#15: Why Your CEO Distrusts Social Selling Marketing Metrics

By Kevin Thomas Tully, Sales and Marketing Enablement Strategist (@kevinttully) There’s a growing disconnect between marketing and sales professionals within the methodology of Social Selling. It’s not the traditional lack …

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By Kevin Thomas Tully, Sales and Marketing Enablement Strategist (@kevinttully)

There’s a growing disconnect between marketing and sales professionals within the methodology of Social Selling.

It’s not the traditional lack of marketing-sales alignment that is commonly seen within many companies today.

Rather, it’s the way in which outcomes are reported to the C-Suite that has created a chasm between these similar professional practices.

And it’s all a matter of vanity, accountability, and hubris from your marketing team.


One should never establish any program or initiative unless the outcome can be measured. But, what happens when the metric is unreliable?

Unfortunately, conventionally accepted marketing reporting methods fall short when applied to Social Selling.

Metrics must have substance and should actually yield useful data that benchmark a specific result or action.

Otherwise, your yardstick is nothing more than fool’s gold, which led to the ruin of many well-intentioned prospectors during the US gold rush of the mid-1800s.

Today’s Social Selling iron pyrite – vanity metrics – attract even the most seasoned marketing professional with its empty promise of network prosperity and corresponding sales growth.

But, much like fool’s gold, instead of hitting the mother lode of beneficial data, these shiny objects are devoid of the assessments and critical indicators necessary to dictate further action.


Here are two primary examples of vanity or “mirage metrics” that offer false revenue outcomes and provide no relief or substance for an enlightened data-seeker:

  • Does Size Really Matter?

In an industry obsessed with numbers, it seems that Likes, Followers, and Fans are overrated when compared to the one metric that truly matters: revenue generation.

  • Are You Qualified?

MQLs are just a number. Sure, the leads have been “qualified,” most likely via a highly selective inbound lead generation process or from an equally indiscriminate web form fill.  No actionable conversion has been measured, however.


According to a survey from Fournaise Marketing Group – 80% of CEOs don’t trust their marketing teams to deliver quantifiable business results.  And with good reason.

As outlined above, the C-Suite is fed a child-like diet consisting of the empty calorie, junk-food equivalent of Social Selling vanity metrics topped with a corresponding lack of marketing accountability.

Not only do marketing and sales teams speak different languages internally – impressions and awareness vs. pipeline and revenue – but when this disconnect is communicated to the C-Suite, the reporting and measurement gap is magnified.

Ice cream may appeal to children, but growth and revenue appeal to CEOs.

Unless and until your marketing leadership can drive the Social Selling narrative to revenue, the C-Suite will consider its contribution irrelevant.

After all, Social Selling includes both Social and Selling – otherwise it would be called Social Connecting. 

ABMSocial Closes the Divide

Since Social Selling is/has been the hot button topic for marketers for years now, it’s surprising that marketing strategy has not evolved to impact revenue growth.

At Markistry, we’ve developed a data and analytics-driven revenue generating framework that spans the entire customer lifecycle journey.

It begins with the employee (employee advocacy) and marries social media activity and Social Selling to Account Based-Marketing (ABM).  It’s called ABMSocial.

And it’s just one part of our ABM Solutions Suite

With ABMSocial, marketing and sales leadership can strategically align around two fundamental and incontrovertible Social Selling truths:

1) The definition of Social Selling is simple, straightforward, and uncomplicated: Social Selling is leveraging social media to generate revenue. That’s it.

2) The relationships formed and activities conducted on social media are measurable, predictable data points that marketing and sales must use in their daily work flow to generate revenue.

Quantifying and measuring social media relationships is not intuition and guesswork. And it does not detract from the “art” of marketing and sales.

If your marketing leadership is not telling the story of Social Selling using data and revenue, then your story is not only incomplete, it’s inaccurate.

Your CEO already knows this. It’s time for new accountability from marketing leadership to engender C-Suite trust.


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    Great blog Kevin! I really liked the way you came out on the reality that Social Media Marketing’s only purpose is to generate revenue and failing to do that will render all the hard work useless. I am constantly struggling with my CEO for the same reasons. Thanks for the valuable info!