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Revenue Leadership
Revenue Leadership
Gain the visibility needed to confidently call your business while keeping your managers focused on what matters most.
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Sales & Revenue Ops
Sales & Revenue Ops
Reduce the manual analysis and focus on the bigger picture. Provide your teams with the answers they need in real-time.
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Enablement & Productivity
Enablement & Productivity
Identify the key opportunities for improvement and measure the ROI of every initiative you roll out.
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Frontline Sales Manager
Frontline Sales Manager
Stop playing from behind and proactively drive every sellers productivity and revenue attainment.
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What is Marginal Revenue?

In short, marginal revenue also referred to as marginal revenue product or MRP is an economic concept describing the revenue earned by increasing sales by one. Marginal revenue in SaaS involves adding one more person to the team or having each seller on your team generate one more deal. This leads to the concept of the marginal revenue productivity theory of wages.

Marginal revenue isn’t the only term you need to know, however. Other terms that are important when it comes to marginal revenue productivity include the following:

  • Diminishing marginal product. The concept for the law of diminishing marginal product is that if you increase one variable of production while keeping all others the same, you will initially see an increase in overall production but ultimately generate fewer returns. The more the variable increases, the fewer returns it generates. Simply put, increasing manufacturing or product creation isn’t necessarily the best way you can improve profitability.
  • Marginal revenue and marginal cost. While marginal revenue is the income gained by selling one additional unit, the marginal cost discusses the costs of selling one additional unit. In order for the efforts to be profitable, the marginal revenue must be greater than the marginal cost. Choosing the right SaaS forecasting software can help you determine the potential revenue vs. costs.
  • Marginal revenue curve. This term describes a curve that represents the relationship between the marginal revenue and profits on individual units. It is generally a downward slope because increasing the supply of items often forces retailers to reduce the price in order to sell all units. This, in turn, lowers the profitability of each item.
  • Marginal revenue productivity. When it comes to Software as a Service, marginal revenue productivity can help businesses maximize profitability by choosing the right time to bring in additional labor whether that is in sales or in manufacturing. Businesses do not want to have more labor than they require. At the same time, being understaffed is a net negative for businesses as well. It’s a balancing act that predictive software can help businesses manage more effectively.

Understanding these key terms can help inform decisions you make about marginal revenue as it relates to SaaS and your business organization.

How is Marginal Revenue Different?

Really, what is the difference between marginal revenue and total revenue? Total revenue for a business is defined as the total sales of goods and services. The formula for determining this sum is simple. You multiply the number of goods and services sold by the prices at which they were sold. Marginal product revenue refers to the increased revenue that occurs by selling one additional product or service.

Average revenue is determined by dividing the total revenue of products by the quantity of output. Ultimately, it is the total revenue generated by selling a single item or service. Marginal revenue is different from average revenue in that when average revenue decreases, marginal revenue is lower than the average revenue. However, when average revenue stagnates, marginal revenue is equal to it.

Marginal Revenue Product Formula

To determine the marginal product, you need to either use a marginal revenue calculator or you can do it yourself by employing the marginal product formula.

Marginal Product Formula = (Qn – Qn -1) / (Ln – Ln – 1)

When you use SaaS in your business, you don’t need to worry about the small details about marginal revenue and total revenue or managing the formulations yourself. The software can help you predict these things, leaving your team free to focus on more profitable avenues for your business.

For the most part, marginal revenue is used when businesses want to shift focus to profitability and are looking for ways to maximize their profits with minimal costs to the business. These models and calculations can help you determine the best time for expansion and the best means by which to expand. For instance, it can help you determine how much additional staff you wish to hire or how many additional products you wish to create so that your expenses do not come at an unacceptable cost to your profits.

Why is Marginal Revenue Important?

Marginal revenue can help you make important business decisions that account for a variety of factors. One example would be a barbershop that offers military discounts on haircuts. If you charge $10 per haircut across the board and consider staying open an additional two hours per day. 

The costs of providing haircuts increase with productive function. In other words, the expenses go up as you expend more utilities, consume more hair products and supplies, and must pay employee overtime, etc. You can use the average revenue formula to determine whether it is worth the added costs to remain open those additional hours by the number of haircuts you can provide during that time compared to the additional expenses of operating those extra daily hours.

What are the Pros of Marginal Revenue?

The pros of marginal revenue remain the benefits businesses derive by anticipating or predicting the likely costs to production function and the marginal revenue product. If you need a marginal revenue product definition, it will look something like this: the result of multiplying the marginal product of the input by the marginal revenue of the output. 

If you were considering hiring an additional accountant and bill their services by the hour, at a rate of $100 per hour and the understanding that the average billable hours for each accountant with your firm is 1,500, then the marginal revenue product would be $150,000.

If the marginal cost to bring a new accountant into your firm is only $120,000 for instance, you could improve profits by bringing a new one into the fold. At least for one. But we’ve already learned that you will not experience the same net increase for each subsequent new hire to your firm. You must factor both marginal revenue product and derived demand to determine the potential revenue and costs of bringing each additional member onto your team.

Marginal Revenue Conclusions

So, what conclusions can sales managers draw by using marginal revenue data to guide them? Perhaps the biggest conclusions managers can draw from marginal revenue involves hiring decisions and whether they are the most cost-effective and profit-maximizing decisions for your business. Fortunately, using effective forecasting software can help you make these determinations without complex calculations.

What is Marginal Product of Labor?

The marginal product of labor is the change in output that occurs when you employ an additional unit of labor. Going back to the barbershop analogy, if you were to bring another barber into the business, the marginal product of labor would help you determine how many additional haircuts you could deliver each day by doing so based on the output of existing barbers who work for you.

A good marginal product example would be that the barbershop hires an additional barber. The output before hiring the new barber was 16 haircuts per day. After hiring the new barber, the number of haircuts increases to 24. The marginal product of labor, as a result, is eight.

If you do not properly scale your new hiring practices, you could experience a diminishing marginal product of labor. When this becomes negative it is referred to as negative marginal returns.

With this valuation, all other factors of production remain equal. The only thing you are specifically considering is the anticipated output of increasing your labor pool by one. As far as formulas go, this is one of the easier formulas. You simply divide the change in production output by the change in input labor. 

Why is Marginal Product of Labor Important to Sales Managers?

Your goal as a sales manager is to ensure that you are reaching maximum profitability month after month. The marginal product of the labor formula helps ensure you do not over-hire or under-hire in a manner that leaves profits on the table. 

Some also use the average product of labor formula which takes the total product of labor divided by the number of laborers to measure labor productivity for your organization. It can be an excellent measure of where there is room for improvement.

How does Marginal Product of Labor Relate to Marginal Revenue?

If your goal is to maximize profitability, you want the marginal revenue product of labor to be equal to the marginal cost of labor for your business.

Calculating Marginal Revenue

When you get down to the nuts and bolts of how to calculate marginal revenue, you will find the process to be quite complex and wholly tedious. You can use a marginal cost calculator to make the process easier or forecasting software to manage multiple scenarios. Of course, the marginal cost formula and the marginal revenue formula are cornerstones for businesses today that can be handled with the right software services. You can even use software to calculate marginal product so you don’t have to learn how to calculate marginal product by hand.

Whether you use one of the many online calculators to help you develop these numbers for your business or use software designed to do the heavy lifting for you, it is important to use these numbers wisely to make informed business decisions about the future of your labor, your manufacturing, and the services you provide.

Interested in learning more? Check out some of our other pages!

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