Besides the core AR team, there should also be an extended AR team in every vendor. The extended AR team is an important resource because they can play a critical role in rebutting analyst commentary.
First, the extended AR team can play a role as an “early warning system” in notifying AR when something needs to be rebutted. Many employees at a company might hear about analyst commentary, whether written or spoken, before AR does. For instance, marketing or competitive intelligence staff that monitor media and published research might come across something that deserves attention. Well-informed sales representatives can acquire analyst comments if they make a habit of asking prospects about what they are hearing from the analysts.
Second, it is critical for the core AR team not only to develop awareness in these communities, but also to offer avenues that make it easy for the extended team to communicate back to AR on an ongoing basis. While email and phone calls are quick and easy they do not provide a good tracking method for teams. A formal communications process should be put into place that ensures feedback from the extended team reaches the AR staff, is tracked for follow up, and informs the extended team of results.
Third, the extended AR team can play a role in communicating with the analysts when something requires rebuttal. While it is possible for AR to carry the argument to the analysts, at times it may be more effective for an executive, product manager or other expert to act as spokesperson. Of course, to make their involvement as effective as possible, the core AR team should provide them with spokesperson and content creation training.
- Add a section to your AR Strategic & Tactical Plan on the extended AR team
- Conduct a formal assessment of your extended AR team
- Recruit, where necessary, additional team members to fill in gaps
- Evaluate extended team members’ skill levels
- Put into place a training program to enhance each member’s ability to carry out his or her role
- Establish formal communication methods for bi-directional information exchange
SageCircle can make it easy for AR teams to formalize an extended AR team that makes sense for your situation. We have AR plan builder workshops, training for the extended AR team, best practices, SageToolsTM, examples and advice ready to help you launch an easy-to-manage extended AR team program. Give us a call at 503-636-1500 or send an email to info [at] sagecircle.com to arrange a briefing.
Bottom Line: Responding rapidly to critical analyst commentary is not just the responsibility of the full-time AR professionals; the extended AR team also plays a key role.
Question: Do you rely on an informal extended AR team? What has prevented you from formalizing this resource?