By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Resource Hub
CS Dictionary
This is some text inside of a div block.

An Introduction to Annual Contract Value (ACV)

No items found.

What is Annual Contract Value (ACV)?

Annual Contract Value, better known as ACV, is a metric used primarily in SaaS (Software as a Service) and subscription-based businesses to measure the average annual revenue generated from a customer contract. It reflects the total revenue that a customer is expected to bring in on an annual basis, normalized over the length of the contract. It provides a clear view of predictable, recurring revenue over a year and is essential for understanding the financial health and growth potential of a company. 

ACV allows for more accurate revenue forecasting, budget planning, and performance evaluation and also aids in strategic decision-making by highlighting the value of individual customer contracts and their contribution to the overall revenue. By analyzing ACV, businesses can identify trends, optimize pricing strategies, and enhance customer retention efforts, thereby driving long-term profitability and growth. 

How to Calculate ACV?

To calculate ACV in the SaaS industry, you need to consider the total revenue from a customer contract and divide it by the number of years the contract spans. The basic formula is:

ACV= Total Contract Value (TCV)/ Contract Term (in years)


This straightforward formula allows businesses to understand the average yearly revenue from a contract, facilitating better financial planning and analysis. Velaris's financial tools can automate these calculations, ensuring precision and saving time for finance teams.

Components Influencing ACV

Contract Length:

Longer contracts may offer discounts, affecting the overall annual value. For example, a 3-year contract might come with a lower annual rate compared to a 1-year contract. Understanding how contract length impacts ACV helps in designing pricing strategies that balance customer commitment and revenue. Velaris provides insights into optimal contract lengths to maximize ACV.

Additional Services:

Upsells, cross-sells, and add-ons can increase the total contract value. For instance, if a customer adds premium support or extra features to their subscription, the total contract value will rise, thereby increasing the ACV. Offering valuable add-ons can significantly boost ACV and overall customer satisfaction. Velaris's platform allows businesses to easily manage and track additional services, ensuring accurate ACV calculations.


Regular renewals can stabilize and potentially increase ACV over time. A customer who renews their contract annually might see an increase in value due to added services or price adjustments. Focusing on customer retention and renewals ensures a steady and growing ACV, contributing to long-term revenue stability. Velaris's renewal management features help businesses track renewal rates and implement strategies to enhance ACV.

Importance of ACV

Forecasts Revenue:

ACV helps in predicting annual revenue, which is vital for budgeting and financial planning. By understanding the ACV, businesses can estimate their income for the upcoming year, enabling them to allocate resources more effectively, plan for growth, and make informed financial decisions. Velaris's advanced analytics can help businesses track and forecast their ACV with high accuracy, providing actionable insights for financial planning.

Evaluates Customer Value:

ACV assists in understanding the value of each customer over a year. This insight is crucial for customer segmentation, as it allows businesses to identify high-value customers and tailor their marketing and retention strategies accordingly. Companies can focus on nurturing relationships with customers who bring the most value, enhancing overall profitability. Velaris's customer segmentation tools enable businesses to categorize customers based on ACV, ensuring targeted and effective marketing efforts.

Measures Sales Performance:

ACV enables the assessment of sales team performance by tracking the value of contracts they close. This metric provides a clear indicator of sales effectiveness and helps in setting realistic targets. Sales teams can be evaluated based on the ACV of the contracts they secure, ensuring that they are focused on acquiring and retaining high-value customers. Velaris's sales performance dashboards provide real-time visibility into ACV metrics, empowering sales teams to optimize their strategies.

ACV vs. TCV vs. ARR

Annual contract value, total contract value and annual recurring value all seem synonymous at first glance. However, they all have distinct features and are all important metrics in their unique ways to help SaaS businesses to measure their growth and come up with strategic plans for improvement. Here is a small sneak peak into each metric that will help you understand their differences.

ACV (Annual Contract Value):

Measures the average annual revenue from a customer contract. ACV provides a snapshot of yearly income from each customer, which is essential for annual financial planning and performance evaluation.

TCV (Total Contract Value):

The total revenue from a contract over its entire term. TCV encompasses all revenue streams from a contract, including one-time fees, making it useful for understanding the full financial impact of a customer relationship.

ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue):

The value of recurring revenue normalized over a year. ARR focuses solely on recurring revenue streams, excluding one-time fees, providing a clear picture of predictable, ongoing income from subscriptions.

Understanding these metrics helps businesses in making strategic decisions regarding pricing, customer retention, and sales strategies. By analyzing ACV alongside TCV and ARR, companies can develop comprehensive financial insights that drive growth and profitability. Velaris's comprehensive analytics suite enables businesses to track and compare these metrics effortlessly.

Key Takeaways

  • ACV is essential for SaaS and subscription-based businesses.
  • ACV measures average annual revenue from a customer contract.
  • It is crucial for revenue forecasting, customer value evaluation, and sales performance assessment.
  • By accurately calculating and analyzing ACV, companies can enhance their financial planning and drive sustainable growth. 
  • The basic formula to calculate ACV is:ACV = Total Contract Value(TCV) / Contract Term (years).
  • The factors that affect ACV are contract length, additional services, and renewals.
  • Leveraging the ACV metric allows businesses to make informed decisions, optimize customer relationships, and achieve long-term success.
  • Velaris enhances ACV calculations, offering precise insights for better financial planning and decision-making.

Ready to discover your new Customer Success superpower?

Velaris will obliterate your team’s troubles and produce better experiences for your customers…and set up only takes minutes. What’s not to love? It’s, well, super!

Request a demo
Thank you for your interest! Check your email for more information.
Make sure to check your promotions/spam folder!
Oops! Something went wrong. Try again