What are KPI’s and how are they used?
Key Performance Indicators measure performance and highlight areas of success or improvement. They can do so with firm numbers, or surveys and testimonials. For example, aside from meeting productivity goals for your staff, are the customers happy with the product or service? Traditional KPIs include monthly sales growth, number of qualified leads, and lead to sale conversion rates, but they can also measure the number of returned items, and customer satisfaction.
Asking the right questions is the first step in selecting the right KPIs for your company. What goals do I (or my company) want to achieve? Clearly defined goals help leadership identify what to measure, and give employees targets to focus on. We will use the example of conversions from prospects to sales for this discussion. In this case you and everyone on your team should know a number, percentage, or range for a conversion goal.
Select the Right KPI´s to Improve Performance
Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are designed to help companies measure their ability to achieve goals. They can measure the performance of a single employee, an entire company, or any combination in between. Plans and strategies are an important part of business, and performance indicators are the benchmarks that help businesses achieve success. Here are a few things to consider when selecting KPIs to optimize reaching goals.
Before going on a venture to improve your company, the right move would be to consult with your management first. In some cases, you might find that your organization already performs these measurements, and it’s just a question of you asking for the results. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
How Key Performance Indicators affect all areas of an organization are important considerations. Conversion goals should be set by leadership, supervisors, and in many cases line employees to ensure that there is buy-in, and that the goals are reasonable. They should also be shared with the entire organization for the sake of consistency.
Good communication relating to goals minimizes employee confusion and confirms direction. Consistency affects employee morale, because everyone is expected to work equally to meet the same goals. Happy and consistent employees have long-lasting effects on the product/service and your customers.
Quality of Information
Human error is something we all try to minimize, but it is especially important for business reports. Any information provided by employees is traceable and verifies authenticity. KPI information is typically used for daily, weekly, monthly, and annual reports. Incorrect information may make a team appear to have performed better than they did. This is known as padding statistics. It can also make a team appear to have performed worse, which undervalues a team. In the case where companies offer bonuses for goals met, accuracy directly affects an employee’s wallet.
Confirm selection of the right KPI
Can the performance indicators you select be measured accurately, and will they help measure the effectiveness of process and/or people? Your KPIs should be practical and shared with management in order to avoid overlap with other KPIs in your company. The management team must have confidence in the indicator selected for that objective. If you choose to measure conversion rates, is any other unit or department of your company doing that too? No need to perform a task more than once.
This is where the evidence of good information gathering, teamwork, and communication between leaders and employees are demonstrated. Reliable information helps leaders strategize more effectively for the benefit of the company. For example, if you want to compare conversion rates from this time last year, you can know if your team, the economy, your product, and perhaps other things are the reason why your profits fluctuate or remain consistent. Reports can confirm the information that customers or employees share with you about a product or service. Most importantly it tells a company whether or not its met KPI targets.
Performance indicators should work in concert with your existing business plan. They will help manage your business in ways that are practical and allow you to adjust in a reasonable amount of time, avoiding negative effects on revenue, and prove revenue generating strategies.
KPIs are designed as a quality assurance measure. It’s what most companies want to know in order to remain profitable. What are you doing that is right, and what can be improved? For more information on KPIs and company strategy to improve profitability consult with a specialist at Advertising Avenue. We’d love to help.