Key performance indicators (KPIs) can be invaluable for learning about your organization’s internal processes and identifying opportunities for improvement. However, many leaders wonder what specific KPIs they need to track to achieve better performance. The answer is: “It depends on what your goals are.” There are many different types of performance metrics that you can track—and what you want to track should change depending on what your goals are. It helps if you know what kinds of goals you have, and what KPIs are useful for those goals. With that in mind, here are a few KPI examples you can learn from, as well as a quick explanation of what performance metrics are. Here are a few different KPI examples that you might find interesting for setting your own goals: KPI example #1: Past due schedules Being able to stay on schedule is critical for service delivery. Tracking process metrics such as past due schedules helps you assess how effectively you’re meeting your time-based service level agreements (SLAs). The easiest way to do this is to take a look at your open schedules and see how many of them are past due vs the total amount. If there is an excessive amount of past due schedules, then you know there is a problem with your processes that needs fixing so that you can: Complete tasks more efficiently to avoid running late; or Revise schedule estimates to make them more realistic. This process metric helps your organization meet its SLA obligations more consistently by identifying opportunities for improvement. KPI example 2: Profit margin percentage Financial metrics are important to any organization. In a for-profit business, a KPI like profit margin percentage is almost always indispensable information. Profit margin percentage is frequently used by business owners and managers to assess the overall health of the business and establish whether current efforts are generating a worthwhile return on investment. Gross profit margin percentage can be calculated by taking your profits compared to your total expenses for generating that profit. For example, if a team has profits of $100,000 in a month, and their total expenses for salary, office/retail space, fuel, etc. was $50,000 for the same period of time, their gross profit margin would be 200% (100,000 / 50,000 = 2). If financial metrics like profit margin percentage are too slim (or are negative), then that’s a strong indication that changes need to be made. KPI example 3: Kill rate percentage For a service-oriented organization, performance metrics such as kill rate percentage are a great tool for monitoring how productive employees are. Kill rate percentage is an employee performance metric that measures how many tickets are opened vs the number of tickets that have been closed for a given employee or team during a set time period. Ideally, kill rate percentage should be at 100% or more. How can you have a kill rate percentage that is over 100%? By closing leftover tickets from a previous period. For example, say Shift A (9 am – 5 pm) opens 250 tickets, and closes 200 of them. Then Shift B (5 pm – 12:00 am), opens another 200 tickets, but closes 250 (completing the tickets left over from Shift A). Shift A’s kill rate percentage would be 80%, while Shift B’s kill rate would be 125%. What does this employee performance metric teach you? It could help you identify when a person or team is underperforming compared to their peers. In the above example, one shift is completing roughly 25% more work while being an hour shorter. This could be because of a number of reasons, such as disparities in team size, task complexity, and overall team motivation or skill. Using kill rate percentage to identify the discrepancy and investigate its cause could help you find ways to increase team productivity in the future. KPI example 4: Lead attrition In any sales process, there will be a certain amount of attrition as leads drop out. Tracking sales metrics such as lead attrition is crucial for ensuring a healthy sales process. For example, say your sales funnel has a 90% rate of lead attrition from initial contact to qualifying a lead. Such a high rate of attrition so early in the sales process could be an indication of a problem with the process. This could be caused by issues such as misaligned lead generation efforts (drawing in potential clients/customers who are a poor fit for your products and/or services) or sales team members making critical errors during their lead nurturing efforts (such as actively offending potential customers). By tracking lead attrition and identifying the cause, it is possible to improve your sales process and increase revenue generation. KPI example 5: Customer acquisition cost Marketing is a key activity for any business to attract customers. However, it’s important to balance the money spent on acquiring customers against their lifetime value to ensure that marketing efforts aren’t cutting into profits. This is where tracking marketing metrics such as customer acquisition cost becomes important. Marketing department leads can track spending for all of their efforts and compare that to the number of new customers generated by said marketing to determine their customer acquisition cost. For example, if the total spend for the marketing department is $100,000 dollars per year, and the department generates 100 leads during that time, then the customer acquisition cost would be $100 per customer. However, this alone doesn’t tell us whether the expenditure is sustainable or not. If the total value of a customer is less than $100, then the company is losing money on its marketing. If the lifetime value of a customer is significantly higher than $100, on the other hand, then spending $100,000 dollars to get 100 customers makes sense. Tracking customer acquisition cost and other marketing metrics can be immensely useful for optimizing your marketing and improving your return on investment for marketing spend. What are performance metrics/KPIs? Performance metrics, also known as KPIs, are a method of tracking or benchmarking specific activities and outcomes. They record a specific statistic so it can be used to measure progress. There are countless different KPIs you could potentially use to measure performance for your organization—far too many for any one person to track them all. Some performance metrics are simple to track (with the right tools, at least), while others can be harder to quantify accurately and objectively. The best KPIs tend to be ones that are: Easy to track; Possible to improve with effort; Relevant to your business’ goals; Simple to explain to employees; and Able to be completed in a timely fashion. Need help tracking performance metrics or want to learn more about KPIs? Reach out to the BrightGauge team for help and insights.
