Examples of Performance Indicators (KPIs): The most exhaustive list

Here is the most exhaustive list you can find on the Internet containing examples of Performance Indicators or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). However, remember that each company is unique and needs to characterize its own indicators on a case-by-case basis. The list below will inspire you to create more easily your own dashboard to manage your business or department.

Commercial performance indicators

Number of new customers

It’s very simple but also revealing: the number of new customers obtained over a given period.

This performance indicator makes it possible to judge the adequacy of the product and its price with the market, the effectiveness of the marketing and sales team and makes it possible to judge the financial future of the company.

For example, it is more appropriate to judge a newly created company on the number of new customers obtained than on its profitability or on its termination rate.

For companies that have been around for several years now, this performance indicator makes it possible to judge its ability to renew its product ranges in order to attract new market shares.

Examples of performance indicators
Examples of performance indicators

Number of prospects and conversion rates

Estimating the number of new prospects over a given period of time allows you to judge the ability of the sales and the marketing team to acquire new leads.

This number of new prospects also makes it possible to measure the remaining potential of the market approached.

The Conversion Rate is an example of a performance indicator directly related to the number of new prospects and concerns only the sales team.

The conversion rate, an excellent performance indicator
The conversion rate, an excellent performance indicator

The conversion rate is the ratio of the number of prospects converted to customers over the total number of prospects.

A bad conversion rate essentially indicates deficiencies in the sales force, the commercial negotiation or a product (or a price) that is poorly adapted to the market.

Conversion time or sales cycle

This is the average time between the time the prospect was first approached and the time he became a customer.

The conversion time is also called the “sales cycle”. I use this term actually!

We can influence the sales cycle, the goal of course is to shorten it. For example:

  • do all the sales steps in one appointment
  • play on discounts to accelerate the decision making of the customer
  • be more responsive on pre-sale issue
  • work on the image of the company to win the trust of the customer more quickly
  • obtain and put forward solid references
  • accept flexible payment terms

This kind of performance indicator can easily be calculated through the use of free CRM software.

Nevertheless, the sales cycle depends a lot on the type of product / service you are selling. It is obvious that the processing time for the sale of a coffee maker is shorter than the sale of a house, a motorcycle insurance, or an online credit…

Loyalty rate

The loyalty rate can take several forms, for example a new purchase from an existing customer or a new visit by the same user to a website.

The loyalty rate is calculated as the ratio of an action (purchase or visit, for example) of an existing customer to the total number of actions of all customers (new and existing), given a defined period.

Thus, when we say that the loyalty rate of a shop is 30%, it means that on the last sales of the period, 30% were made by existing customers.

Loyalty is an excellent KPI performance indicator
Loyalty is an excellent KPI performance indicator

The loyalty rate is an important example of performance indicator because it clearly indicates the level of customer satisfaction and the company’s ability to remain competitive and to respond to market demand.

Moreover, everyone knows that it costs much more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing customer.

This key performance indicator should be compared with the renewal rate (or termination rate) for recurring subscriptions.

Number of canceled orders

It is never pleasant to get the request of cancelling an order and this may indicates an overly aggressive sales method or dishonest salespeople.

We can also examine the ratio of the number of canceled sales over the total number of orders over a given period.

The termination rate is a KPI to follow closely
The termination rate is a KPI to follow closely

> Note that good sales management software offers complete dashboards.

Performance indicators for subscriptions

Cancellation rate

The cancellation rate is an excellent example of a key performance indicator for any company that structured its business on subscriptions, such as:

  • Remote monitoring
  • Web hosting
  • Telecommunication
  • Cable and satellite channels
  • Maintenance services
  • Geolocation, etc.

The cancellation rate is the ratio of the number of canceled contracts to the average total number of contracts in progress over a given period.

For example, if during one month, 2 contracts were canceled and there were 10 contracts in progress, then the cancellation rate for that month is 20%.

It is a very interesting indicator because it allows to have information on many criteria:

  • the competitiveness of the company
  • customer satisfaction
  • loss of market share
  • the quality of the service
  • the effectiveness of customer service

The goal of course is to have the lowest possible cancellation rate.

Renewal rate

The renewal rate is the reciprocal rate to the cancellation rate (What a formula :p).

Its calculation is therefore similar: ratio of the number of renewed contracts to the average total number of contracts in progress over a given period.

However, this performance indicator can be problematic for companies offering subscriptions with different renewal frequencies depending on the customer.

For example, having both monthly and annual renewal contracts will skew the calculations and overestimate or underestimate the renewal rate. That’s why we prefer the cancellation rate.

Average age of contracts

This is an example of a performance indicator that we do not always think about. Yet his calculation is of a baffling simplicity and it allows you to judge the loyalty of the acquired customers.

Nevertheless, this key performance indicator alone cannot indicates a positive or negative trend in the evolution of a company.

