What Are KPIs?

What Are KPIs?

what are kpis

There are many types of KPIs, and all KPIs provide different value to separate members in an organization. But what is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)? Klipfolio offers a succinct definition of what a KPI is:

“A measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching targets.”

Having said that, let’s try to break down KPIs more simply. It’s a term that is commonly used, but not always understood well. A metric that can be defined as a KPI means:

•  It’s valuable and key to the success of the organization. For example, the Win-Rate is an important KPI because it not only helps sales managers gauge the performance of their sales team, but also individual sales representatives. This information can then be effectively used to coach sales representatives, and provide methods to improve their performance.

•  It’s related to performance when it can be assessed, evaluated and swayed by members of your team. For example, recognizing that a specific set of sales reps isn’t performing as well as they should provides managers the opportunity to reconsider and assess their coaching strategy.

•  It’s used as an indicator, which provides leading information about future results. For example, if sales managers notice a number of potential leads are dropping off at the same point in the sales cycle, it would be a good idea to track the level of interaction from sales reps to leads at this point, and assess and set specific expectations to move past that point in the sales cycle.

The importance of analyzing and monitoring KPIs is to gain insight into current activity and behavior that will impact future productivity. One of the most important outcomes from tracking KPIs is the actionable insights that directly impact the workplace environment. Tracking KPIs gives sales managers the opportunity to coach sales representatives, and this will in turn influence the results of months, quarterly and annual productivity numbers.

Three Benefits of KPIs

Now the question is—what are some tangible benefits from monitoring KPIs? Salesforce lists several benefits to monitoring KPIs, but here’s the top three from their list:

1. “They will help you make better decisions”

Why? Access to important data and information about the performance of your sales team allows sales managers to coach sales reps effectively. Concrete evidence allows sales managers to accurately assess assumptions they may have previously had. It gives managers the opportunity to assess whether or not their assumptions of observations were true.

2. “KPIs set expectations and improve communication”

Why? Expectations and clear goals from sales managers to sales reps provides context and instructs sales reps on how they can get the best use of their time. If a sales rep needs guidance on identifying the most probable opportunities in the pipeline, setting goals and communicating will ensure they move towards those goals.

3. “Tracking KPIs is the best way to identify and qualify sales maker performance.”

Why? Understanding time allocation and how much time should be spent on individual tasks in the sales cycle will ensure focus on the right activities, and less time wasted. If sales managers don’t track individual behavior, it makes it increasingly difficult to assess their productivity and time management.

Looking for the right KPIs to monitor for your organization? Contact Vortini to learn about our library of metrics, and which KPIs are suitable for your organization.


Jess is a communications professional and Vortini’s lead content/web developer. Her current interests lie in the intersection of sales technology and machine learning. In her free time she reads a book-a-week, practices yoga, and is an avid gardener.


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