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17 KPIs every data-driven manager needs to lead their team

Published 2016-08-05, updated 2024-04-09

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Summary - Motivate your team with real-time data. Learn how implementing KPI management will improve your performance as a manager, and your teams in general.

With the responsibility of steering their teams towards achieving strategic objectives, managers are the architects who design strategy and set goals for growth. At the heart of effective management lies the adept use of key performance indicators (KPIs)—vital instruments that help direct teams toward their strategic goals.

Why should a manager prioritize KPIs?

For managers, success isn’t just in setting goals but in making sure these goals translate into tangible results. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable proof that shows whether your team’s efforts are aligning with the company’s vision. 

For example, focusing on KPIs allows managers to:

Track progress

As you implement KPIs, you get objective evidence that goals are being met. It’s not just about observing where your team stands at any given moment. It’s also about understanding the trajectory of their efforts over time. 

For example, a manager overseeing a sales team might use the KPI of monthly sales targets to track progress. If the goal is to increase sales by 20% over the quarter, you can clearly indicate whether the team is on track to meet this objective. 

Should the first month’s sales only show a 5% increase, you have the data needed to intervene early. This could be by providing additional training or resources, which positions the team better to meet or exceed the quarterly goal.

Drive accountability

When employees are aware of the specific metrics that measure their performance, they get a sense of responsibility and ownership over their work. This transparency not only demystifies what success looks like but also encourages employees to take initiative and strive for excellence in their respective roles.

Let’s say you have a customer service department, and you’ve set a KPI for average call resolution time. When your team knows that this is part of their evaluation, they’re more likely to be efficient in their call handling. As a result, your organization can improve customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Make informed decisions

KPIs provide you with real-time data, enabling you to make decisions based on empirical evidence. Since you have the capability to analyze performance data as it happens, you can make timely adjustments to strategies. This keeps your teams agile and responsive to changing business dynamics.

A great example is having a KPI for website traffic from social media campaigns and noticing that the number is significantly lower than expected. You can then identify the cause, whether it’s the content, chosen platforms, or the timing of the posts. Then, you can adjust your social media strategy accordingly.

Find areas for improvement

More than just real-time data, KPIs show you patterns and trends in your team’s performance. As you analyze these, you’ll see specific factors that may be hindering progress and implement targeted interventions to address these issues.

Top management KPIs for different departments

Depending on your industry and the specific department you are interested in tracking, there are a number of KPI types your business will want to monitor. Each department will want to measure success based on specific goals and targets. 

KPIs for marketing managers

It’s important for marketing managers to be as cognizant of the organization’s sales performance as they are of marketing initiatives. In many cases, sales, which can include anything from lead breakdown to customer location, is a reflection of marketing efforts.

For example, are your webinars generating leads for the company? Questions like this interweave sales and marketing because, besides creating awareness, the bottom line is that marketing is meant to generate customers for the company. 

Learn more about Marketing KPIs.

Cost per Conversion

Cost-per-conversion helps marketing managers assess how efficient their advertising campaigns and strategies are. By comparing the cost of each conversion to predefined targets, managers can pinpoint which campaigns are cost-effective and which are draining resources without sufficient ROI. 

For instance, if a digital ad campaign shows a lower cost per conversion compared to other channels, it’s a signal to allocate more budget towards digital ads.

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Marketing Expenses and Traffic

Analyzing the relationship between marketing expenses and website traffic sheds light on the impact of marketing efforts on attracting visitors. A manager might review how a spike in Google AdWords spending correlates with an uptick in web traffic, indicating the effectiveness of online ads in driving interest. 

Conversely, if increased spending doesn’t translate to more traffic, it’s time to reassess the marketing channels being used. Mash up your QuickBooks and Google Analytics data to see how your marketing expenses have affected your website traffic within the last 30 days.

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Conversion Funnel

The conversion funnel provides insights into the customer journey, from initial awareness to making a purchase. 

Combine the power of Google Analytics with Salesforce! Gain insight into how prospects have advanced through your marketing funnel over the past 30 days. For example, if there’s a significant drop at the consideration stage, marketing strategies can be adjusted to nurture prospects more effectively at this critical point.

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Return on Investment measures the overall profitability of marketing initiatives. Compare conversion values and costs to see ROI. Calculations will be dependent on having conversion values in Google AdWords.

By comparing the conversion value against the cost, managers can identify high-performing campaigns. If an email marketing campaign generates significant sales with minimal spend, it highlights the campaign’s success in yielding a high ROI.

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KPIs for sales managers

To keep your sales team competitive in today’s business environment, it’s important to establish a data-driven culture by sharing relevant performance indicators and business metrics, including sales targets

By tracking these sales key performance indicators (KPIs), you can ensure that your team has the necessary information to help your business succeed. 

Learn more about Sales KPIs.

