Podcast Episode: How to Set the Right KPIs for Your Startup


Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential for any company. For startups—particularly those backed by private capital—KPIs are not only necessary for setting a path to manageable growth but also critical indicators for investors.

KPIs can include metrics like revenue growth, profit margins, customer acquisition costs, and return on investment (ROI). Individually and collectively, they provide a snapshot of a company's overall health and performance. Investors use these metrics to gauge a company's performance and potential for future growth. Strong KPIs attract investors by demonstrating that the company is financially sound and has a good chance of providing a profitable return. Conversely, weak KPIs signal potential risks, making investors cautious.

In this episode of Extraordinary Pursuits, business and sales performance expert John Thackston shares advice about why KPIs matter for early-stage companies and what investors look for in the metrics.


  • [00:01] Intro and what is in for you in today's show with  John Thackston
  • [01:24] John's entrepreneurship background and journey with the SOAR Performance Group
  • [02:29] What are KPIs
  • [03:50] When should early-stage companies start tracking their KPIs
  • [05:12] The four most critical KPIs startups should track
  • [07:50] Tools that can be used to help in tracking those four metrics
  • [12:46] KPI benchmarks for startup companies
  • [14:02] Factors that hold companies from monitoring their KPIs
  • [20:20] How to note lagging and leading indicators in a company
  • [23:17] Filtering the necessary data from the indicators

Points of Wisdom:

  • "Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are metrics that show whether the business is performing, in what way, and in what periods of time."- [02:29]
  • "When the foundation of your business is solid, it becomes easier when you start to scale." [04:04]
  • "The four essential core KPIs for a startup company are revenue, pipeline, retention, and efficiency." [07:09]
  • "Most startups run the risk of not scaling up well, especially when they start adding more KPIs to track" [28:11]

About John Thackston:

John Thackston is the co-founder and CEO of SOAR Performance Group, a consulting and training company that concentrates on transformation, enablement, and training for sales and customer success. John is a business and sales performance expert and consultant who designs, develops, and implements Sales Capital Management℠ projects to help B2B companies adopt new go-to-market (GTM) strategies and enhance their bottom line. He is a sought-after guest speaker and panelist who shares guidance about ways to improve how to land, expand and retain customers by creating customer value.

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