Summary: B2B businesses can leverage KPIs to better monitor customer loyalty.

When my kids were young, I was constantly monitoring their growth. After each well child checkup with the pediatrician, I’d compare their height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) to those of their peers in government growth charts. Were they growing too fast? Too slow? Just right?

Height, weight, and BMI are all good indicators of childhood health. But what about businesses? How can they ensure they’re progressing at a healthy rate as well?

Organizational KPIs

Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, provide a set of metrics for organizational health. B2B businesses measure success in different ways, including revenue growth, profitability, customer retention, and loyalty. KPIs provide quantitative measurements companies and industries can use to gauge their performance and determine if they’re meeting critical business objectives. Often, organizations use a variety of KPIs for performance measurement.

Choosing the right Key Performance Indicators is important because doing so allows managers to gather the right kinds of feedback, helping to ensure their businesses are healthy and successful. KPIs must reflect the company’s goals—typically over the long term—and must be key to the organization’s success. At Primary Intelligence, KPIs are used in Win-Loss programs to determine respondent attitudes toward product quality, recommendation likelihood, and future business likelihood.

KPI Research Findings

Primary Intelligence automates the collection of buyer feedback to help B2B businesses set and monitor KPIs. In our 20+ years of experience in Win-Loss Analysis, we’ve found that:

  • “Future business” is the strongest KPI: 46% of B2B buyers say they’ll consider evaluated vendors for future business opportunities with their firms.
    • In contrast, only 40% of buyers gave strong ratings to vendors when asked to judge the product quality.
    • Just 39% of buyers will recommend the vendors they evaluated to other companies and friends.
  • KPIs track overall decision satisfaction—that is, how satisfied the buyer is with their decision to choose the winning vendor.
    • When product quality is judged to be high, overall decision satisfaction is also high.
    • When buyers expressed high decision satisfaction, they also indicated a greater willingness to recommend vendors and to consider vendors for future business.
  • In general, buyers rate winning vendors higher than losing vendors.
    • However, buyers also indicated a willingness to consider non-selected vendors in the future and to recommend non-selected vendors to others.
    • Additionally, nearly one-third of buyers judged the overall product quality of losing vendors as “excellent.”
  • Vendors selling into the Hardware and Healthcare industries generally receive the highest ratings in product quality, recommendation likelihood, and future business.
    • Software firms struggle the most in all three KPI categories.
  • Buyers in Latin America and North America are most likely to rate vendors favorably in product quality compared to buyers in EMEA and APAC.
    • Buyers in the Americas are also more likely to recommend vendors they evaluated—especially compared with buyers in EMEA—and are more likely to consider evaluated vendors for future business.

Leveraging Key Performance Indicators

Primary Intelligence offers the following strategies for leveraging Key Performance Indicators when selling into competitive B2B markets:

  • Ensure you’re collecting high volumes of quality, ongoing feedback about your company’s product or service quality.
  • Determine what capabilities will make your solution stand out from competitors’ offerings.
  • Position your business broadly—through a multi-channel outreach strategy—as an industry thought leader.
  • Leverage reference accounts by curating content through case studies, video testimonials, and widely attended industry events.
  • Use “drip” and nurture campaigns to stay top-of-mind with buyers and prospects for future business opportunities.
  • Keep buyers appraised of new product updates and releases to generate interest in future business with your firm.

Just as we need to keep our kids healthy, we must also keep our businesses healthy. Using KPIs to measure ongoing success helps to ensure we achieve these goals.

What experiences have you had with tracking and analyzing Key Performance Indicators in your business and industry? Share your thoughts below!

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