Wondering if your company is OKR ready?

How Saas Organizations Can Upscale Their Objectives Through OKRs

1 May, 2022
6 mins

It is absolutely no secret that Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) have turned out to be a huge success for many organizations and have been the door to unlocking business success for many. In today’s dynamic industry, both small start-ups and established enterprises have to iterate their priorities rapidly to enjoy a competitive advantage. This also echoes the influential transformation from driving output to yielding better outcomes.

Saas organizations can upscale their objectives through OKRs

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Implemented by some of the most successful organizations such as Netflix and Google, OKRs are now the route taken by Saas organizations for stimulating growth and success. When implemented in the correct manner, OKRs for saas organizations help them to focus on a unified group of objectives and keep everyone accountable for what they do and how they contribute towards unlocking organizational success. Saas organizations widely adopt OKRs for establishing a robust system where everyone is aligned to move in the same direction, focus on crafting objectives that are of the highest importance, and collaborate for accomplishing desired results – all while enumerating real value to success. Whether you are leading a small startup with 30 employees or a large organization with 300+ employees, using OKRs will leverage your business. 

This is the reason that OKR softwares are extremely popular amongst SaaS organizations now. The benefit of using an OKR tool for Saas organizations is not just limited to growth. Rather it enables you to effectively capture the market share, satisfy your customers, remain ahead of the curve and attract investors to pocketing the dream funding.  In addition to this, OKR software serves as a solution for numerous pain points for the SaaS organizations: 

1. Aligning the organization’s revops 

Aligning the marketing sales, product, and customer success team is a common problem faced by SaaS organizations. It is no secret that establishing alignment across these organizational teams is critical for the growth of saas businesses. This is where an OKR tool comes into the picture as it makes it feasible for you to align your teams around the objectives that drive your top and bottom lines. Moreover, it allows you to establish a culture of transparency to ensure that your saas business doesn’t operate in silos. 

2. Engagement and retention of customers

One of the main reasons for SaaS organizations to swiftly shift toward the OKR methodology is that it allows them to become a better and more effective organization in multiple ways. Therefore, it brings a significant rise in the rate of customer retention for the organization, thereby solving a huge pain point for them. Through the OKR program, saas organizations are able to bring clarity around what matters the most for the customers and therefore, prioritize that rather than wasting their time and resources on the objectives that won’t help them in engaging and retaining their customers.

3. Win the battle for talent

 The quality of the employees and teams can make or break the functioning of SaaS organizations. Now SaaS organizations on a large scale are experiencing huge problems in getting talented employees on board. Having an OKR tool solves this problem as it enhances the effectiveness of the onboarding process of SaaS organizations. The SaaS companies that use OKR software become more appealing to these potential candidates as there’s no micromanagement and rather employees get offered a framework of ownership that allows them to thrive. Moreover, having an engaged and transparent work culture increases your odds to retain the existing set of talented employees. 

To ensure that you as a SaaS organization use the OKR software in an optimal way, follow the following tips: 

Specify the objectives and key results

Objectives are the outcomes you want your teams or organization to attain over a specific period of time. Each objective needs to be specific and measurable to ensure that everyone knows what is being done. These objectives should be strategic and intended to make your employees and teams stretch. On the other hand, key results refer to the metric-based indicators used for measuring success or progress towards certain objectives. Since key results are primarily about measuring progress and success, it is vital to have a numeric value associated with each of them. As the objectives, key results are time-bound and set for the same frequency, either for the month or the quarter. 

To ensure that your saas organization continues to grow through the OKR program, it is vital to follow the 3 by 5 rule. The aim is simple and straightforward – while defining OKRs at your employee, team, or the organization level, there should be only 3 to 5 objectives for the particular quarter. Now each of these objectives should be linked to just 3 to 5 key results, which again should be measurable and time-bound. Now, you must be wondering why should the 3 to 5 rule be followed? The reason for this is quite clear. When the objectives and key results are limited to the numbers 3 to 5, it ensures that the focus is not diluted. This ensures that everyone in the organization has a clear picture of the organization’s vision and purpose and works on what is most crucial for driving the business towards the desired result. 

Involve teams to buy-in 

When it comes to the OKR program, it is often said that the most crucial aspect of OKR success is conviction and buy-in by the organization’s leaders. OKRs serve as the bridge between strategy and execution for the organization, right? Then it becomes quite imperative for the organization to involve an executive team or a pilot group of employees for buying in from the top down. These individuals don’t need to be OKR experts but should have decent skills to lead employees and teams in establishing relevant objectives aligned to the organization’s purpose and vision. 

For instance, a Saas organization using OKRs must have their teams establish three to four objectives and key results for a certain quarter. Once the pilot group effectively uses OKRs for a few quarters, they can easily implement them at the organizational level to ensure that everyone leverages the benefits of the OKR program

Set frequent check-in cadence 

The process of goal-setting is often a bit swifter in small saas organizations. You need to have check-ins frequently to assess employee performance. Rather than conducting the review meetings quarterly, managers usually focus on having weekly or bi-weekly check-ins for evaluating how the organization is steering towards attaining the organizational objectives. 

However, it is to be ensured that the check-ins should not be considered to be a way for tracking the progress frequently. Check-ins should be treated as a way to analyze whether the goals the organization is working on are still significant to the organization or not. With ever-changing organizational priorities, objectives also need to be regularly updated to drive the best results for the business. With a consistent check-in cadence, leaders will be able to realign objectives so that employees monitor their pace so as to perform more effectively in the upcoming quarter. 

The above-discussed traits for using OKRs will enable the Saas organizations to easily attain the desired objectives and growth. The organization will be easily able to bring each and everyone towards successful short-term sprints that will ultimately bring long-term success to the business. For more assistance regarding OKRs for saas organizations, reach out to us!