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In the world of Software as a Service (SaaS), understanding your key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial to the success of your business. Among these KPIs, the Customer Upsell Rate (CUR) holds a significant place. It is a measure of how effectively a company can increase its revenue by selling more of its services to existing customers. This article will delve into the depths of CUR, its importance, calculation, and strategies to improve it.

Before we proceed, it’s important to understand that CUR is not just a standalone metric. It is part of a larger ecosystem of SaaS KPIs that together provide a comprehensive picture of a company’s performance. It is intertwined with other metrics like churn rate, customer acquisition cost, and customer lifetime value, among others. Therefore, while focusing on CUR, we must not lose sight of the bigger picture.

Understanding Customer Upsell Rate (CUR)

The Customer Upsell Rate (CUR) is a measure of the percentage of existing customers who have been successfully upsold to higher-value services or products. In other words, it shows how well a company is able to convince its existing customers to spend more than they initially planned. This is a crucial aspect of SaaS businesses, as it directly impacts revenue and profitability.

Upselling is a sales strategy where the seller encourages the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades, or add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale. CUR, therefore, is a direct reflection of how successful a company’s upselling strategies are. A high CUR indicates effective upselling strategies, while a low CUR may suggest the need for improvement in this area.

Importance of CUR in SaaS

In the SaaS industry, upselling is a common practice due to the subscription-based nature of the business model. It’s often easier and more cost-effective to sell more to existing customers than to acquire new ones. Therefore, a high CUR is a positive indicator of a company’s growth and profitability.

Moreover, CUR is also a reflection of customer satisfaction. If customers are willing to spend more on a company’s services, it indicates that they find value in the offerings and are satisfied with the service. Thus, CUR can also serve as an indirect measure of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

How to Calculate CUR

The calculation of CUR is relatively straightforward. It is the number of customers who have been successfully upsold divided by the total number of customers, multiplied by 100 to get a percentage. For example, if a company has 100 customers and has successfully upsold 20 of them, the CUR would be (20/100)*100 = 20%.

However, it’s important to note that the definition of ‘successful upsell’ can vary from company to company. Some might consider any additional purchase as an upsell, while others might only count upgrades to higher-value plans. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a clear definition of what constitutes an upsell for your company before calculating CUR.

Strategies to Improve CUR

Improving your CUR is not just about pushing more products or services onto your customers. It’s about understanding their needs and providing value that encourages them to invest more in your offerings. Here are some strategies that can help improve your CUR.

Firstly, know your customers. Understanding their needs and preferences is the first step towards effective upselling. Use customer data to gain insights into their usage patterns, preferences, and pain points. This will allow you to tailor your upselling strategies to their specific needs.

Offering Value-Added Services

One of the most effective ways to upsell is by offering value-added services. These are additional services that enhance the value of your core offering. For example, if you’re a SaaS company offering project management software, a value-added service could be personalized training sessions or premium customer support.

Value-added services not only provide an opportunity for upselling but also increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers are more likely to spend more if they perceive that they’re getting more value for their money.

Personalized Upselling

Personalization is key to successful upselling. Not all customers have the same needs, so a one-size-fits-all approach to upselling is unlikely to be effective. Instead, use customer data to personalize your upselling strategies. This could involve recommending products or services based on a customer’s usage patterns or offering personalized discounts or promotions.

Personalized upselling not only increases the chances of a successful upsell but also enhances the customer experience. Customers appreciate when companies understand their needs and offer relevant suggestions, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Challenges in Improving CUR

While improving CUR is a worthy goal, it’s not without its challenges. One of the main challenges is striking the right balance between upselling and providing value. Pushing too hard for an upsell can come off as aggressive and turn customers off. On the other hand, not upselling enough can result in missed opportunities for increased revenue.

Another challenge is the need for a deep understanding of your customers. Effective upselling requires a thorough understanding of your customers’ needs, preferences, and usage patterns. This requires a significant investment in customer data analysis and may also require changes to your product or service offerings.

Overcoming the Challenges

Despite these challenges, there are ways to effectively improve your CUR. One way is by fostering a culture of customer-centricity in your organization. This involves putting the customer at the center of all business decisions and strategies. By focusing on providing value to the customer, you can increase the chances of a successful upsell without coming off as aggressive.

Another way is by investing in customer data analysis. This can provide valuable insights into your customers’ needs and preferences, allowing you to tailor your upselling strategies accordingly. Additionally, using customer feedback can help you identify areas for improvement in your product or service offerings, which can lead to more effective upselling.


In conclusion, the Customer Upsell Rate (CUR) is a crucial KPI for SaaS businesses. It provides insights into a company’s upselling effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and potential for growth and profitability. By understanding your CUR and implementing strategies to improve it, you can drive your business towards greater success.

However, it’s important to remember that CUR is just one piece of the puzzle. It should be considered in conjunction with other KPIs to get a comprehensive view of your business performance. Therefore, while focusing on improving your CUR, don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

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