Looking for some handy KPI examples and templates for your business?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics used to track your performance in achieving a key business goal or targets. They help companies gauge how well they’re doing where it matters most.
But here’s the thing:
There are hundreds of KPIs out there!
The real question is – which ones should you use for your company?
We’ll help you with that.
This guide will highlight 35+ KPI examples that your business can use to track your key goals and targets. We’ll even show you a simple KPI template that you can use to start tracking your KPIs today.
And as a bonus, we’ll use Jay, Claire, and Phil from Modern Family as examples – since they know a thing or two about running a business!
This Article Contains:
(click on the links to jump to a section)
- What is a key performance indicator?
- 35+ effective KPI examples
- The only KPI template you’ll ever need
- The best way to track your KPIs
Let’s get rolling!
What is a Key Performance Indicator?
KPIs are quantifiable measures that help you determine how well you’re performing over key business goals and processes. The most important thing to remember about a key performance indicator is that they only track performance over “key” business goals.
Here’s a breakdown of how companies use this kind of performance indicator:
Let’s say Claire and Jay are looking to increase their closet company’s revenue this quarter.
They’ve started a new digital marketing campaign and reduced their prices to make the closets more attractive to customers.
So far, so good, right?
Here’s the thing:
How are they going to track how well they’re progressing towards their goal?
By using a good KPI!
They can use a performance indicator like “total sales” to monitor this.
As “total sales” will directly contribute to their overall revenue, tracking it is a good measure of much money they’re bringing in.
How are KPIs different from business metrics?
There’s one core difference between KPIs and business metrics:
- If a metric tracks your performance over a key business goal, it’s a KPI
- If a metric tracks your performance over any (core/non-core) business goal, it’s a business metric
Think of KPIs as a subset of business metrics that only focus on what matters most to your business at the time.
Let’s go back to the Jay and Claire example:
In the context of increasing revenue, “total sales” is a business KPI while something like “employee turnover” is simply a metric.
- “Total sales” is a metric they can use to measure their performance in achieving their key objective of increasing revenue – making it a good KPI
- “Employee turnover” isn’t directly related to their key strategic goal – which is why it’s not a KPI
Here’s a detailed guide on KPIs and metrics.
How are KPIs different from objectives?
While KPIs and objectives sound similar, they aren’t.
It’d be like saying Dunphys and Pritchetts are exactly the same!
An objective is a specific way to achieve your goal, while a performance indicator is a metric used to determine how you’re progressing with your objectives and goals.
Here’s what we mean:
- If Pritchett’s Closets wanted to increase revenue, “increasing sales by 30%” is an objective to meet that goal
- The business KPI here is “volume of sales” as it’s the metric they’ll use to measure their progress in meeting that objective
What is the right KPI for you?
That depends on your business!
Remember, KPIs track key business goals and since every business has different core goals and objectives, their KPIs are going to vary.
However, that isn’t all that goes into determining the right KPI.
Even if two businesses track the same core goals, they could use a different KPI to measure them.
For example, Pritchett’s Closets could use “number of units sold” as an indicator to determine revenue growth while their competitors could use an indicator like “revenue” instead.
35+ Effective KPI Examples
Now that you know what KPIs are, we can go into highlighting some common example KPIs for your business.
We’ll highlight example KPIs for these different categories:
- Sales KPI
- Marketing KPI
- Financial KPI
- HR KPI
- Customer KPI
By the end of this list, we’re sure that you’ll find a KPI example that suits your current business needs!
A. Sales KPI
Looks like Gil Thorpe is set on taking over the real estate market in Phil’s neighborhood.
Phil can’t have that, right?
So what does he do?
He steps up his sales activities!
Because if there’s one thing Phil’s a master at, it’s selling:
And here’s what he can track to evaluate how much of a “master” he really is:
- Total sales revenue: total revenue generated from all your products over a defined period
- Sales growth: percentage of growth in sales over a defined period
- Sales cycle length: average time the sales process takes between initial contact and sales managers closing a lead
- Number of new leads: number of new leads your sales managers and reps generated over a specified period
- Lead to client conversion rate: percentage of leads converted in your sales process
- Incremental sales: quantum of additional sales made compared to your sales managers predictions
- Revenue per sales rep: amount of money each rep in your sales department brings in
- Upsells: number of purchases customers make beyond the initial sale
- Cost of customer acquisition: total cost of acquiring a customer (includes costs spent on the sales process and through marketing efforts)
We’ve written an entire Sales KPI article if you want to learn more in depth.
B. Marketing KPI
Let’s say that Pritchett’s Closets is facing some tough competition from their rival, Closets, Closets, Closets this quarter.
Luckily, how can you go wrong with marketing taglines like this:
But just creating crafty marketing taglines isn’t enough.