For example, if the average age of contracts decreases, it may be due to the loss of old customers or the acquisition of new customers.

Performance indicators for exploitation

Utilization rate

The effective utilization rate of a machine or a set of machines is the ratio between the actual time of its use over the total available time.

This indicator is calculated as follows:

Effective Utilization Rate = Time Used / Time Available

Take for example a car fleet of a security company. These vehicles are available on average 600 hours per month (the rest being used for repairs and miscellaneous maintenance). If the average use of this fleet is 500 hours (for example, some vehicles remain in the car park due to lack of driver or lack of interventions), then the actual utilization rate is 83.3%.

Another example: a web services company. This company has 10 computers whose availability is 8 hours a day, from Monday to Friday. However, 5 of these machines are used by employees only 4 hours a day, from Monday to Friday. So the actual utilization rate of these computers is 75%.

This key performance indicator is interesting because it can detects under-utilization of the hardware. There are many options to remedy the situation:

  • sale of part of the machines
  • hiring new employees
  • creation of new activities to fill the “downtime”
  • setting up a “3 × 8” operation

Availability rate

The availability rate of a machine is the ratio between the time it can be functional over the total time it has to be used (also called time required).

Take the example of a textile factory: one of their weaving machines should normally operate 24 hours daily for 28 days a month (the rest being for maintenance). However, due to unexpected events (power cuts, incidents, lack of raw materials), the actual availability of this machine was only 12 hours daily for 28 days. So the availability rate of this machine was only 50%.

The availability rate has a direct impact on profitability. We can also notice that the effective utilization rate and the availability rate are complementary performance indicators.

A bad availability rate may indicate:

  • poor equipment maintenance
  • poor supply (raw materials or energy)
  • thefts and other malicious acts
  • inappropriate or abusive use of the material

Unavailability rate

Conversely, we can also talk about unavailability rate. Commonly use in the world of web hosting for example, where the unavailability rate represents the ratio between the time of non-functioning of a server over the last 30 days.

Generally, the unavailability rate of a service is the time during which a customer cannot use the service over the last 30 days.

The unavailability rate has a direct impact on customer’s satisfaction and loyalty.

TRS: Synthetic Rate of Return (also known as OEE)

The synthetic rate of return is the multiplication of 3 other rates:

  1. the availability rate
  2. the performance rate
  3. the quality rate

To simplify its understanding and calculation, we’ll consider a pragmatic example:

Let M be a production machine
Let T be a time period (example T = 24 hours).
Let Pt be the quantity of parts that should theoretically be produced by the machine
Let Pr be the quantity of parts in good condition actually produced

Then the synthetic rate of return of the machine M over the period T is defined by the formula:

TRS = Pr / Pt

As its name indicates, it is a good synthetic indicator that saves you the follow-up of 3 other indicators. However, in case of anomaly of this KPI, it will be necessary to make a thorough analysis before knowing where the problem comes from.

Rate of delay in service

This key performance indicator is particularly suitable for the passenger or goods transport sector.

For example, the take-off delay rate is a very important key indicator for air transport.

Its calculation is very simple: ratio of service delays to the total number of departures or arrivals over a given period.

Waiting time in waiting line

This is the time duration a customer must wait in a queue before his/her request is being processed.

For example, in the case of a supermarket, it is the time a customer spends waiting in checkout lines.

Customers in checkout queues in a busy supermarket

The disadvantage of this performance indicator lies in the difficulty of calculating it. The company using it must be equipped with a queue management system, the kind of system that we see in some administrations and banks where the customer must take a ticket with a number and wait for a digital screen to inform him when it’s his turn.

Otherwise, it is an excellent example of a KPI that can both judge customer satisfaction and the efficiency of the staff processing requests. In addition, this performance indicator can automatically indicates the number of staffs (cashiers for example) according to the days and hours.

Number of output faults

It’s simply the number of finished products with defect.

This performance indicator denotes:

  • unsuitable manufacturing processes
  • insufficiently trained employees
  • under-staffed teams
  • poor quality raw material
  • problems with production machines

Number of overtime hours

The use of overtime should be seen as the wildcard of a card game. It must be used cleverly and sparingly.

This is an example of a KPI that points out an inefficient workload, task assignment, organization, or tooling problem.

An extra hour costs a company more than a regular hour. In addition, this has an impact on the well-being of employees and their general tiredness. Remember that an employee’s productivity is not proportional to his or her working hours!

Stock rotation

This performance indicator represents the renewal frequency of a stock over a given period.

It is calculated as the ratio of the stock consumption to the average quantity of the stock over a period of time.

Stock rotation = average consumption / quantity of the stock

For example, a stock rotation of 1 month equals 2 means that the stock is renewed twice a month.

