Wondering if your company is OKR ready?

Wondering if your company is OKR ready?

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How SaaS Leaders Use OKRs?

28 December, 2022
5 mins

For SaaS companies, it’s all about the rapid growth in the initial years because if they don’t, they will burn a lot of cash. This is what the surveys also found. Running out of funds is the top reason for startup failures.

Even if the company is well funded, it can become hard to attain profitability if the leaders cannot figure out the product-market fit and retain enough customers. 

Now OKRs are not an all-in-one solution. They cannot replace hard work, leadership experience, good teamwork, or a motivating work culture, but they can help you set the bar higher and push your people to achieve ambitious yet realistic goals.

OKR for SAAS

What goes on in SaaS businesses?

Software-as-a-service businesses exist because people need technology products to make their lives easier. For example, a simple SaaS video platform like Netflix grew exponentially to satisfy the thirst of movie lovers.

But what goes around among the people building and maintaining these SaaS products?

A SaaS organization typically has Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, Developers, Product, and Quality Management professionals. There is generally a bit of pressure on the team in the initial years because the team size is small, and they are trying to scale up fast.

It’s pretty easy to get off track when people tend to focus on the execution so much. They might also get so involved in their tasks that they often forget to sit together and reflect on the team’s progress.

The team moves slowly when they have a few customers, but when the customers start to grow, all the team members must actively collaborate in real time and engage in frequent team discussions. For example, the developer’s team might have to work long hours when there are some new product updates to be launched.  They must quickly deliver product updates because it affects customer retention.

The interesting thing about the SaaS companies’ work environment is that OKRs can be a basis for agile collaboration and focusing on the right set of goals and priorities. 

Six best practices to use OKRs in SaaS.

If you are new to OKRs and believe in them, then you should definitely hire an OKR Coach to help train leaders in your company and make a few people OKR champions. Also, remember that the above framework is not a solution to every problem in your business.

  • Defining clear goals and objectives

It’s hard to find companies where everyone, down to the new interns, knows about the company’s vision and main business goals. This causes the employees to gradually lose interest in their roles and experience burnout. 

The OKR framework is designed so that the leaders must involve everyone on the team and set goals in a bottom-down way. It has also been proven effective in organizational settings because companies like Intel and Google similarly used OKRs.

These goal-setting practices ensure that your people remember and are compelled to work toward achieving their individual OKRs.

  • Regular check-ins and discussions

If you want the OKRs to work, you must review and update them periodically because your business doesn’t stay the same, and you have to be flexible in your planning.

Routine check-ins facilitate discussions among the team members and leaders. They allow the group to monitor their progress, align their work with the business goals, correct their course, brainstorm, find innovative solutions, etc.

For SaaS startups, these discussions become critical as those teams often pivot their strategies based on the market, customer behavior, and feedback. Without continuous meetings, it’s easy to ignore the priority tasks.

  • Using software to be efficient

It’s common to recruit remote working professionals today, and it becomes hard to keep track of the progress if you are not using some type of easily accessible tool. You can say that you work well on spreadsheets, but collaborating well on them is not easy.

Many OKR management software in the market is simple, easy to use, fast and multifunctional, making them suitable for fast-moving organizational work. Your people can even collaborate in real-time on these platforms. You can share files, send emails, manage spreadsheets, etc., on the same tool.

  • Continuous performance management

Have you seen or heard how a tiny startup team works from a garage or some dorm room?

They are a great example of continuous performance management. Those people engage in continuous conversations, collaboration, and feedback. There is no hierarchy of roles when it comes to working on projects. They have a plain flat team structure.

The goal of a continuous system is to constantly monitor team and organizational progress by leveraging barrier-free collaboration and two-way communication between leaders and team members. This system helps in continuously improving organizational performance to achieve prime business goals.

  • Cross-team collaboration

SaaS products must be up-to-date, and you must innovate to survive in the competitive landscape. What does this mean for the internal team? If it’s a small startup team, there is no question about the need for real-time collaboration. Suppose you are managing a medium or large group. In that case, it becomes necessary to ensure no friction between different departments and teams, as in a SaaS business, they are pretty interdependent.

OKRs can be a powerful tool to align your cross-functional teams and enable them to collaborate actively.

  • Flexibility in strategy and OKRs

OKRs and business goals decided by the top leaders are not some immovable and strict rules that everyone must follow blindly. The right way to use the this framework is to involve everyone in the goal-setting process and enable them to point out mistakes in the set OKRs (if any).

Mistakes happen, especially when you are using OKRs for the first time. Before committing to this framework, ensure that you understand your company and individual objectives and key results inside out.

Are you committed to using OKRs at your SaaS company but need help in starting? We can help you roll out OKRs in your organization step by step with OKR management platform and supportive consultation.

Reach out to us to know how you can achieve the above.

FAQs

1. How are OKR softwares beneficial for the SaaS industry?

SaaS companies can attain plenty of benefits through OKR software. It helps the SaaS business to remain focused on the high-impactive objectives, align their teams to the organizational strategy, track the progress of the teams, and enable the workforce to push themselves and walk the extra mile to drive the organization towards desired success. 

2.Which are the best SaaS Okr examples?

            Objective – Launch the new product successfully

            KR1 :  Get at least 500 new signups 

            KR2 :  Boost free trial to subscriber conversion rate to Y%