Quarterly Metrics

Tracking pivotal sales metrics quarterly provides a snapshot of the sales team’s performance and how it aligns with annual targets. Sales managers can use this KPI to evaluate if the team is on track or if strategic changes are needed to meet year-end goals. 

This could involve adjusting sales tactics or providing additional training to the sales team to improve performance.

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Revenue and Wins by Type

Make reporting easy by comparing revenue and wins amongst existing and new businesses (e.g. new vs. existing customers). Doing so helps managers identify the most profitable segments. 

If new business wins are outpacing revenue from existing customers, it might indicate a need to focus more on customer retention strategies.

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Open Opportunities by Stage

Monitor how many leads you have at each stage of the sales cycle to forecast sales and identify bottlenecks. If a significant number of leads are stuck at the negotiation stage, sales managers might need to review and possibly revamp the negotiation process or provide additional support to move these opportunities forward.

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CAC (last 30 days)

Understanding the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) over the last month allows sales managers to gauge the efficiency of sales efforts and marketing campaigns in attracting new customers. A rising CAC might signal the need for a strategy overhaul to ensure customer acquisition efforts are sustainable and profitable.

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KPIs for SaaS managers

Every SaaS startup needs to monitor and track customer success through a comprehensive SaaS dashboard. Understanding your customer churn and customer retention numbers is essential for growing and scaling your business. 

Learn more about SaaS KPIs.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

For SaaS startups, monitoring CLV helps determine the long-term value of customers and guides customer success efforts. Basically, the longer customers stick with you, the more valuable they are. 

If your CLV is increasing over time, it means you're doing a great job at keeping your customers happy and finding ways to offer them more value. As a manager, this is your cue to dig into what strategies are hitting the mark and think about how you can use those wins across your team to keep that momentum going.

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Opportunity Pipeline

Viewing the opportunity pipeline provides startups with a clear view of potential revenue and where prospects are in the buying process. This visibility allows for accurate forecasting and resource allocation to push deals towards closure.

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Monthly MRR / Expansion Rate

Tracking Monthly Recurring Revenue and its expansion rate helps SaaS startups gauge business health and growth. An increasing MRR signifies successful acquisition and upselling strategies, prompting managers to double down on what’s working.

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Lead to Win Conversion by Month

Analyzing the conversion rate from lead to win on a monthly basis helps managers identify the effectiveness of the sales process. If conversion rates are low, it may indicate issues with lead quality or sales tactics, necessitating a deeper investigation into sales operations. Use a line chart to track your lead-to-win conversion rate over time. 

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KPIs for social media managers

As a social media manager, you need to define the metrics and KPIs that show how your team’s efforts are resulting in more leads, increased web traffic, and higher ROI. 

Learn more about Social Media KPIs.

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Social Media Conversions

Conversions from social media campaigns allow social media managers to quantify the direct impact of social media activities on business goals. 

High conversion rates from social media suggest that the content resonates well with the target audience. This can help you stick to strategies that work and finetune those that don’t drive as much engagement.

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Facebook Ads Campaign Performance

Measuring the performance of Facebook ad campaigns helps managers optimize ad spending for maximum impact. A campaign with high engagement and conversion rates validates the ad content and targeting criteria, providing a template for future campaigns.

Make sure your message is reaching the right audience by measuring your campaign performance for the date range of your choice. 

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Social Media Followers

This KPI offers a snapshot of your brand’s presence online and serves as a foundational metric for building and nurturing an engaged audience. Growth in followers can indicate successful content strategies and campaigns, reflecting a growing interest in your brand and its offerings.

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Social Sentiment

Understand the sentiment behind mentions of your brand across all media channels worldwide (social networks, news, forums, blogs, etc.) in all languages. It provides a comprehensive overview of how your brand is perceived across different demographics and geographical locations, which is crucial for global brands. 

Knowing where your company stands helps you manage brand reputation and crisis intervention. 

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KPIs for Call Center managers

Use these call center KPIs to track your team’s performance through the busiest and most hectic days. 

Learn more about Call Center KPIs.

Today’s Calls

Tracking daily call metrics offers immediate feedback on call center efficiency and customer service quality. A sudden increase in call volume might indicate a product issue or customer concern, prompting swift managerial action to address the underlying cause and maintain customer satisfaction.

Monitor your daily call metrics and always know where you stand! (Up to 1000 calls)

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Average Handle Time (AHT)

AHT is all about measuring how long it takes for your team to deal with a customer's call from start to finish. This includes the time spent talking on the phone as well as any follow-up tasks that need to be completed after the call. 

A shorter AHT means your team is resolving customer issues quickly, allowing them to help more people throughout the day. However, it's important to balance speed with quality—being fast isn't useful if issues aren't properly resolved. As a manager, you should aim for a sweet spot where calls are handled efficiently without sacrificing the quality of service.

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Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score

The CSAT Score measures how happy your customers are with the service they received. It's usually gathered through a quick survey asking customers to rate their satisfaction on a scale, often after a call or service interaction. 

