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How to Nail the “Land and Expand” Model to Drive Subscription Growth

Amy Konary
VP, Chair of the Subscribed Institute

Subscription Growth Levers

As more and more companies enter the Subscription Economy®, we’re learning more and more about which growth levers work—and which ones don’t.

It’s well understood that subscription businesses grow via the “Land and Expand” (L&E) model. The objective is to acquire a new subscriber or account, retain them, and monetize the relationship. In fact, data from the Subscribed Institute has shown that, on average, 70-80% of the revenue of a successful high-growth subscription business should come from existing customers.

What’s not as well understood is how to pull off this complex feat of growth across multiple dimensions simultaneously. To understand what companies having success with the model have in common, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Subscribed Institute partnered to analyze Subscription Economy data1 . Working together, we used that robust dataset to uncover both the challenges and the opportunities for businesses looking for sustainable growth in their subscription businesses by catalyzing the L&E model.

We compared a cohort of successful B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies with other kinds of subscription companies, including media, telco, companies that sell hardware, etc. The successful B2B SaaS companies are doing a demonstrably better job at the “expand” part of the L&E model, which is crucial to sustainable growth, especially in subscription businesses, where the model has the most power.

BCG’s Value Science team has identified revenue growth and stability as two primary drivers of valuations for SaaS companies. It’s that rare combination—sustainable growth—that’s really attractive to investors and we set out to deconstruct the drivers of growth and stability in subscription businesses.


Download this landmark report to understand:

  • Impact of “4D revenue expansion”(upselling, cross-selling, growing volume, and capturing price increases) on revenue growth
  • Understanding the “leaky bucket syndrome” and what you can do to minimize it
  • Correlation of L&E performance with ARR
  • And best practices to improve your L&E strategies
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