This post was written by Efficyers

Last month, we discussed interfaces with business applications. Today, we are going to reveal all the secrets behind successful KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

Generating KPIs is not simply a matter of producing and arranging nice, colorful graphs and charts. An indicator must be thought out and meet specific criteria, which we hope to explain to you in this issue.

1 – What is a KPI?

Indicators are not reporting tools. They are indicators designed to assist decision-making processes. Indicators can be used to address the specific needs of a given department. For example,

  • the Marketing Department, which needs to analyze the evolution of the level of participation of the events it coordinates, the number of people who visited its website, etc.
  • the Sales Team, to study the conversion rate for a new product, while the Sales Manager might want to compare the results of his/her reps on their respective territories,
  • Customer Service, to monitor the reduction in the average request turnaround times, or the number of complaints per range of products, etc.

They can also be used to help define the global direction of the company’s Customer Relations policy. With E-DEAL CRM you can produce Operational indicators and Business indicators. How to design these KPIs: that is precisely what we want to discuss this month.

2 – Which comes first: the hen or the egg…

Often, before discussing the indicators they want to produce, companies first want to define and validate the information of the CRM database. This is understandable: if data does not exist in the CRM, it will be very difficult to produce a indicator for it! That is one way of looking at it.

We recommend you look at the problem the other way round: The indicators you want to obtain are “a part of the problem.” Defining your indicator expectations while defining your CRM data helps establish a set of data that will have to be managed.

3 – The key to a good indicator: simplicity!

In terms of Key Performance Indicator — as for most things in life — perfection is the enemy of good. While you may be strongly tempted, after defining a simple indicator, to say “what if I added this”, “Oh, and then this one”, “This is also interesting”. One thing leads to another, and your initially straightforward indicator has become a polymorphic multi-indicator requiring complex interpretation before anything can be learned from it. To fully serve their purpose, indicators should provide clear, simple information, easily readable and interpretable. 2 simple indicators are better than one multi-layered and complex one.

4 – It is all about rhythm

A good KPI should provide an overall view of a given aspect of a company’s Customer Relations at a given point in time. Most often, this “given moment” is only decided on after defining indicators, but in fact, these two elements are closely connected. Should customer service SLAs be measured on a daily or rather a weekly basis? Should the ROI of marketing campaigns be measured on a weekly or monthly basis? Should the business portfolio be measured twice a day? The fact that you can calculate a key performance indicator every five minutes does not necessarily mean that you should do it. By taking measurements too regularly, the information delivered by a KPI loses relevance. For most companies, looking at the number of leads generated in one week makes sense. Looking at it every hour does not. Indicators and frequency are directly linked. Not too much, not too little.

5 – It’s all relative

An indicator is seldom representative of a trend “on its own”. Is an 80% resolution rate for SLAs a good or a bad figure? Is having 12 new leads a week worrying or promising? Should an 8% bounce rate for digital campaigns raise concerns or is it satisfying?

Invariably, the right answer is: “it depends!” “. It depends on the figures you had last week, last month, etc. If on average you had 8 leads, then having 12 is a good thing, but if you had 15, then it’s worrying. A good Key Performance Indicator is an indicator that gives the right figures, but most importantly, that identifies trends.

 6 – KPIs to take action

In essence, indicators are indicators designed to facilitate decision-making. Why then implement indicators if they are not used in such a process? We are often tempted to measure everything, against everything, even if that means making the CRM dashboard resemble the dashboard of an A320 cockpit! Most often a few, well-chosen, indicators are much more efficient…

7 — Remember only the good

To highlight trends, you need elements of comparison, and often, the information against which we would like to compare it against does not exist. How many pending requests did we have at the end of last week? Too late! By now, they have already been closed, passed on or closed and re-opened. E-Deal CRM’s by Efficy snapshot engine provides invaluable help. It takes snapshots of the database at fixed times, to be able to produce KPIs of trends based on past states and evolutions. This information can then be harnessed directly by our CRM solutions  or via BI tools or Excel.

All you need to know about KPI in 7 stages
Stop working in the office… and start enjoying with gamification!