How do you encourage your team to think about and achieve organizational goals? The first step is to take a deep inventory of your key performance indicators (KPIs).
The thing is, KPIs will get the team motivated for the first few months, then lost in long email threads, and revisited the day before an important meeting with senior leadership.
Well-designed KPIs will empower teams to solve inefficiencies, eliminate time-sucking requests, and align tasks and projects with company-wide goals. This is what we want for you and your team, so we’ve put together a catalog of KPI examples and templates to answer your questions:
In what condition does a metric become a KPI? Who is part of the KPI development process? Where do I track KPI progress? How do I drive action and motivate my team toward the outcome?
We’ll cover all of the above—and then some—because KPIs are the secret sauce of modern business strategy. And everyone is qualified for the task.
- What Is a KPI or Key Performance Indicator?
- How to Define KPIs
- How to Measure KPIs in ClickUp
- KPI FAQs
What Is a KPI or Key Performance Indicator?
A Key Performance Indicator or KPI is a quantifiable metric used to monitor progress in achieving business objectives. More specifically, a KPI gives performance insight into an organization’s most important asset: the people.
Businesses invest time, effort, and money to hire problem solvers—people who have strengths in analyzing and interpreting data to make decisions. And this investment isn’t limited to staffing the IT and Finance departments. It’s been said that a workforce with data literacy skills helps improve the company’s overall health and performance.
Meaning everyone—front-line employees, managers, and senior leadership—has an influence on organizational goals. So as a team leader, you have the responsibility to give the people thoughtful, specific, and measurable KPIs.
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this vlog about setting KPIs!
How to Define KPIs
If you take one thing away from this guide, let it be this: effective key performance indicators allow people to make accurate and fast decisions.
The first mistake businesses make when they’re brainstorming KPIs is sending an email to all department leaders with the subject line: What Are You Going To Do About All Of These Really Bad Metrics?
Instead, businesses should target the metrics which have the most impact on their sustainability. When you focus on needle-moving projects, tools, and systems, you are building a business roadmap to maximize your speed towards revenue growth.
So here is a step-by-step checklist to help you start your KPIs the right way:
1. Identify business metrics directly related to business goals
Let’s start with the basics that Sales KPIs look different from Product KPIs, which are different from Finance KPIs. Ask your area direct performance indicator questions to understand what they want to achieve and their criteria for success. This group will use these business metrics as a guide for the next month, quarter, or year. If a key performance indicator does not contribute to a business goal, it’s gotta go!
- What’s the problem you want to solve in your process/team/organization?
- What’s the outcome you want to achieve?
- How will you measure success?
- How will you know if you’ve achieved your outcome?
2. Write out clear and specific key performance indicators
Once you have their insights, organize the metrics into two categories: leading and lagging indicators.
- Leading indicators will let them know if they need to pivot or adjust their strategy to get back on track toward achieving their desired outcome
- Lagging indicators are the opposite. These key performance indicators determine how well processes and updates are performed over a longer period of time
Pro Tip: It might be tempting to use corporate shorthand or fluffy words, but remember these KPIs are shared company-wide, so it has to be clear to everyone.
3. Get KPIs into a remote-first tool to record and monitor progress
We’ll say it: KPI reports are not the most thrilling to build.
It’s an (almost) everyday task requiring time to turn raw data into actionable insights. So much so, KPI reports typically have a short life span after it reaches an inbox for a few reasons:
- Reports are outdated by the end of the day because data changes by the hour
- Reports in a PDF or Excel format look different on various screens
- Reports sent through email are not secure
Getting the right information at the right time is a necessity for data-driven businesses. People want to access KPIs on their smartphones, desktops, and even on the big screen at the office. If you’re looking for a free dashboard tool to meet these needs, try ClickUp!
51 KPI Examples and Templates to Measure Progress
Here at ClickUp, we’re super fans of KPIs and you, so our team got to work and pulled together a list of key performance indicators and free templates sorted by the department or industry.
Sales KPI examples
1. Customer Acquisition Cost: The total cost of acquiring a customer (includes costs spent on the sales process and through marketing efforts)
2. Sales Activities Per Rep: The total number of tasks completed in a given time period
3. Lead to Client Conversation Rate: The percentage of leads converted in your sales process
4. Total Sales Revenue: The total revenue generated from your products over a defined period
5. Sales Cycle Length: The average time it takes between initial contact through closing
Operations KPI examples
6. Overtime Hours: The number of hours worked by an employee beyond their normally scheduled working hours
7. Processes Developed: The number of improvements made to current operational
8. Inventory Costs: The total amount of all expenses related to storing unsold goods
9. Office Space Utilization: The percentage of the office space used by employees
10. Company Perks Usage: The percentage of perks used by employees
Finance KPI examples
11. Return on Equity: The measure of financial performance based on net income divided by shareholder equity
12. Net Profit Margin: The amount of money your company has after all expenses (interest, taxes, operating expenses, etc.) have been deducted from your total revenue
13. Cost of Goods Sold: The total cost of manufacturing the products a business sells (excludes sales, administration, and marketing expenses)
14. Debt to Equity Ratio: The ratio of company’s total liabilities against shareholder equity
15. Free Cash Flow: The amount of money remaining after capital expenditures
Marketing KPI examples
16. Return on Marketing Investment: The return from a marketing investment divided by the costs of the marketing investment
17. Bounce Rate: The percentage of emails that bounced. This happens when the email address is no longer active
18. Click-through Rate: The number of people who clicked a link in your email vs. the total number of people who received your email
19. Organic Impressions: The number of times a piece of content is shown on a person’s newsfeed
20. Subscriber Count: The number of people who subscribed to your email marketing campaigns
Dive into more marketing KPIs and learn the best approach to set your goals!
