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Net Revenue Retention: How To Calculate & Increase It

Discover what net revenue retention is, how to calculate it, how it affects your business, what's a good retention rate & how to improve it

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Team CrossVal

Published on 11 Oct 2023

net revenue retention

Discover the power of Net Revenue Retention (NRR) and how it can drive sustainable growth and customer loyalty for your business.

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Achieving sustainable growth and maintaining strong customer relationships are paramount to your success. While acquiring new customers is important, the real key to long-term success lies in retaining and growing your existing customer base. This is where Net Revenue Retention (NRR) comes into play. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the concept of NRR, its significance, how to calculate it, and most importantly, strategies to improve it. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of how NRR can be a game-changer for your business and how to maximize its potential.

What Is Net Revenue Retention

Net Revenue Retention, also known as Net Dollar Retention (NDR), is a vital SaaS metric that measures the percentage of revenue retained from existing customers over a specific period of time. It takes into account various factors such as upgrades, downgrades, cross-sells, and cancellations, providing a comprehensive view of your business’s revenue growth potential from your current customer base. NRR is a more accurate indicator of customer loyalty and revenue stability compared to other metrics like Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) or Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR).

Read more: How to Calculate Annual Business Revenue with Examples

Why is Net Revenue Retention important?

Net Revenue Retention is a critical metric for SaaS companies as it provides valuable insights into the sustainability of your business’s revenue growth. By focusing on retaining and expanding your existing customer base, you can achieve predictable and scalable growth. A high NRR rate indicates that your customers are not only sticking around but also generating additional revenue through upgrades and cross-sells. This not only strengthens your financial performance but also enhances your company’s prospects with potential investors.

Read more: GRR vs NRR – Unraveling the Differences

Calculating Net Revenue Retention

Calculating Net Revenue Retention is a straightforward process that involves subtracting lost revenue (churn and contraction) from total revenue (starting recurring revenue plus expansions) and dividing it by the starting amount. The formula for Net Revenue Retention can be expressed as:

Net Revenue Retention Rate (NRR) = ((Starting MRR – Contraction MRR – Churn MRR + Expansion MRR) / Starting MRR) * 100

To calculate NRR, you need to know the following metrics:

  • Starting MRR: The total amount of recurring revenue from your customer base at the beginning of a specific period.
  • Contraction MRR: The decrease in revenue caused by downgrades from existing customers within that period.
  • Churn MRR: The revenue lost due to customer cancellations within that period.
  • Expansion MRR: The additional revenue generated from upsells, cross-sells, and add-ons from existing customers within that period.

By plugging in these numbers into the formula, you can calculate your Net Revenue Retention rate and gain valuable insights into your business’s revenue growth potential.

Read more: Breaking Down the Difference Between ARR and MRR

What Is A Good Net Revenue Retention Rate

A Net Revenue Retention rate above 100% is considered excellent for SaaS enterprises, as it indicates that your revenue from expansions exceeds the revenue lost from churn and contractions. However, it’s important to note that the benchmark for NRR may vary depending on the size of your business. For small and medium-sized businesses, a Net Revenue Retention rate between 90-100% is generally considered acceptable.


NRR vs. Churn Rate: What’s the difference?

While Net Revenue Retention focuses on the revenue retained from existing customers, the churn rate measures the percentage of customers lost over a specific period of time. While both metrics are important, NRR provides a more comprehensive view of your business’s revenue growth potential by taking into account revenue fluctuations from expansions and contractions.

Read more: Understanding Customer Retention Rate Vs Churn Rate


Strategies to Improve Net Revenue Retention

1. Reducing Churn

Churn is one of the biggest challenges for SaaS businesses. To reduce churn and improve NRR, it’s crucial to identify the reasons behind customer cancellations and address them proactively. Some effective strategies to reduce churn include:

  • Improving Customer Support: Enhance your customer support services to address customer concerns and provide timely assistance. Implement self-service support options, such as an in-app knowledge base or chatbot, to empower customers to find answers to their questions independently.
  • Enhancing User Experience: Invest in improving the user experience of your product. Conduct regular usability tests, gather customer feedback, and iterate on your product to ensure it meets customer needs and expectations.
  • Identifying At-Risk Customers: Implement customer health scoring models to identify customers who are at risk of churning. Reach out to these customers proactively, address their concerns, and offer personalized solutions to retain their business.

2. Driving Account Expansion

Account expansion is a key driver of Net Revenue Retention. By encouraging existing customers to upgrade their plans, purchase add-ons, or cross-sell complementary products, you can increase your revenue and improve NRR. Some effective strategies to drive account expansion include:

  • Contextual Upgrade Prompts: Use in-app messages or modals to highlight the benefits of upgrading and remind users of the additional features or functionalities they can access by upgrading their plan.
  • Personalized Recommendations: Leverage customer data and behavioral analytics to provide personalized recommendations for upsells and cross-sells. Show customers how these additional offerings can add value to their business and drive growth.
  • Exclusive Features or Discounts: Offer exclusive features or discounts to existing customers who upgrade their plans or purchase additional products. This creates a sense of urgency and incentivizes customers to take advantage of the offer.

3. Enhancing Customer Onboarding

A solid customer onboarding process is essential for improving customer retention and NRR. By providing a seamless and personalized onboarding experience, you can ensure that customers fully understand the value of your product and are more likely to stick around. Some strategies to enhance customer onboarding include:

  • Segmented Onboarding: Tailor your onboarding process to different customer segments based on their needs and goals. Provide targeted tutorials, walkthroughs, and resources that address their specific pain points and use cases.
  • Interactive Onboarding: Use interactive elements such as product tours, tooltips, and progress trackers to guide customers through the onboarding process. This not only improves their understanding of your product but also increases engagement and reduces churn.
  • Ongoing Education and Training: Offer ongoing education and training resources to help customers get the most out of your product. This can include webinars, video tutorials, knowledge base articles, and regular updates on new features or enhancements.


Best Practices for Net Revenue Retention

To maximize the potential of NRR, it’s important to follow best practices that align with your business objectives and customer needs. Here are some key best practices for improving Net Revenue Retention:

  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Use data analytics and customer insights to drive your decision-making process. Analyze customer behavior, identify trends, and make data-backed improvements to your product, pricing, and customer experience.
  • Continuous Customer Feedback: Regularly collect feedback from your customers to understand their evolving needs and pain points. This can be done through surveys, customer interviews, or user testing. Use this feedback to make iterative improvements to your product and overall customer experience.
  • Invest in Customer Success: Build a dedicated customer success team that focuses on ensuring customer satisfaction and long-term success. Provide proactive support, conduct regular check-ins, and offer personalized recommendations to help customers achieve their goals with your product.
  • Regular Reporting and Analysis: Monitor and track your NRR at regular intervals to identify trends and patterns. Use this data to identify areas of improvement and implement targeted strategies to address them.



Net Revenue Retention is a powerful metric that can drive sustainable growth and customer loyalty for your SaaS business. By focusing on retaining and expanding your existing customer base, you can achieve predictable revenue growth and build long-lasting relationships with your customers. Implement the strategies and best practices outlined in this guide, and consider leveraging tools like Crossval to streamline your financial analysis processes. By prioritizing NRR, you can unlock the full potential of your business and drive success in the competitive SaaS landscape.


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