How’s Jay going to monitor how well their marketing campaigns are doing?
With these marketing KPIs:
- Lead to MQL ratio: ratio of leads that were moved to your marketing qualified funnel
- MQL to SQL ratio: ratio of marketing qualified leads moved into your sales funnel
- Organic web traffic: amount of traffic your website attracts (can use Google Analytic to determine this)
- Landing page conversion rate: percentage of conversions on a landing page against total visits
- Email open rates: percentage of emails opened vs. total emails sent in your email marketing campaigns
- Bounce rate: percentage of website visitors who abandoned your site within just a few seconds
- SERP rankings: your website’s/page’s position in search engine results for a keyword
- Social media KPIs: KPIs related to your social media marketing efforts, such as likes, shares, retweets, comments and so on
- Marketing ROI: total return on investment generated from your marketing efforts
C. Financial KPI
I think we all knew that Jay’s Dog Bed venture was bound to fail, right?
But Claire can’t just say that to him – he’ll be crushed!
What she could do instead is track these financial metrics to show him how badly his business is doing:
- Free cash flow: amount of money remaining after capital expenditures
- Debt to equity ratio: ratio of company’s total liabilities against shareholder equity
- Return on equity: measure of financial performance based on net income divided by shareholder equity
- Profit margin: ratio of profit (value of total sales minus total expenditure) divided by revenue before or after tax (as specified)
- Cost of goods sold: cost of manufacturing the products a business sells (excludes marketing, sales, and administration expenses)
- Quick ratio: current assets/current liabilities – a financial ratio used to determine a company’s liquidity
D. HR KPI
Jay and Claire know that to run a successful business, you need to pay close attention to your human resources.
Because if their employees feel like Luke here, they’re going to be doomed:
To avoid things getting out of hand, they can carefully monitor these HR KPIs to stay on top of everything:
- Employee turnover rate: percentage of employees who left against total employees
- Absenteeism rate: percentage of employees who are absent over a given time period
- Revenue per employee: total revenue divided by total employee strength
- Cost per hire: total cost of hiring each employee (includes hiring, training, and onboarding costs)
- Average training costs: total training cost divided by total employee strength which attended training programs
- Recruiting conversion rate: percentage of applicants who were hired vs. total number of applicants you processed
- Employee engagement: measure of how committed and connected your employees are to your company
E. Customer KPIs
We all know how much Phil cares about his clients.
I mean what other realtor is this in-tune with his customer’s emotions?!
And because of that, Phil’s going to leave no stone unturned when it comes to satisfying his clients. He can even monitor how they’re doing by tracking these KPIs:
- Number of customer issues: total number of issues your existing customers have
- Average response time: average time it takes to respond to clients or customers
- First call resolution rate: percentage of calls that were resolved over the first interaction
- Total tickets vs open tickets: ratio of total complaint tickets vs ones that are still unresolved
- Unsolved tickets per employee: average number of tickets left unresolved by each employee
- Net promoter score: willingness of existing customers to recommend your company to other people and build brand awareness
- Customer satisfaction: measure of how satisfied your existing customers are with your company/service
And that’s it.
Remember, those aren’t all the KPI examples you could use – there are tons of other KPIs such as manufacturing KPIs, IT KPIs and more. However, we’re pretty sure you’ve found some example KPIs that fit your needs from this list!
The Only KPI Template You’ll Ever Need
You’ve now selected the KPIs you want to track.
But selecting a key indicator is only half the battle – you now have to keep track of it.
And to do that, you need the right KPI template.
What is a KPI template?
A KPI template is a document (usually a spreadsheet) that will help you track the KPIs you’re monitoring to see how things are going. Think of it as a KPI report that highlights your KPI progress with time.
Simply add your chosen KPI to the template and keep updating it’s tracking data to keep up with things!
The perfect KPI dashboard template
Here’s a simple KPI dashboard template that you can use to track any KPI you choose:
A. KPI Description
This section will contextualize the KPIs you’ve chosen. It gives everyone a quick look at why this KPI is important and how it helps you.
This section will answer questions like:
- Why did you choose this KPI?
- How does monitoring it help you track your goal progress?
B. KPI Owner
It’s important to always assign someone to oversee your KPI report. This section will highlight who’s responsible for monitoring this KPI and analyzing the data.
C. KPI Formula
Add the formula that you’ll use to calculate your KPIs here. This is important as it establishes transparency over the measuring process and creates a uniform method of calculation.
D. KPI Data
This is the KPI reporting section.
Keep updating your KPI dashboard template with the most recent figures you’ve calculated. This will help you monitor your progress to determine if everything’s going in the right direction.
Just add any of those specific KPI metrics into an Excel file, and you’ve got a KPI Excel template! You’re good to go, right?
