• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    A funeral and celebration for David Bradshaw (shown left in this 2000 Ovum awayday photo, arm raised, with me and other colleagues) is to take place at West Norwood Crematorium, London SE27 at 2.45pm on Tuesday 23rd August and after at the Amba Hotel above London’s Charing Cross Station, on the Strand. David considered that that Ovum in that incarnation was […]

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw, one of the colleagues I worked with during my time as an analyst at Ovum, died on August 11. He led Cloud research in Europe for IDC, whose statement is below. David played a unique role at Ovum, bridging its telecoms and IT groups in the late 1990s by looking at computer-telecoms integration areas like CRM, which I […]

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    Reflecting the paradoxical position of many clients, Kea’s Analyst Attitude Survey also goes to a wide range of consultants who play similar roles to analysts and are often employed by analyst firms. The responses to the current survey show that consultants are generally much less happy with their relationships with AR teams than analysts are. The paradox is that as […]

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Some of the firms mentioned by the IIAR’s analyst team awards fall short of excellence. That’s the verdict of several hundred analysts who took our Analyst Attitude Survey, and of the CEO of one of the top analyst firms. Phil Fersht left the comment below on our criticism of the IIAR awards. We thought we’d reprint it together with the […]

    Do the IIAR awards simply reward large firms?

    Do the IIAR awards simply reward large firms?

    The 2016 Institute for Industry Analyst Relations’ awards seem to be rewarding firms for the scale of their analyst relations, rather than their quality. In a blog post on July 6th, the IIAR awarded IBM the status of best analyst relations teams, with Cisco, Dell and HP as runners-up. Together with Microsoft, which outsources much of its analyst relations to […]

Research Consumers need account maintenance, part one

To get the maximum value from an automobile a certain amount of ongoing maintenance is required.  This includes the regular oil change as well as larger items done at specified intervals.  A trip to either the dealer or the quick-lube usually results in a multi-point “safety inspection” to highlight any special concerns. 

Research consumers from IT clients or IT vendors should also consider regular account maintenance and checkups in order to maximize the value of their contract and ensure great service.  Consumers should take control of driving value out of analyst contracts because most analyst firms’ internal processes are not optimized for clients or are simply inefficient.  They don’t generally provide the “safety check” and instituting a review process with your analyst firm Account Executive can serve to monitor the value you receive from the firm’s services.

The Account Executive

The Account Executive (AE) is the key to getting the most out of contracts, because they are the client’s representative within the firm and can best provide access to research and to the analysts. However, high turnover rates for AEs and customer service personnel within the firms and a continuous push to bring in new clients may distract these people from servicing existing accounts well.  This is unfortunate as the AE also has a vested interest in delivering high value to the client, both for renewal of the contract and increasing the contract’s overall value.  Clients should explain to the analyst firm AE that a regular process for ensuring continuous high value delivery of service will aid in the renewal of the contract.  This process should also help the client go wider and deeper into the firm’s research, which may provide the AE with an opportunity to increase services or users in the existing contract.

Creating a Checkup list

The quick-lube has a simple checklist of service items.  You should create a similar simple checklist of items that include: account housekeeping such as billing and responses to inquiries; objectives such as areas of research, competitive intelligence, and consulting days; and training needs for new hires or enhanced services.  Next week we will take a look at some possible examples.

The Process

Clients should set an initial meeting to go over this entire process with the analyst firm AE (and support team if appropriate). The best possible scenario is that the client has the firm agree to a process before executing or renewing their contract.  This meeting should also lay the groundwork for setting the initial key objectives that the client hopes to accomplish with the analyst firm in the next 45-60 days. These objectives should be monitored and revised during the Bi-Monthly Check-Up call.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Create a checkup list of items important to you and your use of the analyst firm services
  • Engage the Account Executive and explain the benefit to them in make the process work
  • Establish regular meetings to review the checklist and evaluate success against stated goals

Bottom Line: Clients must take charge of the relationship with the analyst firms, because you cannot count on the firms to look after your interests. You have to manage the AE to get the value you need out of the relationship with the analyst firm. Create and use a checkup process to manage the relationship through the AE and ensure that you receive continuous high value services from your analyst firm contracts.

Questions: Research clients:  Do you currently have a process to achieve high value from your firm contacts?  Analyst firm sales executives – Are you working to ensure that every part of your contract is getting fully utilized and delivering visible business value?

Are you getting full value from your contracts with the analyst firms?  SageCircle can help. Our strategists can:

  • Assist in creating analyst firm contract goals and objectives
  • Help you establish a realistic firm checklist
  • Determine the best ways to negotiate contact value.

SageCircle strategists understand your opportunities, challenges and priorities because we have been AR practitioners and executives as well as industry analysts and AR researchers. SageCircle emphasizes the use of phone-based inquiry through its Advisory Service, which is your lifeline when you need timely access to an AR and analyst expert to exploit an opportunity or mitigate a problem. Advisory is available through an annual “all you can eat” contract or blocks of two or five hours “by the drink.” Click here to learn more about our advisory services.

To learn more contact us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or 650-274-8309.  

2 Responses

  1. […] need account maintenance, part two Posted on March 12, 2008 by sagecircle Last week (see Part One) we spoke of how getting the maximum value from an automobile required a certain amount of ongoing […]

  2. […] the sales rep conduct a contract checkup at least […]

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