Old Metrics, New Metrics or Both?

November 4, 2016 Amar Sheth




Peter Drucker, the often-cited management consultant guru, bestows his sage advice to corporate leaders when he says “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

Edwards Deming, a contemporary of Peter Drucker, said the following “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” As a modern sales or marketing leader, do you agree with this?

If you’re a believer in serving today’s buyer, through digital, social and traditional ways, then you must believe this. In fact, I’m certain that your organization measures metrics such as:

  • # of dials made

  • # of emails sent

  • # of hours spent on prospecting in general

  • Desired # of appointments/meetings

  • Desired # of sales opportunities generated

  • Etc.

It would be wise, then, to believe that we’re also bringing this rigorous metrics-approach to social selling activity, right? But sadly, we’re not (quite) there yet.

Metrics such as the following also need to be included in the overall spectrum of sales activity. While some may look at these and question their value or legitimacy, there is plenty of data that plainly demonstrates the necessity.

  • Content shared

  • # of InMails sent / # of Tweets sent

  • # of hours spent on social daily

  • Appointments/meetings generated

  • Etc.

And then there’s always the required measuring of top and bottom of the funnel KPIs.


Neglecting social selling metrics reveals not only the lack of interest, but the false belief that social can’timpact sales. It implies that social selling is a “fluffy” activity; one that doesn’t quite yet deserve its rightful place in the overall sales process.

It’s the little kid you have to tolerate for the sake of the family (the industry), but it still belongs at the kid’s table at Thanksgiving.

So here are the questions you must answer honestly to really assess where your social selling efforts are.

  • Do you believe buyers are online researching and looking for solutions to questions/problems?

  • Can you find buyers early in their sales process and/or educate them to shape their opinions?

  • Does sales leadership believe that this type of social activity can benefit sales results?

  • Can social be used to demonstrate expertise and build brands for all sales professionals on your team?


It’s also important to point out that each organization is unique and will need a different set of metrics to define success through a defined path.

Consider this path as you implement social selling in your company. Be very mindful of where you are as each phase will require you to measure social selling differently. Make no mistake about it, measurement must happen; but, different results will indicate success.


As your organization begins to introduce or implement social selling, you must play your part in the overall buy-in. This is a change and it will require time. If you’re wondering what actions you can take to drive adoption, here are 7 tactical approaches you can follow.

Overall, remember that this new channel of networking and collaboration will require you to measure – not only to manage, but to improve the process internally.

What social selling KPIs do you feel are important to measure? Share your thoughts – tweet me@AmarSheth or connect on LinkedIn to collaborate.


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