A key performance indicator (KPI) measures how effective a company’s efforts are at improving their chances of attaining targeted goals. Every time a new target is set, it’s wise and customary to set trackers that monitor if you’re getting closer to the target over time. It’s possible to set and monitor KPIs across any company’s organizational chart, including software companies. This post highlights a few KPI examples across the sales, marketing, digital transformation, and software delivery departments.
Before we dive into the specific KPIs, let’s quickly acknowledge that measuring KPIs across crucial areas of a business adds to its overall business intelligence efforts. Operating a business that is oblivious to progress towards its goals is synonymous with walking in the dark without a torch.
Now that you have some idea of what KPIs are and their importance, let’s explore some important examples across a modern company’s departments.
Sales KPI Examples
The sales department essentially handles the revenue side of a business. This department is directly in touch with sources of income for the company; sales are key for measuring the effectiveness of its efforts. Three variables stand out when considering factors that determine a sales department’s success.
1. New Customers
More than anything else, the number of new customers demonstrates how successful a sales department is. On the plenty side of the scale, revenue increases with every new customer successfully closed. On the other end, few new customers dim the notion of company growth. However, take care not to confuse a reduction in new customers with failure. Especially if customers who you’ve already closed stay on board. All that said, a company typically wants the number of new customers’ to keep swelling over time.
2. Customer Turnover Rate
Linked to the number of new customers, the customer retention rate shows how many customers are staying versus leaving the company. This KPI example is usually calculated as a percentage within a certain time period. An example would be the customer retention rate for the year 2020. It reveals how sticky the products or services being delivered are. A low retention rate is undesirable as it suggests that customers are signing up and transacting only once or a few times before leaving for another service provider.
3. Relative Market Share
This is a comparative measure that represents a brand’s customers as a fraction of the whole market. Competition is inevitable. To edge out the competition, a company should know just how much market share the other side has. Relative market share is important for a company to look at after every campaign. A quick glance at market share charts over time can tell you how the company is doing across all products or services it offers after all marketing campaigns.
Growth in relative market share indicates success across the board, whereas reduced market share indicates a negative net effect.
Marketing KPI Examples
The marketing department takes charge preparing the possible pool of customers for a company’s product. Efforts executed by the marketing department are often wrapped around frameworks, or campaigns. Campaigns are efforts motivated toward specific goals. A typical campaign might look to increase the number of customers coming from a video shared on social media. That said, three KPI examples commonly make up the basis of measuring campaign effectiveness for marketing departments.
1. Monthly New Leads
Leads manifest when marketing content effectively attracts potential buyers for a product. Increases in monthly new leads often also increase the total new customer count for a given time period. Several campaigns come together to produce an overall new leads count. Fewer leads can be a result of general depression in the market as a whole. However, it also indicates that more effort is required on the part of the company’s marketing teams. All companies crave high new leads numbers.
2. Monthly Website Traffic
When a company’s website starts receiving high volumes of requests, it is easily a sign that the marketing department has struck gold with content. The inverse speaks volumes and suggests that something needs to change. Because it uses a monthly timeframe, this KPI is a quick test result for every campaign that leads back to a website. High traffic volume to a website is usually the starting point for good trends in other KPI examples. Even new monthly leads are directly proportional to the amount of traffic a website gets.
3. Engagement Rate
Engagement is a metric that shows how much communication a campaign gets from its target audience. Typical kinds of engagements or actions measured here would be the number of likes, follows, or shares a post gets once it goes live on a social media platform. The engagement rate measures the number of actions that take place over a specified period of time. Good engagement rates can indicate that you posted a potentially viral piece of content. For example, the more shares and likes a video gets in a short time period, the more the audience likely enjoys the content.
Digital Transformation KPI Examples
Digital transformation is a particularly difficult performance indicator to measure. Companies on the way to achieving total digital adaptation have transformation checkpoints to measure how well they’re doing. Successful digital transformation is more of a journey than a destination in that once achieved, users must learn how to use digital resources to the fullest.
1. Software Tool Usage
Transformation involves using new tools. Along the journey toward a totally transformed company, you’ll introduce software applications that make processes easier for your stakeholders. The number of new software apps that substitute for old ways of running business processes says a lot about how close a company is to achieving the transformed state. It should be noted, however, that using a lot of tools is not an indication of transformation. Instead, using the right tools and getting all stakeholders working in the same app shows progress, as would improvement in other metrics due to the new tools. Conversely, bad performance indicators would highlight tools that users are not 100% on board with. You can measure software tool usage with digital adoption tools.
2. User Satisfaction
Surveys and polls can query how tools used on the path to digital transformation make users, both internal and external, feel. Are the tools faster and more informative? Are they structured and do they limit responses to predefined options? You can easily use binary options and sliding scales to track how many users are happy. Free-text fields that ask users to input in detail how they personally feel are optional. However, they require a lot of effort, as you’d have to read through each response to figure out the answer.
3. ROI From New Software Applications
Over time, the effectiveness of the tools a company subscribes to when carrying out business tasks becomes apparent. Calculating the return on investment (ROI) for each of these tools is a good way to measure if a transformation will be profitable in the end. As soon as a company starts spending more money to run a tool than the tool returns, the decision to stop using said tool becomes easy. However, you have to measure such variables to come up with informative decisions on the way forward.
Software Delivery KPI Examples
Software development companies often have many variables determining the success of the applications they deploy. Measuring these can give a company insight into the activities necessary to stay or get back on track, or stop the costly bleeding of resources. These three KPIs always help with such decisions.
1. Automated Tests Performed
This indicator is specific to the number of automatic tests completed when developing software. Since testing is a step in the development cycle that eventually leads to completed versions of software, the more tests a team carries out, the closer they get to deploying the software.
2. Reviewed Requirements
Requirements set the scope for the purpose of a piece of software. They act as guidelines for the way applications look, interact, and more importantly, for applications’ features. After the QA team reviews a feature against the requirements document and find that it complies, they add it to the reviewed requirements list. The more reviewed requirements pile up, the closer the team gets to a comprehensive tool.
3. Known Bugs
Known bugs is a KPI that QA teams use to keep track of the glitches found in a system. While knowing that a bug exists seldom feels like an achievement, it’s the first step for an important series of corrective actions. When developers know how many parts of a system are broken, they set aside enough time to go through and solve them. If they don’t know what’s broken, they may not take action until it’s too late. This knowledge also leads to running more tests. Hopefully, you’re now more aware of the importance of executing tests.
Overall Impact Of These KPIs
The KPI examples focused on in this post have been proven essential for their respective departments. If you extrapolate the same line of thinking across other departments, you’ll appreciate how important KPIs are for every department in a company. Whether your company makes its own software or buys from vendors, digital transformation KPIs are a good way of mapping a way forward while simultaneously tracking how well you’re doing.
Measuring these example KPIs forms a basis for improving a company’s business intelligence. They’re like an always-open portal through which a company can monitor how well internal activities are working. KPIs give a company measurable goals to strive for, while slowly inching towards the bigger picture of market dominance, record sales, and outstanding digital transformation. Not utilizing them would be the same as starting on a journey without knowing where it is you wish to arrive.
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