Growth-stage companies have figured out how to solve a problem for their users. Of course, they'll keep investing in the product, but the main focus is to grow the business. This is why they should mostly focus on the Acquisition and Referral stages of the AARRR funnel.
There are 2 ways for you to grow: find channels that can generate a steady number of leads, and turn existing users into advocates that will refer your product to their friends and colleagues.
Do we have sustainable growth channels?
Is our onboarding funnel efficient?
Can we turn happy users into advocates?
Are we sustaining the quality of the product?
Example of Growth Stage Startup OKRs
You'll find below an example built around a fictitious company. Your OKRs should move from quarter to quarter and map to your company's reality – that's why we thought it's best to illustrate things as a case study that you can take inspiration from.
Askawoof is a startup building a platform to help companies run customer satisfaction surveys. They successfully launched their product and got great initial feedback. Now they're looking for ways to accelerate their growth.
It's often useful to pair Key Results that can check one another for a specific Objective. You might push your team to adopt extreme tactics to grow the business if you only mention new leads and signups (spend too much, reduce leads quality...).
A good practice is to add control Key Results to make sure keep that your business stays healthy. In this example, the goals around growth are balanced with some other KRs related to costs and retention.
Their Startup OKRs
Lead gen accelerates through network effects
Free plans users help us generate 500 leads through advertising in surveys
25% of survey-generated leads turn into active users
We have a sustainable growth engine
1K people are using our platform every week
Weekly signups increase from 20 to 150
8-week retention rate stays above 30%
Cost per Acquisition stays under $30
Tracking your OKRs
Knowing how to write good OKRs is critical, but without good tracking in place, the OKRs will fade away and focus will be lost.
It's not just us saying that:
- Peter Kappus writes that "check-ins are the most important part of OKRs".
- Felipe Castro cautions people not to let their OKRs turn into New Year's resolutions.
- Christina Wodtke tells us that "cadence is probably the single most important thing".
The easier it is for a team to have weekly discussions around the OKRs, the better they'll execute. Here are a few best practices for tracking OKRs.
1. Do weekly check-ins
Quarterly OKRs should be tracked every week to be effective. Without a continuous reflection on progress, your OKRs won't be much different from having KPIs.
The check-ins process can be automated with a platform like Tability that takes care of reminders, and distribute updates to the teams.
2. Keep track of your confidence
Good progress updates should help everyone understand how far we are from our goal, but also how confident we are in achieving it. You can use a simple red/yellow/green color coding to indicate your confidence.
3. Make trends easy to see
Lastly, it's important to look at trends to avoid false positives. It's not rare for a team to have a hot start and then slow down mid quarter. This will be hard to see unless you can look at progress trends for individual Key Results.
What other metrics can you use for your startup?
Now that you've got good Objectives, it's time to pick some key results and finding good metrics that work for your team can be tricky. Lucky for you, we've laid out all the best success metrics for your teams to use.
Here are a few to get you started:
Number of leads
How many new users sign up for your product every day/week/month?
How many signups turn into active users?
How do people interact with your content (it can be anything, from visits to specific sections to conversations in Intercom…)
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
Cost Per Acquisition is the cost of acquiring a non-paying user.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Customer Acquisition Cost is the cost of acquiring a paying customer.
How many users return to our product every day/week/month?
How many users turn into paid customers?
Monthly Recurring Revenues (MRR)
How much revenue do we generate every month from our users?
What's the percentage of customers that drops every month?
How many new users does one user generate (by inviting friends, colleagues, referrals...)?
Got an objective in mind, but not sure how to get there?
This AI can create a detailed strategy with all the steps to take to reach your goals.Free trial
Stop wasting your OKRs. Focus on the right work and accomplish your goals.