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Are you making these mistakes when setting KPIs for your GTM teams?

Are you making these mistakes when setting KPIs for your GTM teams?

In aviation, one of the most important rules is that of 1 in 60. What does a similar parallel mean for GTM teams when it comes to setting KPIs?
Krishna Srinivas V
Krishna Srinivas V
Jan 2, 2022
Mistakes when setting KPIs

In aviation, one of the most important rules is that of 1 in 60. What does it mean? For every 1 degree a plane strays off course, it misses its target destination by a mile for every 60 miles it flies. In other words, longer the destination, farther off the plane by the time it lands.

For the 257 passengers who were on a sight-seeing trip to Antarctica from New Zealand in 1979, they'd learn the fact in a rather tragic turn of events when a 2 degree error in the flight coordinates directly led them in the path of Mount Erebus, an active volcano that rises from the frozen landscape to a height of more than 12,000 feet.

For GTM leaders, while not fatal, setting and chasing after wrong KPIs is just as deadly for the team.

In this post, we take a look what are some of the common mistakes teams make when setting KPIs that could leave them way off come the crunching numbers time.

Common KPI Mistakes you must abolsutely avoid

1. Inability to Connect KPIs to a Strategic Plan

As long as your plan is linked with your KPIs, you will find them valuable. Everything else is merely decoration. As a result, you spend a lot of time and resources gathering intelligence that does not improve the firm.

For KPIs to be effective, they must provide crucial information for any company's operation. If you understand your company's goals, you may utilize those goals to assist you in selecting the appropriate KPIs.

2. Everything That Can Be Measured Must be Measured

Although it is possible to measure anything, it is not always appropriate to measure it. As a result, one of the most common KPI mistakes is to measure everything easy to quantify, irrespective of its value to the business.

3. Taking the Same Measurements as Everyone Else

A common mistake individuals commit is creating their KPIs based on what others are measuring. To avoid spending time figuring out what information they want, a successful business person may seek competitors or other corporate officers for examples of the KPIs they are utilizing.

A particular KPI or measure may also become more widely used in leading publications. Simply because everyone else is discussing it does not imply that you have to utilize it as a key performance indicator. Investing in such kinds of measures is entirely up to you and your approach.

4. Including Other forms of Data to Strategic KPIs without Separation 

Most firms have many statistics and analytics, from accounting and marketing to client and regulatory data, at their fingertips. When all KPIs are combined inside one technical report or metric, it can be difficult to understand. It is time-consuming for corporate executives and policy implementers to sift from one page of KPIs to another to find the most important ones. 

5. Integrating KPIs with Financial Incentives

When KPIs are tied to rewards, it can easily have unforeseen implications, which is why it is harmful in business. By measuring KPIs the right way, managers can see how they are doing against their goals and where they stand against the competition. However, if incentives are tied to KPIs, they cease to serve as a guide and become a goal that employees must meet to earn a bonus. People can then get inventive with altering information or their behavior to guarantee they get the reward.

6. Choosing KPIs Without Consulting Executives

When working with top executives, they get energized by discussions of strategies and the broad perspective. Those focused on numbers may be interested in developing unique KPIs; however, most company directors are unwilling to participate. Directors focus on the strategy but assign the task of meeting the correct KPIs to others.

The fact is, this is a miscalculation. Furthermore, top officials would not experience a sense of possession over what is generated during the KPI decision-making approach. Moreover, if the employees do not own the KPIs, they will not be used. The senior management must deliberate on KPIs and interact with the challenges they are trying to solve before signing out the KPIs they have selected. As a result, the link connecting the strategic plan, KPIs, and the queries that KPIs will solve is made clear.

7. Not Analyzing Your KPIs to Gain Insights from Your Data

It is also typical for KPIs to be misused because no one at your company analyzes the data to derive company clues. No one has looked at how the data is correlated with company standards or how it has evolved through time and all it would signify for the company.

Miscommunication between those making decisions together with those reporting on their findings is to blame. Analyses are frequently carried out at a lesser rank of the organization before being reported to the highest rank. As a result, everyone at the bottom of the food chain may not be aware of the significance of such data; they may only be relaying it. It is also possible that executives in power are not familiar with how the data is displayed since they assigned responsibility for creating the KPIs to others. To make sense of the data, anyone with the appropriate authority must examine it.

8. Overlooking Unique Metrics

Forgetting unique metrics can be an issue in any organization while measuring KPI. For example, if you're only tracking website hits or customer numbers but not how many people reached a particular page on your site, then this would underestimate its value. 

9. Not Making KPIs Specific for Your Business

Many businesses only compile data occasionally. They might have a brainstorming session or look at what other companies are doing. Then they apply key performance indicators to those processes. It is not easy to find common KPIs and assume they must work. They might not apply to your industry or business. It is essential to consider your goals and create them using the information available. You will concentrate on the most important things if you link your KPIs with your business strategy.


Choosing and defining the best KPI for your organization can be challenging, but devoting many resources to this effort is unquestionably a wise choice. On the other hand, choosing the wrong KPIs for your organization, not sharing them with your team, or ignoring them may cause a great deal of harm by allowing excellent possibilities to pass you by, or worse yet, not getting informed of warning signs which you could respond to and utilize to avert any possible setback.

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