How Sweet Fish Media Reduced Revenue Churn Rate by 12% in 12 Months

Author's avatar Metrics & Chill Podcast Jun 4, 2021 3 minutes read

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    Peter Caputa

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    A recent episode of the Metrics & Chill podcast saw John Bonini chat with Logan Lyles, VP of Customer Experience at Sweet Fish Media. Logan discussed what they did to improve revenue churn in 12 months, how they did it, the impressive results that they’ve seen, and what’s next for their team of 30 people. 

    Sweet Fish Media is a B2B podcasting agency established 6 years ago. Today, with a team of 30 people, they help their clients (exclusively B2B companies) map out how to invite people that fit their buyer persona onto their podcasts, and build relationships with them, while generating relevant content.

    Read on for more details, or listen to the full episode here: 

    The Metric: Revenue Churn

    About 12 months ago, the team at Sweet Fish Media had about 60-70 customers, with an average MRR per customer range of 3-5k a month. This exponential increase in demand for their services was attributed to their CEO, James Carbary, who found his voice on LinkedIn and started building Sweet Fish Media’s brand on the platform.

    But this success didn’t last too long, as the same month they closed the most number of clients was the same month that they lost 15% of their monthly recurring revenue.

    Prior to this discovery, the team didn’t have a strategy for tracking churn.

    “We really didn’t have any systematic way. We had no dashboard. We didn’t even have a Google sheet where we were tracking our churn based on customer count or revenue percentage.”

    And this had to change.

    The Opportunity to Improve Churn Rate

    On realizing this issue, the team started monitoring their revenue churn data regularly to learn why they were experiencing a leak in revenue.

    “We have a closed-won channel where we ring the sales gong when there’s a customer. But there’s no churn channel.”

    So first, the team had to learn how to be deliberate about communicating their churn numbers while working remotely due to the pandemic.

    Here are some of the changes they made:

    • As a first step, they created some spreadsheets on the backend to track revenue churn month over month. 
    • After that, they set up a regular cadence to show their revenue churn numbers to everyone during their monthly all-hands.
    • Lastly, they implemented a new initiative: a quarterly podcast review process

    The Game Changer: Quarterly Podcast Reviews

    In addition to tracking their revenue churn data and sharing that data with the team, they decided to implement an account review process, which wasn’t systematically built into their service. Some of the improvements that were made include:

    • Digging into historical stats of their clients’ podcasts (e.g., how many guests have turned into customers) to learn where they’ve been and to forecast where they’re headed.
    • Showcasing their original podcast research to their clients based on a framework they built — helping them identify improvement opportunities and the impact they could have.
    • Setting team rewards for hitting their revenue and churn targets.

    The Results

    In Q4 of 2020, the team at Sweet Fish Media saw a churn of 4%, and now it is at 3%, indicating a steady decline in revenue churn.

    In terms of feedback from clients, they’ve been getting a ton of positive comments. One remark worth mentioning comes from an agency owner who said the following after a Quarterly Podcast Review meeting, “I would have paid for this hour that you just gave me separate from what I pay you guys for the ongoing retainer.”

    Having seen great results, they took their process further by creating a framework that’ll enable their clients to grade their podcast hosts based on established best practices. Also, they’ll be launching their first course on B2B podcasting, to help their prospects and customers distill and crystallize their learnings.

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