High CSAT scores indicate your team isn’t just meeting but exceeding customer expectations, a sign of excellent customer service. On the other hand, lower scores could point to areas where your service might be falling short. 

Monitoring CSAT scores helps you keep a pulse on customer happiness, guiding your team to focus on practices that improve the overall customer experience.

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KPIs for financial performance management

Organizational success demands a deep dive into the financial health and performance of a business. Tracking finance KPIs isn’t just about looking at the number on your balance sheets. 

It’s about understanding the story behind those numbers and how they relate to your company's overall strategy and goals.

Net profit margin

Net profit margin measures the amount of net income generated as a percentage of revenues. It provides clear insights into how effectively a company is converting its revenue into actual profit. As such, you get a quantifiable measurement that shows how each dollar of sales contributes to the profits. 

By tracking this KPI, managers can identify trends in profitability over time, make informed decisions on cost management and pricing strategies, and identify areas for operational improvements.

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Current Ratio

The current ratio measures your company's ability to pay off its short-term liabilities with its short-term assets. It gives you a snapshot of the financial health of your business, especially in terms of liquidity. 

A higher current ratio means your company is in a better position to cover its obligations, which is reassuring for investors, lenders, and management alike. For instance, a current ratio of 2:1 indicates that the company has twice as many assets as liabilities, suggesting strong financial stability. 

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Earnings Before Interests, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA)

EBITDA is a measure used to evaluate a company's operating performance. It strips out the costs of debt financing and taxes, as well as depreciation and amortization expenses, to give a clearer picture of the company's profitability from its core operations. 

Tracking EBITDA allows managers and investors to assess the business's earnings potential without the noise of accounting and financial decisions. A rising EBITDA can indicate that the company is on a path of growth and profitability, while a declining EBITDA may signal challenges in the business's operations. 

How should managers implement their KPIs?

Now that you know some of the KPIs that you should track for each department, the next step is to make sure everyone’s on the same page. 

Here are 10 tips to help you move past KPI identification and leverage them for better team performance:

1. Communicate KPIs clearly and consistently

Make sure that every team member understands the KPIs that are being tracked and why they are important. Be straightforward and provide examples to illustrate how these metrics impact the overall success of the company. 

Regular meetings and updates can help keep everyone aligned and focused.

2. Integrate KPI tracking into daily routines

Make KPI tracking a part of the daily workflow. Leverage dashboards and management tools that allow for easy access to real-time data. This visibility encourages teams to continually assess their performance and stay proactive in addressing potential issues.

3. Set realistic and achievable targets

While ambition is important, setting unrealistic targets can demotivate your team. Work with your team to set achievable goals within reasonable timelines so that these targets align with both individual capabilities and overarching business objectives.

4. Foster a culture of accountability and recognition

Encourage a culture where team members take ownership of their roles and the KPIs linked to them. Recognize and celebrate achievements to reinforce positive behavior and outcomes. 

Equally, constructive feedback on areas of improvement should be timely and specific, focusing on actions and strategies for enhancement.

5. Regularly review and adjust KPIs

Business environments and strategic priorities can change. That’s why you should review the relevance of your KPIs regularly. Be open to adjusting your KPIs to reflect current objectives or to incorporate new insights gained from ongoing tracking and analysis.

6. Use cross-functional collaboration

Many KPIs impact and are influenced by multiple departments. Encourage cross-functional collaboration so that KPIs are comprehensive and consider the interdependencies within the organization. This holistic approach can uncover new insights and strategies for achieving shared goals.

7. Invest in training and development

Equip your team with the skills and knowledge needed to contribute to KPI achievements effectively. This may include training on data analysis, technology tools used for KPI tracking, or strategic planning sessions focused on aligning individual efforts with company goals.

8. Lead by example

Demonstrate your commitment to KPI management by actively engaging with the metrics, sharing your insights, and leading initiatives aimed at improvement. Your enthusiasm and dedication can inspire your team to adopt a similar attitude towards KPIs.

9. Encourage innovation and creative problem-solving

While KPIs provide a framework for measurement, achieving them often requires innovative thinking and creative solutions. Encourage your team to think outside the box and explore new strategies for meeting or exceeding their KPI targets.

10. Embrace failures as learning opportunities

Not meeting a KPI target should not be seen solely as a failure but as an opportunity to learn and grow. Analyze what went wrong, make necessary adjustments, and move forward with renewed focus and strategies.

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The road to KPI-driven management is paved with opportunities for learning and adaptation

When you prioritize KPIs, you’re making sure your team isn’t just busy but effective. 

As managers, it helps you view setbacks as springboards for innovation and achievements as milestones, allowing you and your team to move closer to your organization’s goals.

Remember, though, identifying the right KPIs is just the beginning. The true challenge and opportunity lies in applying these metrics to enact real, impactful changes within your organization. 


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