Website KPI examples
21. Traffic to MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) Ratio: The ratio of the total traffic platform generated vs. the number of marketing qualified leads coming from that traffic
22. Crawl Errors: The number of URLs that are inaccessible to Googlebot when it scans your pages
23. Bounce Rate: The number of people who exited your site within just a few seconds of arriving
24. Mobile Usability: The speed and performance of your landing page on phones and tabs
25. Referral Traffic: The number of people who visit your website from your social media
Design KPI examples
26. Customer Satisfaction Rate: The responses let you know which customers are unhappy, and need some extra attention from your product management teams
27. Standard Compliance: The average number of issues related to not following brand guidelines, processes, or procedures
28. Response Time: The average time it takes for project reviewers and project contributors to respond back to questions, comments, and requests
29. Production Cycle Time: The average time it takes to complete a project from start to finish
30. Revision Time: The average number of rounds or time it takes to reach the final design
Startup KPI examples
31. Customer Lifetime Value: The revenue your company can expect from individual customer accounts
32. Activation Rate: The percentage of users who complete any major event in the onboarding process
33. Runway: The number of months the company can operate before running out of money
34. Average Sales Cycle Length: The number of days it takes to close a deal on average
35. Monthly Burn: The amount of cash spent per month
Product KPI examples
36. Net Promoter Score (NPS): The number indicating whether your users are ready to recommend your product to their friends, colleagues, etc.
37. Support Ticket Escalations: The number of tickets moved to a higher-level Customer Support Manager to resolve
38. Customer Satisfaction Rate (CSAT): The scale rate of a customer’s overall experience with a company’s product, service, or employee
39. Velocity: The total number of manual and automated tests performed
40. Daily Active User: The number of active users per day
SaaS KPI examples
41. Net Promoter Score (NPS): The number indicating whether your users are ready to recommend your product to their friends, colleagues, etc.
42. Month Over Month (MoM) Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) Growth Rate: The percentage increase or decrease month over month in net MRR
43. Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR): The predicted amount of yearly revenue earned from customers
44. Churn Rate: The percentage rate at which customers leave a business over a given period of time
45. Processes Developed: The number of improvements made to current operational processes
46. Lead Velocity Rate: The total number of manual and automated tests performed
Human Resources KPI examples
47. Recruiting Conversion Rate: The percentage of applicants who were hired vs. total number of applicants you processed (track with ATS!)
48. Cost Per Hire: The total cost of hiring each employee (including hiring, training, or onboarding costs and other HR KPIs)
49. Average Training Costs: The amount of money spent on employee training and development
50. Absenteeism Rate: The percentage of employees who are absent over a given time period
51. Employee Turnover Rate: The percentage of employees who left the company
Once you’ve collected and measured your data, you’ll need to present them in an easy-to-understand format. This is where an all-in-one solution like ClickUp comes in clutch to provide the best visualization tools!
How to Measure KPIs in ClickUp
With your key performance indicators and templates ready to track, the next step is to compile them into a digital solution like ClickUp!
ClickUp is an all-in-one productivity platform where teams come together to plan, organize, and collaborate on work using tasks, Docs, Chat, Goals, Whiteboards, and more. Easily customized with just a few clicks, ClickUp lets teams of all types and sizes deliver work more effectively, boosting productivity to new heights!
Here’s a closer look at why teams love using ClickUp as their goal-tracking hub and KPI Dashboard:
Align KPI-related tasks and activities with Goals in ClickUp
Goals in ClickUp are high-level containers broken into smaller Targets. Once you take action on a Target, click the Target name to update your progress. Depending on which type you use, your Target will have different tracking options:
- Number: Create a range of numbers and track increases or decreases between them
- True/False: Use a Done/Not Done checkbox to mark your Target complete
- Currency: Set a monetary Goal and track any increases or decreases
- Task: Track the completion of a single task, or an entire List. (A badge appears in a task’s details with the name of the attached Goal!)
Leverage KPI reporting with ClickUp Dashboards
Dashboards in ClickUp will replace the weekly reports piling up in your manager’s inbox. Build, display, and interact from a single source of truth with all the KPIs front and center.
And you don’t need to be a data scientist or graphic designer to create Dashboards in ClickUp! With a drag-and-drop action, you can organize your Dashboards to visualize how work is happening in your Workspace in any way you want.
What are the benefits of tracking KPIs as a team?
KPIs help define clear and measurable criteria for success, allowing teams to work towards specific goals while continuously measuring their progress. This provides teams with a sense of direction, focus and purpose, which can lead to increased engagement and motivation.
How do you select KPIs for a team?
The selection of appropriate KPIs will depend on the team’s purpose, goals and objectives. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, a team can identify KPIs by considering their goals and objectives, analyzing past performance, and considering external factors that may impact their performance.
What should I do if my team isn’t meeting KPI targets?
If your team is not meeting KPI targets, you should first try to identify the root cause of the issue. This may involve providing additional training, resources and support to members of the team. Additionally, you should review and revise the KPIs to make sure they are achievable, relevant and realistic.
Track Your Numbers With Confidence in ClickUp
Where is the team meeting, exceeding, or not making progress on KPIs? With KPI software, KPI timelines and reporting exist in a centralized location, so anyone can quickly retrieve the data and understand where they are and where they need to be.
It’s easy to get lost in the data for hours to generate a one-page KPI report. That’s the old way of productivity.
The right KPI software will simplify the reporting process and give you more time to focus on strategic discussions and activities.
Keep riding the growth wave, and if you need a fail-proof navigation tool, ClickUp’s got your back!