The stock rotation makes it possible to judge:

  • the efficiency of supplies
  • the efficiency of stock management
  • volume sales of the company
  • careful use of cash

Other examples of performance indicators for exploitation

  • Stock of raw materials in number of days of production
  • Stock of finished products in number of days of production

See also the Warehouse Management Software guide that will allow you to obtain your performance indicators easily.

Performance indicators for after-sales service

Response time

It’s the time between the moment a customer makes a complaint or asks a question and the moment a customer service employee answers it.

This is a very good performance indicator and most modern help desk easily help to get this number.

After-Sale Service response time can be reduced by expanding the customer service team, improving training, using help desk tools such as predefined answers, and so on.

Number of new tickets

Here in After-Sale Service, a ticket represents a question or a customer complaint. So over a period of time, this example of key performance indicator may indicate:

  • a problem of product ergonomics
  • insufficient or erroneous documentation
  • a product with a high fault rate
  • incomplete workflows

We can reduce the number of new tickets by solving the previous points, but also by setting up a proactive help desk. For example, an after-sales service software that suggests answers from a knowledge base before the customer opens the ticket.

Performance indicators for Project Management

Velocity

This example of a performance indicator is part of a Project Management by the AGILE Methodology, which is mainly used in software development.

To master this example of a performance indicator, you need to know the “story point” concept linked to the “sprints” of the AGILE method. I urge you to read my articles on these topics. It will be very helpful.

Velocity is the amount of story points a developer or a team of developers can process during a sprint.

This indicator makes it possible to judge clearly the effectiveness, the proficiency and the know-how of a developer. It also allows to predict the development time. But, bear in mind that a story point is not a unit of measuring time, but size.

However, you should be careful as the velocity is intimately linked to the quantification step of the tasks to be treated. In absolute terms, the manager who assigns the story points to each task can voluntarily “inflate” and artificially improve this indicator. It is therefore essential to have a trusted manager and to establish strict and explicit standards.

Average age of tasks

A performance indicator sufficiently explicit and simple to implement. Simply keep it as low as possible. That’s it.

If this indicator grows, it will be necessary to go deep into the matter to determine the obstructions.

Tasks created vs. tasks already solved

This example of performance indicator is simply represented by two integers, such as for example 27/34.

The idea is clear: if the number of tasks created exceeds the number of tasks already solved, we can predict that the team managing the project will end up overloaded, and vice versa.

Unlike the “story point” measurement system, this example of a performance indicator is not based on any personal evaluation.

Average processing time of a task

Another indicator again easy to understand and implement with appropriate software.

It may be noted that this example of performance indicator may complement the Velocity Chart.

Sprints required

The “sprints required” is a 100% home made performance indicator. It is easily calculated as the ratio of the total backlog story points to the average team velocity.

It gives the number of sprints required, and therefore the time required, so that all backlog tasks are processed by the team at the moment of calculation.

Administrative and financial performance indicators

Average customer payment period

The average customer payment period is a perfect example of an extremely simple and yet extremely useful performance indicator.

This performance indicator points to:

  • the effectiveness of the collection team
  • customer satisfaction
  • the financial health of the market
  • the usability of means of payment
  • the pragmatism of payment terms

Reducing the average payment time can also optimize cash flow and make better budget forecasts. In short, an INDISPENSABLE indicator in my opinion, more importantly when the company is young and fragile, especially in the business creation phase.

Average supplier payment period

Conversely, we can also measure the average time between the receipt of a supplier invoice and its payment.

For some, the value of such a performance indicator may be limited. On the other hand, for others, it might be crucial.

Take the example of a distribution company. Its business is to buy wholesale from manufacturers to resell retail to individuals. The purpose of this company is to postpone the payment due date as much as possible in order to reduce the cash stuck in its stocks, even to cash first the payment of the customers, and then to pay out for the suppliers. Large and Medium Surfaces as Auchan, Leclerc, Casino, U Stores, etc. manage to obtain payment terms up to 3 months!

Payment Blocking rate

A payment block is for example the return of a check (without provision, error on signature, etc.), the rejection of a debit or a draft, and so on.

The payment blocking rate is the ratio of blocked payments to total payments over a period of time.

A payment block is questionable because:

  • it requires manual processing by the administrative and financial team
  • it generates bank charges
  • it extends the average payment time
  • it creates tensions and suspicions concerning the customers

In some countries (like Madagascar), this rate of payment blockage can be very high (40% for example).

At-risk customers rate

At-risk customer is a customer with a significant potential for non-payment or refusal to pay, which can also be called a “bad customer”.

Identifying them is already a first protection :)

The rate of at-risk customers is the ratio of the number of these customers to the total number of customers.

A high rate of at-risk customers demonstrates a fragility of the cash flow of the company.

Receivables

Customer receivables are included in a company’s balance sheet as an asset. A performance indicator? It depends on viewpoints.