Service level agreements, or SLAs, are the cornerstone of service-oriented businesses—whether they deliver services to individuals or to other companies. A core part of managing SLAs is the tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor compliance with SLAs and identify opportunities for improvement. This task is often referred to as service level management. What is service level management? How can tracking KPIs improve your service level management? Which KPIs should you use for monitoring service level agreements? What is service level management? Service level management is the practice of monitoring and controlling key performance indicators related to the organization’s SLAs. This is usually done with an eye towards improving quality of service and customer satisfaction. Being able to consistently meet service level agreements and deliver results is a must for building a strong industry reputation and keeping clients. By keeping track of key performance indicators for service level management, organizations can monitor their success at meeting their SLA targets and investigate any shortcomings. Which KPIs should you track for service level management? There are many key performance indicators for service level management that you could track. Some examples of SLA KPIs that you may want to track include: 1: SLA success and failure rates How often does your organization meet or fail to deliver services within the bounds of its SLAs? Naturally, this can be hard to track, considering how different individual SLAs can be from one organization to the next. For example, an SLA could be “99% Uptime year-round” for a cloud computing service, while a cybersecurity company might have SLAs like “identify and resolve security breaches within two hours.” If your number of breached SLAs is high, that might indicate that your SLAs are too strict, or that a critical tool or resource is missing. This could be a good opportunity to revisit your SLAs and processes and reevaluate them to improve service delivery. 2: SLA cost metrics In any business management strategy, analyzing costs against profits is a basic necessity. Setting up performance metrics that track the cost of meeting SLA targets can be crucial for monitoring the sustainability of a service level agreement. If costs are running high, it may be necessary to revisit either the SLA itself or the means used to meet it. For example, if you have an SLA of “resolving security breaches within two hours” as a managed security service provider (MSSP) and were maintaining the SLA by having on-duty staff monitoring the client network at all hours, odds are your costs would be high. Here, applying an automated threat detection solution or even an intrusion prevention system would reduce the need to dedicate labor to the task and reduce costs. By tracking cost metrics for your SLAs, you can more effectively manage your budget and make adjustments to improve the long-term viability of your services. 3: Time to response Many SLAs are time-sensitive, promising certain actions or outcomes within a given period of time. Because of this, one critical performance metric to monitor is the time it takes to respond to an incident. The shorter the wait between event and action, the better. If you notice that your time to response is too long, it may be a good idea to take a look at your notification processes and workflows for delivering services. This helps you improve your service level management by identifying ways to optimize response times. Using KPIs to improve service level management The examples listed above are just a few potential KPIs that you could use to improve your service level management. When selecting performance metrics for your service level agreements, consider: How closely the KPI reflects the intent of the SLA; How the information the KPI provides could be used to improve the SLA; Whether you need multiple KPIs to thoroughly assess SLA performance; and Whether you or your employees can control the performance metric for the SLA. Ideally, the metrics you choose should have a strong correlation to the SLA, be useful for tweaking how you approach service delivery, and be something you can improve. Need help to improve your KPI tracking so you can use your performance metrics to optimize your service level management? Reach out to the BrightGauge team to learn more!
For MSPs, breaking into new markets can boost revenue and cultivate more opportunities to scale. But challenges such as upfront time and dollar costs often keep MSPs siloed into their specialties; meaning exploring new markets to break into can be a challenge. Every MSP wants to expand the services they offer to clients, but if you mainly focus on backup and recovery, dipping into a new market such as leasing hardware or phone management can be a considerable time investment. While there may be a significant need from your customer base, your business shouldn’t invest a large amount of time and money in becoming experts in another product or service when there is an easier solution. The key to adding new services only involves mastering one skill, and that skill is building partnerships with other vendors. Cultivating relationships with other businesses where you can recommend one another to customers can lead to increased profits without the same risks of your business learning a new market. Here are some easy ways MSPs can partner with other vendors to offer more services to clients and break into new markets. Resell equipment through a leasing company Almost every client you work with is going to need help acquiring hardware. Be it phones, computers, printers, or routers; the hardware is essential to any office environment. Every business needs these vital pieces of equipment to operate; even your own com To learn about the right tools to use, read more here. Ryan Goodman is one of the Founders of ConnectBooster and serves as its President. He primarily focuses on working with the sales team to develop their process and partners with MSPs to help them with their cash flow issues.