness of free trials is the most important aspect of any marketing strategy in the SaaS economy. While offering a free trial does give you an edge in attracting new users, tracking whether those users convert into paying customers is what matters most.

If more than 25% of trial users are converting to paying customers, then you’re doing just fine. However, if more than 25% of your customers are not converting, then it’s time to take a look at your product and service.

This is one of the easiest ways for new users to get started with your software. By giving them free access to your platform, they can learn the ropes on their own, saving you a lot of time.

3. Customer Progress

When you are providing training to your customer, you should break it up into separate, digestible chunks. Then, for each module, you should measure the completion time.

After you’ve sent them some materials to learn about your product, you can either let them learn by themselves or you can show them the product yourself.

In both instances, you should strive to reduce the time it takes for your customers to become self-sufficient. Your efforts should be focused on helping customers solve their pain points as quickly as possible.

You can track how long it takes for your customers to go through each of your modules. You can then see how long they take to get back to you with their questions and how quickly they move through the training program. All these intervals are important in measuring the time it took for your customer to complete the onboarding process.

4. Customer Response Rate

When your customers first start using the product or service, they will often need your tech support to help them resolve any issues.

Regularly survey your customers and take note of all the common issues they raise. Log these into a customer-success platform that you can access from anywhere.

Then, measure the time you spend responding to each of these customers. This metric for the onboarding process is crucially important in determining how efficient your customer service is.

Customer personas are a great tool to help understand your customers better. Since your customer’s background may be different from yours, they may use the product in a completely different way than you expect.

Defining your buyer persona can help you understand what types of people would be interested in your product or service.

When working with different types of customers, your approach to onboarding meetings will differ. For technical architects, for example, your approach will be different than for statistics experts.

Tailoring your onboarding process to different key stakeholders and key sponsors of your customers’ organizations would enable you to onboard them more efficiently.

5. Product Adoption Rate

This metric is probably the most important for measuring the success of your customer onboarding process.

Product adoption rate can be measured by how frequently and how long your customers use your product. The sooner your prospect starts seeing value in your offering, the sooner they’ll be on board.

There are many metrics to calculate the product adoption rate.

Daily Active Users (DAU) calculate how many users are active on your platform daily.

Monthly Active Users (MAU) calculates the same every month.

The more engaged they are with your product the higher the adoption rate.

As a Customer Success Manager, your goal would be to facilitate the adoption of the product in the client’s business. All your effort during the onboarding process would help them adopt it faster.

Only through successful adoption of your product can you ensure customers remain subscribed long-term.

Best Practices for Customer Onboarding

Optimizing your onboarding process is all well and good, but you also need to take action to ensure it’s streamlined.

Standardize The Process

Make sure you’re following the same standards for all of your customers’ onboarding. This will help you keep track of your progress as you optimize this process. If all of your efforts aren’t consistent, then you won’t be able to identify the areas that need improving.

Keep a Human Touch

Onboarding isn’t just about setting up technical things and getting started with your product or service. It’s also a time to build relationships, sometimes for life.

Pay More Attention

If you’re using the “high touch” or “tech touch” model for engaging new buyers, be aware that they require more attention than existing customers.

You will have to spend a little more time in the beginning. And as they get older, you can switch to whichever method suits you best.


If you’re a SaaS company, tracking the right KPIs is essential to ensure successful customer onboarding. Keep an eye on these key SaaS onboarding KPIs and you’ll be on your way to success!

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