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Sara VargoMar 11, 2024 7:00:00 AM3 min read

5 Smart KPIs for Businesses Trying to Grow

5 Smart KPIs for Businesses Trying to Grow

In today's business world, Growth is the ultimate goal for most companies. However, achieving sustainable Growth requires more than just ambition—it demands strategic planning, insightful decision-making, and continuous monitoring of performance. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) play a crucial role in this process by providing measurable insights into the effectiveness of various business activities. Here, we'll explore five smart KPIs that businesses can leverage to drive Growth: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, and Referral. 


Definition: Acquisition measures how you get leads into your database. An acquisition KPI is not necessarily about the quality of incoming leads, but the outcome. 

Acquisition encompasses all of the activities that lead up to that moment of conversion where a data point moves from existing outside of your database to the moment it does exist in your database. 


Definition: Activation is the KPI that measures the movement of a lead from a stage of acquisition into a revenue-generating stage within the sales funnel. You can think of Activation as ‘activating’ a lead from a passive lead to an engaged customer. 

Activation can look different depending on the industry of the company. For a B2B organization, activation is typically defined as moving a lead forward into a committed stage while for a company like e-commerce, the activation metric would be satisfied by filled shopping carts. 


Definition: A KPI of revenue is indicative of the moment a lead becomes a paying customer for the first time. 

This can be defined when contracts are signed, when a first payment is received or when a transaction is completed. 

It is important to note that revenue indicates a FIRST payment (if ongoing or second purchases are part of the sales process, these will be encompassed in another stage of the funnel. 


Definition: The retention metric refers to the signing of a second engagement of a contract, the second payment received in a payment cycle, and/or the purchase of a second product. 

You can think of retention as the KPI that measures the repeatability of a customer. 


Definition: Referral metrics are the number one driver to reliable and low-friction expansion on customers. Typically, referral metrics refer to expanding your customer base due to your loyal existing customer base. 

Referrals may look different within different industries. In B2B for example, referrals may apply to securing multiple locations while in D2C referrals refer to public testimonials or programs in which new customers are generated from referral programs. 

Aarrr Metrics: The Only KPIs You Need For Growth 

There are hundreds of metrics that can be used to measure business Growth and keep Growth moving forward. 

Orange Pegs has experience with every single one of them. 

Pirate Metrics have consistently come out on top as the number one indicator of Growth. Focusing on Pirate Metrics — Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, and Referral — as your KPI measurement is the best indicator of scalable, sustainable, long-lasting growth. 


Pirate Metrics are simple to analyze and use. They are clear and leave little room for interpretation. They are the funnel standard to ensure that your marketing efforts are doing exactly what you need to achieve your Growth goals. 

Tried All KPI Metrics? Switch To Pirate Metrics For Guaranteed Growth

By tracking and analyzing these KPIs, businesses can gain valuable insights into their performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to fuel Growth. 

Pirate Metrics KPIs for Growth are not a one-size-fits-all solution — which is part of what makes them successful! Pirate Metrics can create a successful sales funnel in any business. 

In Summary

Acquisition: Find out the best methods for acquiring new leads and repeat that process for scalable success.  
Activation: Find out what moves a lead from the lead stage into a converted customer and continue to do that.
Retention: How satisfied are your customers/users? Learning ways to retain existing customers for the long-term is the key to lasting Growth.
Revenue: By understanding exactly what methods turn a profit within your organization, you can create sustainable revenue streams that can consistently be replicated.
Referral: Referrals are the easiest and most reliable leads that a business can gain. By setting up an effective referral system, you can reduce workload but maintain Growth.

Companies should strategically utilize Pirate Metrics KPIs that align with their growth strategies and continually adapt and refine the use of each metric to stay competitive in today's dynamic business environment.

Aarrr you ready to learn more about Pirate Metrics? Sign up for Orange Pegs' Growth Marketing course which includes a lesson on Pirate Metrics. 


Sara Vargo

Sara is passionate about making content both entertaining and easy-to-digest. Her writing experience extends from marketing and SEO all the way into environmental advocacy. At Orange Pegs, Sara's writing tells brand's stories, connects readers through targeted marketing funnels, and shares exciting OP revelations in Growth Strategy.