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Glossario Apparound

This section contains a collection of terms related to the digitization of sales processes, the latest innovations in technology and marketing, each accompanied by an explanation of the meaning or other observations.

Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR): What It Is and How to Calculate It

All companies operating on a subscription-based business model, especially in the Software as a Service (SaaS) sector, know well how crucial Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) is.

It serves as a vital indicator for evaluating the stabilityand growth of the company. Let's delve into what Annual Recurring Revenue is, how to calculate it, and how to best utilize it to integrate it into a winning company strategy focused on growth.

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What is Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR)?

Recurring Revenue

What exactly is ARR? Annual Recurring Revenue, or ARR, is an indicator that measures the annual recurring revenues generated from subscriptions and contracts. It provides a clear and predictable overview of the company's income.

As mentioned, it's an essential metric, especially for SaaS companies, as it contextualizes recurring revenues as the primary source of income. It's a key indicator of business performance, particularly given the increasing adoption of cloud-based services and software as a service.

Difference Between ARR and MRR

What's the difference between ARR and MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue)?

While ARR provides a long-term view of financial stability and annual growth, MRR allows monitoring of short-term trends, seasonal fluctuations, and the immediate impact of strategic decisions. The ability to use both metrics complementarily is essential for efficient financial management and accurate strategic planning.

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How to Calculate ARR?

Let's get into the calculation of Annual Recurring Revenue.

Basically, it involves summing all annual recurring revenues from subscriptions, adding any revenue from upgrades or new sales, and subtracting losses due to cancellations or downgrades.

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However, the biggest challenge in calculating ARR lies in accurately defining and aggregating these recurring revenues, excluding any one-time or non-recurring income that could skew the analysis of financial performance.

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Why is ARR Important in Business Strategies?

ARR is a fundamental metric for all SaaS companies. As mentioned, it helps to have a clear financial situation and to realize a winning company strategy.

Knowing this indicator directly affects companies' ability to plan for the future and predict revenue growth.

  • It provides a solid foundation for creating budget plans and resource allocation.

  • It enables business executives to make informed decisions based on forecasts of consistent and predictable revenue.

  • It offers valuable insights into the financial stability and sustainable growth of a company.

  • It allows evaluating the effectiveness of the subscription-based business model.


In general, a trajectory of ARR growth indicates an expanding customer base and success in upselling strategies, key elements for the positive evaluation of a company and its future marketing planning.

How to Improve Annual Recurring Revenues?

Strategies to increase ARR include improving customer retention, implementing upselling and cross-selling programs, offering discounted annual subscriptions, and focusing on efficient and targeted customer acquisition.

Particular attention should also be paid to analyzing customer data to identify usage patterns and preferences, which can guide the development of personalized offers and further improve revenue retention and expansion.

A crucial element in improving ARR involves cost optimization, particularly reducing Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). This can be achieved by investing more resources in high-conversion marketing channels and optimizing the sales process. It is clear that in a competitive business landscape like the current one, ARR becomes a sort of rudder that guides SaaS companies toward effective growth and consolidated, lasting leadership over the years.

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Only recurring revenues from subscriptions should be included, excluding one-time and non-recurring revenues.

Growing ARR is often correlated with higher company valuations, reflecting a stable and expanding customer base.

Cancellations and downgrades decrease ARR, highlighting the importance of customer retention and upselling strategies.

ARR complements other indicators like CAC and Customer Lifetime Value (LTV), providing a comprehensive view of the company's financial health.