Gross Margin for SaaS Companies

SaaS gross margins have recently been attracted by investors digging into SaaS cost structures and income growth rates into 2020. It’s not just necessary to achieve your total gross margin.  These revenue sources include your gross profit and professional services margin, depending on your business model.

In this article, We will explain what is gross margin, How to calculate and improve it. Also, we will discuss a bit about the importance of gross margin in the saas industry and how you can better it up.

What is Gross Margin?

Gross margin is the remaining income after the expense of the products. This refers to the amount of money you would pay for operating costs and reinvest in the company as a percentage of overall sales.  Simply, the gross profit is just the amount that you left after you paid for goods or materials that you sold at a higher price.

For Example, You have a profit margin of 50%, when paying 10 dollars for a commodity wholesale and selling to your clients for 20 dollars, as a direct cost of the item is paid for half of the revenue you receive.

What is Gross Margin for SaaS?

Let’s start with the gross margin of your total SaaS. Your gross SaaS margin amounts to total sales fewer products sold (COGS). COGS, this is an old-school word, but this is your cost bucket that supports all your income sources directly.

So, what is COGS supposed to include? I involve customer success (CSM) and operating support, services, and costs (COO). Exactly what is COO? I use COO to cover my hosting expenses, capitalized software amortization of R&D and product resell costs, if applicable. There may of course be other COO expenses, but those are the biggest expenses.

What is the importance of Gross Margins Saas?

It is crucial to consider how and which revenue sources contribute to SaaS’ overall gross profit for founders and SaaS teams. It is necessary to combine services, recurring services, and other revenue streams. 

For example, You have a large 85% gross SaaS margin, but your service margin is 50% which is smaller than the ideal income margin. Or vice versa, you are underpowered by onboarding and set-up that lowers your overall margin, although you do not receive credit for large recurring margins.

Formula SaaS Gross Margin

The above gross margin formula helps to estimate our overall margin, but, for our SaaS usage, it is just a little too general.

W need to extend into additional buckets our COGS thread, namely our revenue costs. Cost centers or divisions can call the buckets. I extended COGS into four extra cost centers, as you can see in the formula below.

Total Revenue- support-services-customer success-dev ops=Gross Margin

Of course, our total margin can still be calculated, but we can measure margins by income flow in this formula. In this example, I assume that only subscription revenue and service revenues are covered in our business model. I plan to have a COGS cost center for transaction and hardware expenditure if you still have transaction revenues and/or hardware.

Our SaaS P&L structure with the correct divisions (cost centers) prepares us for excellent financial management and analytics.

SaaS Goods Sale Cost (COGS)

So, what are SaaS COGS supposed to include? I include Customer Success (CSM), Support Services, and DevOps. I use DevOps to house my hosting costs, capitalized (if any) software R&D cuts, royalties, and product resale expenses.

Naturally, it depends on your business model what you have in your COGS. I wouldn’t expect a business department for your revenue costs if you didn’t have revenue for services. I would however expect a department of transaction expenses to accommodate transaction expenses if you have transactional revenue.

Recurrent margins of income

The same argument is used to pursue recurring sales margins. You receive your recurring income minus the departments that fund this income directly. You will have the help, CSM, and COO explicitly helping your recourse to revenue in this event (depending on how you identify them).

What is Good Gross Margin For Saas?

You may evaluate your results in many reports on the internet. The median gross margin for survey data is 75%, while the top-quartile margin is 82%, according to OpenView’s

Your time to download the SaaS Survey of KeyBanc is also well worth it. Both respondents posted a 78% subscription gross margin and a total gross margin of 73 percent according to their latest survey. A major overall margin of 80% in my opinion, and a gross margin of subscription of nearly 90%.

It’s worth mentioning that gross margin is highly related to company valuation. That’s because investors are going to value a business at a higher figure when it’s growing fast. Gross margin also helps demonstrate the profit capacity of SaaS businesses. Not in the early stages, but when a startup reaches maturity, gross margin delivers insights into its cash generation capability.

Ways for Improving Gross-margin For Saas

There are two choices for enhancing the gross margin: increasing sales or decreasing COGS.

If you start, your brutal margin will probably be lower because you don’t have any scale savings. Whenever you have more clients, supporting each one becomes cheaper. This reduces your COGS and raises your profit margin.

You will be tempted to continue to cut costs and raise prices to increase your profit margin. But it’s an act of equilibrium. Too few customers may mean too low quality or too costly a product. A gross margin of 50% on a $1000 income is greater than a gross margin of 90% on a $500 income.

But how do you raise your gross margin and increase your net profit? There are some other proven ways to improve the profit margin today:

  • Prices Increment

Most small enterprise owners think that they lose customers easily if they increase rates and thereby compensate for their potential increased benefit. Although small business owners do not always like that, higher prices will benefit you.

Study the contest thoroughly. Don’t just prize competition for your goods. Instead, learn what the competition offers and then one a better offer. Here’s a guide to SaaS pricing for inspiration.

  • Direct goods cost reduction

You can raise the prices to increase the profit margin, but still, try to reduce the amount you pay for the products you sell. You can have to negotiate better deals with your suppliers.

Consider requesting lower rates from your distributors. Can you buy additional bulk products? You can use this leverage at lower rates. Were you a trustworthy customer for a long time? Another corner mark that allows you to achieve better results.

  • Reduce waste inventory

Prepare for your inventory and prepare even more effectively. Many small enterprises suffer from the loss of stock, waste, spoilage, or even pillage that they lose a lot of money. Better manage your stock, and more products will be available to sell.

  • Readjust the mix of sales

Are there various goods or services you sell? Search for those which give the highest margin of profit. As you rework your mix to find the correct combination of profitable items, you can find that your market emphasis changes.

  • Integrate new services

Naturally, consider adding additional product lines or services when you sell only one or two goods in your business. But be careful how to pick new items if you want to incorporate them. Will your present company be complemented? Do they need to concentrate more on selling? And would it potentially generate more customers and thus more income?

  • Leverage predictive analysis

This helps to identify the users who are about to cancel their SaaS subscription. Every software-as-a-service business should leverage analytics tool that demonstrate the time these users spend, the features they explore, and their visit frequency. A downturn in such metrics point to a decline in interest. Those who display such behavior should be contacted to find the root cause of the bad experience. Careful analysis can help companies discover pain points that can be addressed to improve customer retention and, consequently, gross margin.

  • Upsells

Upsells can be an effective way to increase gross margins while introducing new tools and plans to customers. However, you must adopt caution as sending out too many promotional messages can make people feel irritated. Keep tabs on moments where it makes sense to refer new features and complementary tools to make the most of upselling.


Often a company needs to shift its emphasis to more profitable. For example, a photographer begins a business of portraying and taking landscapes. The demand is poor and the competition strong for these types of goods. However, turning the emphasis to wedding photography will add enormous quantities of business. The suffering cash flow of your small company should not be unnecessary. Use this to increase your big margin and you will see that your small company is starting to make more money immediately.