• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    IDC overtakes HfS in 2017 global Analyst Firm Awards

    IDC overtakes HfS in 2017 global Analyst Firm Awards

    Gartner and Forrester’s leadership is no surprise, but this year IDC has won back third place in our annual Analyst Firm Awards, pushing HfS Research into a still-impressive fourth place. PAC and Ovum have also risen substantially this year, rounding out the top six. In last year’s awards, we saw that firms that could create business leads for their clients […]

    Analyst Value Survey shows deeper frustration with industry analysts

    Analyst Value Survey shows deeper frustration with industry analysts

    I’ve been in New York this week discussing the Analyst Value Survey with both Kea clients and industry analysts. The 2017 report will be available early in January, but the responses show that many users of analysts’ services are reaching out to more firms than before, and are gathering quite uneven value. Firstly, the good news is that many users […]

    Webinar: Survey shows new risks for analyst relations

    Webinar: Survey shows new risks for analyst relations

    A first glance at the Analyst Value Survey shows new risks emerging for analyst relations professionals. We’re hosting a webinar on November 30 to hear how leading AR professionals are responding to them, and what the best practice is for your analyst relations program. Three risks stand out massively. First, there a big gap between the firms that vendors think […]

    Vendors’ five key thoughts about analyst firms

    Vendors’ five key thoughts about analyst firms

    Five things stand out from vendors’ responses to a survey we conducted after our Analyst Relations roundtable at the English Speaking Union. Analysts (including analysts who call themselves consultants or advisors) are often thought to have bias, especially if most of their revenue comes from vendors. Sometimes the effort put into staying informed makes analysts seem very process-driven but less […]

    Join us for the Forum in San José on November 17

    Join us for the Forum in San José on November 17

    Should someone you know be at the year’s most important discussion on analyst relations? We’ll be at the free ARchitect User Forum 2016 in San José, CA, on November 17. Professionals from industry leaders will introduce the sessions: Lopez Research, Digital transformation; IBM, AR in large organizations; Cognizant, Managing analyst events;  Capgemini, AR knowledge management; Wipro, Intelligence-driven relationships; and ARinsights, AR […]

Use the analysts’ words to build executive understanding about the impact of the analysts on sales

One of the critical success factors for analyst relations is strong executive sponsorship. Many AR teams believe they have executive sponsorship when in reality they do not. In these cases, AR is misinterpreting an agreement to do the occasional briefing as executive sponsorship. AR needs to persuade executives to take an active sponsorship and oversight role instead of just giving a passive, generic endorsement.

A key step in creating strong executive sponsorship is building the executives’ understanding the impact the communications and IT industry analysts have on vendors’ enterprise sales efforts. One technique for getting your executive to the “ah ha!” moment is by letting the analysts tell the story.

The first suggestion is have your executives listen to a few minutes of Gartner’s 2008 Investor Analyst Day webcast (click or visit the Gartner Investor Relations page). Starting at the 29:07 mark, Gartner SVP of Research Peter Sondergaard is explaining the value that IT managers (aka end-user clients) get from their Gartner contracts using two examples (click on illustration to enlarge). The first is about how an analyst helped an enterprise client optimize their software costs (page 44 of the companion PDF). The second example was how a Gartner analyst helped a client decide about a potential consolidation of two ERP deployments (page 45). In both cases, executives should immediately understand that analysts can have dramatic impact on a vendor’s revenues through end-user inquiry.

The second suggestion is to download two Forrester research notes (Case Study: Lawson Software Drives Sales Through Analyst Relations and Case Study: Callidus Software Drives Sales Through Analyst Relations) because they talk about very specific sales impacts of the analysts. If you are not a Forrester client it will cost you $279 per research note to buy them, but they could be the best purchases you make. They will provide your executives with insights like these examples:

“…With two-thirds of its sales cycles affected by industry analysts, it’s vital for Lawson to know which analysts are influencing each prospect and for it to have repeatable sales support mechanisms in place to influence deal outcomes. Lawson’s AR generates new sales opportunities, as well…”

“… AR generates approximately 10% of the company’s leads, while 40% to 50% of sales cycles use analysts or their research at some point. Ultimately, Callidus attributes 10% to 15% of its revenue to AR…”

SageCircle Technique

  • Acquire the Forrester research notes
  • Summarize the findings in each note into one PowerPoint slide
  • Find an example of analyst impact on your company’s sales by chatting with members of your sales team
  • Arrange for a short 15 to 30 minute meeting with each key executive
  • Present the case studies findings, show the Sondergaard presentation, and talk about your sales impact example as a lead in to a discussion on the business value of active executive sponsorship of AR

Bottom Line: Unlike public relations and many other marketing functions, analyst relations can and should demonstrate its direct business value for the company. While many executives dislike the industry analysts and wish their influence would fade away, the same executives will understand the impact of the analysts and the value of active sponsorship of AR if presented with hard evidence of analyst influence on actual sales deals.

Question: AR teams – Have you built a pipeline of information from sales about analyst impact on real deals? Have you briefed you executives on sales impact using real sales deals as examples? What were the executives’ reactions?

Do you need help building your executives’ understanding about the need for active sponsorship? SageCircle can Help – SageCircle Strategists can

 

  • Help you develop the pipeline of information from Sales
  • Provide you with sample presentation slides to use
  • Critique your presentation to ensure that it has maximum impact
  • Participate in conversations with your executives via SageCircle Executive Briefings or Advisory Service inquiry
  • Create formal case studies of examples of your company’s sales deals impacted by analysts

 

To learn more please visit www.sagecircle.com, send an e-mail to info [at] sagecircle dot com or call 650-274-8309.

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