But in the meantime, it is very useful and also complementary to the average payment time.

Knowing the amount of the receivables enables you to know the efficiency of the collection team, the satisfaction of the customers, and also to have an idea of the solvency of the market.

In addition, if you ever need liquidity, take a look at this indicator as it may save you from using bank loans or other financing. Indeed, a small “boost” towards the customers who owes you money will be able to answer easily and without financial cost to your need of treasury.

Return On Investment (ROI)

I don’t particularly like this performance indicator because it is not necessarily easy to calculate. Moreover, judging the effectiveness of an investment only by looking at what it has brought in cash could be naive and counterproductive.

The ROI is the ratio between the turnover collected and the investment made to generate it.

Leading a business by focusing on ROI is not a sustainable strategy and will push to minimize R&D spending, reduce innovations and save a little money.

Performance indicators for human resources

HR Turnover

HR turnover is the ratio of drop-outs to the total number of employees in the company or department.

Recruitment is expensive:

  • Ads advertising costs or recruitment agency fees
  • Time spent by the human resources team to select candidates
  • Time spent on interviews and hiring tests
  • The first months of salaries during which the employee is not yet productive
  • Training

Not to mention that the unexpected departure of employee can affect the overall spirit of the team…

In addition, a high rate of HR turnover makes it possible to highlight:

  • flaws in the selection processes
  • poor welcoming and training of new employees
  • unsuitable salaries
  • a poorly worked image of the company
  • excessive workloads
  • bad management

Number of candidates

If you are permanently looking for new candidates for a given position, this is the KPI you can employ. For example, you are continuously recruiting sales people to face turnover or developers to bring together the best talent in your industry.

This KPI can be used to indicate the quality of your recruitment announcements, the interest of candidates towards your company, the state of the job market in your sector of activity, etc.

Test survival rate

The test survival rate is defined as the ratio of the number of employees who successfully passed the trial period to the total number of employees hired. This is a good example of a performance indicator that is simple to calculate and understand, yet very relevant for judging the effectiveness of your HR department.

For example, if in the last 6 months you’ve hired a total of 100 employees, but only 87 have successfully passed the trial period, then the test survival rate on those 6 month is 87%.

So, of course, the goal is that this rate is as close as possible to 100%. Personally I like this performance indicator because it is symptomatic of the following problems:

  • poor recruitment methodology,
  • poor selection of candidates,
  • poor integration of new employees,
  • inappropriate training,
  • management problem, etc.

Having a low test survival rate involves additional expenses: more recruitment fees, employees trained in vain, and so on. But departures also have an impact on the motivation of those who stay.

Choose well your new collaborators:)… I know you will!

Other examples of performance indicators for HR

  • Absenteeism
  • Work accident rate

Performance indicators for e-commerce

Rebound rate

This example of a performance indicator for e-commerce represents the ratio of the number of visits to a website – during which the user visited only one page – to the total number of visits.

This indicator gives an idea of what interested the user on the website. The lower the bounce rate, the more visitors immersed themselves in the website, so we can assume that it is interesting.

However, this indicator (acknowledged by Google…) is to be taken with tweezers. Some websites will naturally have a high bounce rate, such as a website displaying train schedules.

It is imperative to consider the bounce rate with the performance indicator that follows: the time spent on the site.

Note that there are video recorders to see the behavior of your users on your web pages: how they scroll the page, what they fly with their mouse, what they click, etc.

Time spent on the Website

The time spent on a site is a good indicator of the quality of the site. Indeed, even if the user consults only one page, but it remains above 5 minutes, then we can consider that the page is of quality and that it caught the visitor’s attention.

RPM, a KPI for monetizing a website

Revenue Per Thousand Impressions (RPM) is an example of a performance indicator that applies when monetizing a website.

The RPM gives the amount of money earned for each thousand pages viewed.

This is a convenient indicator because it is independent of the monetization mode:

  • cost-per-click (CPC)
  • cost per display
  • to the generated lead
  • commission on purchase (affiliation), etc.

Other examples of performance indicators for e-commerce

  • Number of visits
  • Number of unique visitors
  • Number of pages viewed
  • Number of pages viewed per visit
  • Percentage of new visits
  • Average page loading time
  • Number of backlinks
  • Average shopping cart

Performance indicators for editorial sites

  • Average number of articles published
  • Average number of words per article
  • Average number of published words
  • Variation in the number of visits

Your examples of performance indicators

What about you? What are the performance indicators that you use? Feel free to share them with the community in comments!

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Simon LEE
Simon LEEhttps://stileex.xyz
Holder of a Master in Fundamental Mathematics, entrepreneur in the countries of the Indian Ocean and the Czech Republic, I now chair a group of ten companies. I share my knowledge, ideas and thoughts with you on Stileex.