• 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 […]

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 […]

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