The key problem with KPI templates
While using an Excel template for your KPIs can be useful, it’s not ideal.
Because they still rely on you manually tracking and updating everything!
If you’re using templates to monitor KPIs, you’ll have to assign team members to each template to stay on top of things.
And when you’re tracking tons of different KPIs, you’ll need tons of team members to focus on these templates. This will draw them away from getting any real work done – creating constraints and holding up your progress.
Additionally, as each KPI report relies on manual updates, there’s always a chance of human error creeping in!
We share the same sentiment, Claire.
What can you use instead?
Okay, so a KPI report template might not be that helpful.
But what can you use instead?
You still need a tool for KPI reporting, right?
All you need is a good KPI dashboard!
What’s a KPI dashboard?
A KPI dashboard is a specialized tool for advanced KPI reporting. You won’t have to worry about manual inputs and can easily visualize your KPI data in seconds!
Sounds great, right?
But wait… what’s the most effective KPI dashboard?
The Best KPI Dashboard For 2021: ClickUp
ClickUp is the world’s #1 project management tool! Teams in startups to giant corporations love using ClickUp as their KPI dashboard and strategic goal tracking hub!
Here’s a closer look at why ClickUp is such an effective KPI and goal tracking solution:
ClickUp’s Goals feature is the easiest way to keep track of all your KPIs and strategic objectives.
In ClickUp, Goals are high-level containers that are broken up into smaller Targets. These Targets are your strategic objectives that you complete to meet your overall goal.
For example, if Phil’s strategic Goal was to sell 15 more properties, his Targets could be:
- Develop a powerful inbound marketing campaign
- List properties on Zillow
- Update CRM with relevant prospect data
And as Phil meets these Targets, his overall Goal progress updates in real-time!
Okay… but where do KPIs come in?
In ClickUp, you can customize the key metric you choose to measure your Targets, such as:
- Numbers: numerical figures such as scores and percentages
- Currency: for a target value like revenue and profit
- Tasks: track performance based on task completions
Here’s how everything comes together:
- Create a Goal
(such as “sell 15 more properties”)
- Assign a set of objectives (Targets) that will help you achieve that strategic Goal
(such as “add 25 listings on Zillow”)
- Define a set of key metrics to measure your Target progress
(by using the numerical metric in ClickUp)
- Start tracking your progress!
Bonus: ClickUp’s Goals feature is super handy for remote teams who need an easy, centralized way to track their goals from different locations.
ClickUp’s Dashboards are the perfect hub to quickly manage your KPIs. Use ClickUp’s Dashboards for high-level visual KPI overviews in the way you want to see them!
Each Dashboard can be customized with Custom Widgets – each monitoring a chosen key metric in the style you want.
Here’s a list of all the widgets you can access in ClickUp:
- Line Chart
- Bar Chart
- Pie Chart
- Battery Chart
- Calculation (to calculate sums, averages and other numerical data)
It doesn’t matter if you’re measuring marketing metrics, sales metrics, closet metrics or even a key metric about human resources – ClickUp will help you manage whatever you want in the way you want to!
Not just the closet industry Jay, ClickUp’s Dashboards will revolutionize KPI tracking everywhere!
Additionally, you can customize the access rights of each Dashboard. This way, you can share your performance measurement data with various team members, clients and other project stakeholders!
Remember, you need to monitor HR KPIs too.
And if you want an efficient performance management tool, just use ClickUp’s reports!
You can use these reports to help you with various aspects of performance management such as:
- Completed: use number of completed tasks as performance metrics
- Worked on: use number of tasks worked on as performance metrics
- Time tracked: use time spent on work as performance metrics to measure employee commitment
- Workspace points: assign points to work activities for gamified performance management
But helping you track KPIs isn’t all that ClickUp does!
ClickUp is an all-in-one project management dashboard that has tons of features like:
- Project Management Automation: automate any repetitive processes to save time
- Agile project management analytics: track Agile and scrum projects with burndowns, burnups, velocity charts and cumulative flow diagrams
- Pulse: check what your team’s currently focused on
- Weekly Scorecards: Analytics over your team’s strategic objectives and goal progress
- Custom Statuses: create customized project statuses for everything
- Priorities: set priorities to attempt your most important tasks first
While there are hundreds of KPIs out there, finding one for your business doesn’t have to be hard!
Just go through our list to find the metrics that resonate with your key business goals and objectives.
But remember – finding your KPIs isn’t enough.
You need to track them too.
And while KPI templates are an option, using specialized KPI software like ClickUp is a far smarter choice. It’ll help you automate your KPI tracking process to keep up with everything in a flash!
So why not sign up for ClickUp today and start mastering your KPIs like Phil mastered magic!