Defining “Performance Metrics for Analyst Relations”

Background:  When building AR measurement programs, AR practitioners must distinguish between performance and operational metrics.    Performance metrics help AR teams measure progress against strategic goals while operational metrics measure utilization and productivity against plan.   

Performance metrics measure AR’s progress against strategic results.  They primarily are externally focused and typically fall into one of three categories: 1) Shape Continue reading

AR’s evolution from a cost center to something more akin to a strategic profit center

icon-dollar-euro.jpgIn the past few months, SageCircle has seen increased interest in how AR can support sales and set up an effective measurement program that focuses on outcomes (e.g., impact on revenues) rather than activities (e.g., number of briefings in a month). The convergence of interest in measurement and in supporting sales makes sense given that AR programs that have accomplished their first strategic AR objective – “Shape Market Perception to Generate Leads” – are now focusing on “Arming Sales to Close Business.”  Supporting sales and tracking analyst revenue impact is the process that elevates AR from a cost center to something approaching a profit center.

How can AR best support sales in a practical fashion given constrained resources and also measure its impact on the company’s revenues? While there are no easy answers to these Continue reading

ARchitect Users Group Meeting – lively discussion on AR metrics

icon-tools.jpgLast week, following the Forrester Technology Leadership Forum in Orlando, ARInsights held their second ARchitectTM Users Group meeting.  ARchitect is the leading Analyst Relationship Management (ARM) system with a significant number of client companies using it.  It was nice to see some of those companies represented at the meeting and the dinner that followed. Of course, there was a lot of good informal information exchange during the reception, aka the booze and schmooze.

Rick Shuri, ARInsights’ Chief Technology Officer, outlined some of the new features recently implemented as well as plans for the upcoming year.  The development schedule is strongly influenced by customer requests and some discussion of what the group felt was important gave an indication of where the product is likely to be expanded. It has been our experience managing an actual ARchitect deployment that ARInsights is very responsive when it comes to listening to customer and prospect suggestions.

Sunder Sarangan of Infosys shared his perspective on why it is Continue reading

Who influences your enterprise customers’ and prospects’ technology purchasing decisions?

icon-social-media-blue.jpgThere is much speculation about the role of telecommunications and IT analysts in the enterprise tech purchasing decision, especially in the context of the rise of social media. There is also great angst among AR professionals about whether they need to start adding bloggers to their portfolio. Unfortunately there is more speculation than hard data in all of these discussions. So what should AR teams do? It’s simple: 

            Ask tech buyers, especially your customers, 
            about the role of influencers in purchasing.

As we have said multiple times in multiple ways, it is very important for AR teams to survey their customers on the role industry analysts and others (e.g., management consultants, press, bloggers and so on) play in providing information and advice for purchasing decisions. Alas, if it was only as easy to execute this suggestion as to say it. Well, there might be a way to get this information with relative little Continue reading

Published research is only the tip of the iceberg

By Carter Lusher, Strategist

One of the worst things that can happen to a vendor sales representative or a vendor executive is being blindsided by a piece of information that they did not know existed – but should have known. It makes them look uniformed and out of the loop, and can negatively impact the interaction they are currently conducting. Unfortunately for AR teams, industry analyst commentary is a prime source of “gotcha” moments for their companies’ sales representatives, CEOs, CFOs, and the PR staff.

It does not have to be that way. AR programs must work to monitor analyst opinions and commentary and provide relevant, near real-time actionable advice to impacted groups. Unfortunately, when it comes to monitoring analyst opinions, too many AR teams only capture published research notes and press quotes. As the graphic illustrates (click to enlarge), these two forms of analyst opinion are only the tip of the iceberg. There are a number of ways (see list below) that analyst opinions get into the marketplace with more being invented on a seemingly regular basis. 

The problems associated proliferating communications platforms are compounded by Continue reading

Incorporating social media into your measurement program

icon-social-media-blue.jpgA critical success factor for best-in-class analyst relations (AR) programs is an appropriate measurement program. A measurement program can help AR managers demonstrate the business value of AR, generate information to improve day-to-day operations, and harvest intelligence valuable to the Sales organization. As social media matures into a regular part of the business communications environment AR managers will need to start incorporating data from blogs, micro-blogs, social networks, podcasts and so on into their measurement programs. However, because social media is just another form of communications, AR teams should not get too stressed about the implications of this step. Rather, they should just consider this step the logical and not too burdensome evolution of AR measurement. Ways in which social media might fit into an AR measurement program include:

Analyst Opinion Monitoring – This item is the most important because Continue reading

The Payback for an Analyst Briefing can be Measured in Minutes

As part of the ongoing struggle to convince their management about the value of analyst relations, AR professionals often prove the effectiveness of their AR programs by showing written research with mentions about the vendor. This type of metric is often shortsighted because it does not take into account the verbal delivery of research via informal conversations over the phone and at analyst conferences.Because the IT industry analysts that focus on advising IT managers (e.g., AMR, Forrester and Gartner) are on the phone every day with their clients, the payback for a briefing can be nearly instantaneous. Continue reading

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