Hone your AR skills by attending AR Measurement Week

AR Metrics & MeasurementMark your calendars for a week (dates are listed below) of intense training on AR measurement topics. Every day for a straight week, SageCircle will be putting on a different webinar on one of the most critical foundational functions for AR: measurement. Each webinar is only $95 and you can find links to the individual webinars on SageCircle.com webinar page. There is a special offer if you register for all five sessions: a $50 discount (see the special link at the bottom of this webpage to sign up with the discount).  Each 90-minute session is packed with practical tips, information, and insights.

Certificate of Completion for Analyst Relations Measurement – SageCircle is starting a new program where we will be sending a signed, hardcopy “Certificate of Completion” to AR professionals who have completed a series of training sessions on a particular topic. The first Certificate to be awarded will go to attendees of all five AR measurement webinars.

 A “Certificate of Completion” will be a useful item to add to your resume as it shows you have invested in upgrading your AR skills and your commitment to the AR profession.

The Certificate of Completion for AR Measurement will be issued for those who have attended all five of the measurement webinars.  This includes the ones you may have taken in the past as well as those in one of the upcoming Measurement Week! series. Future public webinars will also count toward completion of the training for a Certificate. Another way to earn a certificate is to attend a half-day AR Measurement Workshop, either a public version or a privately scheduled session for just your company. 

Two sets of dates: October 19-23 and October 26-30 –“What!” you say “The first week is the same week as US Symposium!” Right, but if you are not going to be in Orlando schmoozing with the Gartnerians that week it would be a great use of your time to get in some training.  Alternatively “Measurement Week Two” will be held the week after Symposium.  You can even mix the sessions across both weeks if that is more Continue reading

Why an AR measurement program is important

AR Metrics & MeasurementOne of the consistent findings that appears when we conduct an Analyst Relations Diagnostic™ is that more emphasis needs to put on the AR measurement and reporting program. Either the vendor does not have a formal measurement program or little effort is put into an official measurement effort. If you are in this situation here are a few reasons why you should consider implementing a formal AR measurement program: 

  • You can’t manage what you don’t measure
    • Manage the team against the plan
    • Maintain the mix of interactions
    • Focus the effort on your key influential analysts
    • Allocate team and individual resources
  • There is an ongoing need to justify your AR activities
    • Prove ROI
    • Show analyst impact on revenues
    • Demonstrate positive movement on analyst opinion
    • Track team performance against objectives
    • Obtain and maintain executive support
  • On-going intelligence
    • Collect opinions about your company and your competitors
    • Identify problems to be corrected urgently
    • Gather insights on analyst activities
    • Monitor analysts’ unfiltered opinions and perceptions
    • Observe competitor activities

SageCircle Technique: 

  • Develop an AR strategic and tactical plan that puts as much emphasis on results definition and measurement strategies as it does on activities
  • Cross-link desired results with the ability to measure progress. If a result cannot Continue reading

Where do social media metrics fit into an AR measurement program? [Practitioner Question]

AR Metrics & MeasurementQuestion: Are social media like blogs and Twitter something we should be measuring or is it too early yet? Where does social media fit in a measurement scheme?

icon-social-media-blue.jpg If your analysts are using social media, then including those sorts of metrics in a measurement program is really not optional. In this case we are putting social media on par with published research, press quotes, and activity counts as something worthy of measuring. While a 140-character tweet does not have the impact of a Gartner Magic Quadrant, it can provide useful information that should be added to the data mix.

Social media has elements of both operational metrics and performance metrics. Some example uses include:

  • Operational
    • Unfiltered opinions feed into plans and briefings
    • Activity insights feed into interaction calendars
    • Tweets and blog comments by AR to an analyst fulfill top-of-mind touches requirements
  • Performance
    • Tonality tracks analyst opinion movement
    • Mentions of company, products, and competitors with opinion can track changes in perception

Social media metrics complement other sources of data. For example, social media can complement Spoken Word Audits because social media-based conversations between analysts and end users are often personal, unfiltered, and Continue reading

Monitoring Analyst Opinion within the Context of Measurement

AR Metrics & MeasurementCounting analyst mentions is often an operational metric.  However, it is a very incomplete measurement because counting mentions typically does not consider the intensity, the exposure, the focus, the alignment, or the accuracy of the opinion; all critical factors in determining the net impact of an opinion on shaping market perception and influencing buying decisions. If you consider these other attributes it can become a form of performance metric  because it can demonstrate that AR reached out to the analyst and communicated information for them. 

In order to move beyond an at-best tactical performance metric such as counting mentions to something more strategic, AR needs to elevate its focus by tracking opinions and data points (relevance, perception, net impact, etc.) over time on a more regular basis.  Monitoring opinion can help AR understand the effectiveness of its work by tracking whether opinions are improving over time. For instance, merely counting that there were 20 quotes per quarter in Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 indicates little on AR effectiveness. However, tracking that overall opinion in those four quarters went from very negative in Q1 to negative in Q2 to neutral in Q3 and positive in Q4 shows that AR has been very effective in understanding the positions of the analysts and presenting the company’s case to them.

It is our recommendation that AR programs do not settle for simply counting mentions in the press and research notes, but move to include analyst opinion monitoring. However, in the spirit of making data collection practical, this does not mean that Continue reading

AR Measurement – Moving beyond operational metrics

AR Metrics & MeasurementWithin one week, we received inquiries from two different AR-savvy clients about the measurements and metrics they should employ to track activities and benchmark progress against stated goals.  Both clients realized their existing measurement programs – primarily focused on counting AR activities and written research and press quote mentions – were not capturing the full picture of AR activities and effectiveness.  Therefore, the clients were unable to communicate effectively AR’s impact on sales to executives. 

First, before diving into what measurements and metrics to track, clients need to define performance vs. operational metrics.  Performance metrics measure AR’s progress against strategic results such as trends in analyst opinions by market, product, etc. or number of sales opportunities supported by the AR team.  Operational metrics, on the other hand, measure AR’s utilization and productivity against plan.  Some examples include briefings, inquiries, roadshows, summits, etc. and volume of analyst research publications tagged and monitored. 

Second, clients must examine the company’s overall performance goals and then define the AR goals needed to achieve these objectives.  For example, Continue reading

Defining “Operational 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.   

Operational metrics measure AR’s utilization and productivity against plan.  They primarily are internally focused and fall into one of three categories: 1) utilization and Continue reading

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

Quantifying the Impact of the Analysts on Sales

icon-dollar-euro.jpgI was speaking with a client at a small vendor who was not having any problems getting her executives’ attention and support for AR. Why? Her executives understand that the analysts’ impact a minimum of US$6-7MM sales per quarter. They know the dollar impact on sales because this AR manager diligently captures information about deal size when sales representatives call her for assistance. 

Another client asked me to review a PowerPoint chart he had created. It was a very powerful chart because, again, it showed the millions in revenues that started as analyst-related leads – in this case, over 20% of the company’s annual revenues. Similarly, this second client also has no problem getting executive attention and support.

Showing the dollars, euros, yen or pounds the analysts have their fingerprints on presents a very powerful business case to top-line focused executives – and these days, which executives are not revenue focused? Yet, when presented with this approach, many AR managers simply shrug and say that they could never get their sales force to provide them with this information. However, when we ask whether they get calls from upset sales reps or managers about deals negatively impacted by analysts, invariably they say “yes.” Bam! The light goes on that 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

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