• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Why KCG’s analyst relations awards beat the IIAR’s

    Why KCG’s analyst relations awards beat the IIAR’s

    We used 18,777 data points from the Analyst Attitude Survey to compare the two leading awards for analyst relations teams. Although we found that KCG‘s awards are more useful than the IIAR‘s, both primarily reflect corporate performance rather than that of the AR teams. As a result, there’s very little that AR teams can do better or worse in these […]

    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

    Netscout and Gartner have scheduled their trial for next July. The case stands little chance of improving Netscout’s value. It does, however, risk harming the reputation of both analyst firms and analyst relations professionals. Over the last weeks, pressure has mounted on Netscout’s lawyers. Netscout claims Gartner’s Magic Quadrant harmed its enterprise sales and that the truth of Gartner’s statements […]

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is the most influential non-financial business research document. In the late 1980s, it was a quick and dirty stalking horse to provoke discussions. Today it is an extensive and yet highly limited process, based on the quantification of opinions which are highly qualitative. The early evolution of the MQ tells us a lot about the challenge of industry […]

    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 […]

Why technology buyers use the IT industry analysts

Sometimes IT and telecommunications vendors express frustration at the very existence of IT advisory analysts and their influence with the technology buyers (aka end users or IT managers). Often the vendors accuse the IT buyers of being lazy or stupid because they use the analysts instead of doing the research themselves. Bloggers are equally amazed at why end users would spend money on analyst contracts when there is so much information available for free on the Internet.

The reality is that the advisory analysts provide valuable services to technology buyers and have earned the trust of those buyers over the years. When they don’t understand the true reasons why the advisory analysts are widely used, vendor executives will miss opportunities to invest in analyst relations efforts.  This is also true for the sales force who need to understand the motivations for using the analysts,  Training is critical for preparing sales reps to handle lucrative deals that are impacted by IT analysts.

There are a number of reasons why IT advisory analysts exist and are an influence in technology purchasing decisions.  Certainly any enterprise could expend enough time and energy to research their purchase, but analysts quickly solve problems such as

  • Resource constraints within most enterprises
    • Bandwidth constraints
    • Skill constraints
    • Calendar constraints
  • Needed expertise on different or new technologies
  • Broad market perspective on technologies and vendors
  • Objective perspective with no hidden agenda
  • Risk management
  • A negotiation tool
  • Organizational politics (including having a handy scapegoat if something goes wrong)
  • Skills and processes building
  • Too much stuff on the ‘Net of dubious quality and relevance

In many cases, end users are simply outsourcing tasks – tech product research and IT management technique development – just like their companies outsource payroll processing, IT tech support and janitorial services. In other cases, end users conduct parallel research but want an outsider’s fresh perspective just like when an in-house legal department works with an outside law firm for advice and specialized knowledge.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Commission a study of your company’s customers to determine motivations for using analysts
  • Train your direct sales force to gather intelligence from prospects on motivations
  • Incorporate insights into AR strategic and tactical plans
  • Be sure your executives understand the analyst impact

Bottom Line: Knowing why IT and telecommunications buyers use IT advisory analysts is important for understanding the relevance of the IT advisory analysts and the type of information IT advisory analysts require. In addition, understanding the motivation of technology buyers can provide important insight into how vendor sales representatives need to react to analyst influence in sales deals.

Question: What other motivations might end users have for using the IT analysts?

Do you need to develop a deeper understanding of tech buyer motivations for using analysts and the implications for your company and AR program? SageCircle can help – Strategists can: 

  • Provide additional written research on each bullet point
  • Provide a list of vendors that can conduct studies of your customer base (SageCircle does not offer survey services)
  • Assist you in developing your customer questionnaire
  • Train your sales force, lead management team and win-loss team on how to ask prospects and customers about the role of the analysts in deals and why analysts are being used

For more information, please contact us at 650-274-8309 or info [at] sagecircle dot com.

4 Responses

  1. […] vendor executives still wonder why enterprise IT managers still use the analysts (they need to read Why technology buyers use the IT industry analysts) and hope that they influence will diminish (they should check out Influence is not a zero-sum game […]

  2. […] are much more clear cut. Even though enterprises use analysts for a variety of purposes (see Why technology buyers use the IT industry analysts), these purposes basically fall into either strategic and tactical decision support. Thus, spending […]

  3. […] Related post: Why technology buyers use the IT industry analysts […]

  4. […] Why technology buyers use the IT industry analysts […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: