In the past several posts we have discussed key ideas of building a bridge to sales and how to start a pilot program. Now that you have decided to launch your own AR-Sales Partnership program, you need a plan that lists the action items you need to complete.
- Educate yourself so you know all your options and have a solid background to explain to others
- Obtain buy-in from your manager or executive
- Build the bridge to Sales starting with exploratory meetings
- Generate a draft plan (this will be an iterative process)
- Identify a pilot group which will support the plan
- Develop and document processes and policies
- Develop your training content and collateral
- Launch the pilot (official or skunk works)
- Harvest the pilot experiences and adjust your plan, processes, and policies
- Harvest sales data points for proving the ROI of AR
- Harvest intelligence about which influencers are most used by prospects
- Review the pilot with the participants to understand their level of support
- Make a Go/No Go decision with your management for full rollout
- Obtain additional resources if necessary
- Stage the broad roll out in phases, monitoring progress
Bottom Line: The AR-Sales Partnership is a powerful tool for analyst relations teams to deliver real business value to their companies, while gathering critical data to help with prioritizing AR’s efforts. While a significant amount of work, an AR-Sales Partnership can pay off by improving the perception of AR from being a cost center to performing a strategic function that drives top-line revenue growth.
This post is part of a series about building the AR-Sales Partnership Program. In addition to this series, there are a number of posts with tips and tricks about preparing Sales for dealing with analyst influence on deals.
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 1]: It’s not about pushing out reports
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 2]: Building the bridge to Sales
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 3]: Creating the plan
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 4]: Rolling out a pilot program for a small group
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 5]: Edu-marketing to executives and sales reps
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 6]: Action items to launch a project
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