How well is your team doing? What about your organization as a whole?

How’s your individual performance?

Are you more successful than you were last year, last month, or last week?

If you can answer those questions quickly and using real numbers, your organization might be killing it at KPI reporting.

If you’re drawing a blank or wishing you’d paid more attention at the last quarterly meeting, there’s room for improvement.

Most companies report on key performance indicators in some way, but not all KPI reporting is created equal.

Trying to achieve your goals with poor KPI reporting is like driving without a map: you don’t know what steps to take, you probably won’t reach your destination, and you might go off a cliff.

This article shows you how to do KPI reporting better — and how can help.

What are KPIs?

A key performance indicator, or KPI, is a numeric value that indicates progress toward an important objective.

Let’s break that down a little more.

KPIs are always expressed as numbers. Your goal might be something broad, like planning a successful event. But your KPI will be specific and measurable, like the number of attendees or the star rating of the average review.

A KPI can’t just be any number. It has to be an important representation of performance — that’s the “key” part of “key performance indicator.”

What about KRAs, CSFs, and OKRs?

K, P, and I aren’t the only letters floating in the alphabet soup of business performance management.

You might also hear terms like KRA, CSF, and OKR. All of these terms are related, but they each have a distinct purpose.

Key result area (KRA)

KRAs are the areas in which an individual or team is responsible for getting results. These are usually broad categories like “employee engagement” or “revenue growth.”

Critical success factor (CSF)

Critical success factors are the factors that allow you to make progress in the KRA. They could be things like “low production cost” or “increased customer satisfaction.”

Objectives and key results (OKR)

OKRs consist of a goal, like “improve the sales process,” and one or more measurable targets, like “increase the conversion rate by 5% this quarter.”

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What is KPI reporting?

KPI reporting refers to any method of getting KPI data to team members and stakeholders.

A KPI report could take the form of monthly emailed excel documents. Or it could be real-time, automatically updated KPI dashboards.

KPI dashboard tracking business KPIs

The old-school reports are better than nothing, but modern KPI reporting gives you more information for less effort.

Who doesn’t like getting more for less?

Why is KPI reporting so important?

KPI reporting provides insight into overall performance. A KPI report can be used as a scorecard for individuals, teams, or the whole company.

So what’s so great about seeing all these numbers?

First of all, KPI reports help teams identify areas for improvement. For example, you might track how many of your closed deals come from return customers.

If the percentage is low, you know you should work on customer retention.

KPI reporting can be motivational. If you’re given a score or a report card, it’s human nature to want to see good numbers on it.

Team members are less likely to strive to do better in the future if they have no idea how they’re performing right now.

Sometimes KPI reports are even fun. You can use the Llama Farm Widget from to measure a simple KPI: tasks completed.

Each task is represented by a llama. When the status of the task changes, the llama changes color. Let’s say the completed tasks will be green.'s llama farm widget

Admit it: you’d be a little more excited to get your work done if it involved green llamas.

Who should use KPI reporting?

Short answer: everyone. Any department can benefit from easy access to KPI reports.

That said, there are some areas of the business where KPI reporting is particularly important.


Sales teams run on numbers. If you work in sales, you’re probably already tracking KPIs like:

  • Annual recurring revenue
  • Quota attainment
  • Conversion rate
  • Sales cycle length
  • Average deal size
  • Churn rate

Where some sales teams fall behind is in how they report on these important metrics.

Are your sales KPI dashboards updated automatically each time the data in your CRM solution changes? If not, you’re wasting time compiling reports.

Kpi dashboard showing sales metrics

Your sales team doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To be successful, they need access to data generated by marketing, customer support, and other departments as well.

Ideally, all of your KPI reports can be generated by and accessed from the same platform.


Collaboration is key for marketing teams. Projects pass through many hands on their way to completion, and it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.

KPI monitoring gives marketers a look at how well the whole team is performing and whether business goals are being met.

Common marketing metrics include:

  • Lead generation
  • Website traffic
  • Social media engagement
  • Ad clicks
  • Email open rate
  • Customer acquisition cost

Customer Support

Your KPI reporting dashboard for customer support could include metrics like:

  • Response time
  • First contact resolution
  • CSAT

Let’s talk about CSAT specifically.

CSAT is a metric of customer satisfaction calculated from customer surveys. Measuring CSAT is associated with business growth.

Nearly 80% of growth organizations use surveys to collect customer experience data, compared with 58% of non-growth organizations.

Customer satisfaction data on board

CSAT can also be a hassle to report on if you don’t have the right tools.

The data is important to sales and marketing teams as well as customer service, but CSAT results often end up hidden away in the company’s help desk system.

A CRM that integrates with your help desk solution lets you use CSAT information for company-wide decision making.

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What should you include in a KPI report?

The KPIs you track should be unique to your organization’s goals, but good KPI reports have some common traits.

It’s essential that team members and stakeholders can access KPI reports quickly and easily. 

You can make better decisions when you have more information at hand. Unfortunately, in many organizations, that information is hard to come by.

When employees are required to get data to make a business decision, only 3% can do it in seconds. For 60%, it takes hours or days.

Effective KPI reports solve this issue in several ways.

  • They display all the important KPI information in one easily accessible place
  • They update frequently — ideally in real-time
  • They’re available to the right team members and stakeholders
  • The data sources for each KPI metric are clearly defined

What makes a good KPI?

The best KPI reporting tool or dashboard can’t help you if you’re not tracking the right thing.

To choose the metrics for your report, follow these tips:

Start with a strategic goal.

KPIs only matter if you’re measuring progress toward an objective that matters.

Don’t get carried away. 

You don’t need to track everything, just a few key metrics that matter.

Choose both lagging and leading KPIs.

Lagging KPIs measure something that already happened, like the number of deals closed last month. Leading KPIs are numbers that mark your current progress towards the goal, such as pipeline volume.

Advanced KPI reporting with dashboards provide sophisticated KPI reporting that’s easy to use. It connects teams to the CRM data they need to be effective.

See all of your KPIs in one place

Break down the silos.

The days are over when marketing is using one KPI tracking method and sales is using another, and HR is going to get around to it someday.

With, all of your KPI dashboards are on one platform — and data from any team board can be pulled into a single dashboard.

That’s useful if the sales team wants to see marketing’s lead gen metrics or customer support’s CSAT data.

Customize dashboard widgets

While has plenty of useful templates to get you started quickly, your dashboards are completely customizable.

And with all of the widgets we have available, you don’t need any technical skills to make a beautiful KPI report.

Here are a few widgets you might want to try:

Add widgets to KPI dashboard

Eliminate manual updates

Automations keep KPI reports up-to-date.

For example, say you have a sales forecast on your dashboard. You can set that forecast to automatically update every time you change the status of one of your deals.

Print and export dashboards

We’re big fans of keeping things digital, but if you have a need for printed KPI reports, it’s easy to print your dashboard.

While you can’t currently export your entire dashboard into Excel, you can pull information from the timeline and table widgets into a spreadsheet. Chart widgets can be exported into a variety of formats.

Work smarter, not harder, on KPI reporting

You can see exactly how you’re performing.

All of your information is in one place.

And getting the latest numbers takes less time than making a chart in Excel.

There’s really no downside to using automated dashboards for your organization’s KPI reporting.

It’s also super easy to set up in

If you’re ready to try out a full Work OS solution with advanced KPI reporting, we recommend starting with our CRM template.

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