• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    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 […]

    Unmaking fruit salad: 6 ways to help analysts segment markets

    Unmaking fruit salad: 6 ways to help analysts segment markets

     It’s a common challenge for providers: some new or fast-changing market contains very different solutions. Clients want either apples or oranges, but the analyst research reads more like fruit salad. As new solutions come into old markets, or as analysts try to squeeze hot new solutions into their less-exciting coverage areas, it’s increasingly hard for users of analyst research to make […]

    Control in Analyst Attitude Surveys

    Control in Analyst Attitude Surveys

    Because a lot of analysts take part in our Analyst Attitude Surveys, we are able to offer clients what we call a control group. In the language of research, a control group is a group of people who don’t get the treatment that we want to measure the effectiveness of. For example, most firms might be focussed on a top tier […]

    Time for a new direction in AR measurement?

    Time for a new direction in AR measurement?

    Worldwide, Analyst Relations teams are committed to fostering the best information exchange, experiences and trusted relationships with tightly-targetted global industry analysts and influencers. Sometimes the targeting is too narrow and analysts are treated inhumanly. However, the technology buying process is transforming and so must the benchmarking of analyst relationships. There’s already a long-term transformation of analyst relations. Over one-third of technology […]

Equipping Sales for the MQ Effect: the Magic Quadrant & Tech Vendors [part 7]

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant can have a powerful impact on IT vendor sales cycles – anointing some vendors as a prime candidate for a sales opportunity while denying other vendors even a chance to bid. In order to exploit positive placement on a Magic Quadrant and mitigate negative placement, vendor sales executives need to work with AR to prepare and train their sales teams on certain basics about the Magic Quadrant.

To a large extent the Magic Quadrant is just another form of analyst research that can sales reps have to take into account when working with customers and prospects. However, the MQ does have some unique aspects that have to be addressed including: 

  • Multiple MQs – A vendor can be on any number of MQs, which increases the chances that a prospect will be using wrong research
  • Out-of-date MQs – Earlier versions of a MQ can be available for a long time, which can put a vendor with an improved position at a disadvantage
  • Four boxes, four responses – How a sales responds to or uses a MQ is different depending on which box the vendor is in, which complicates training and Silver Bullets
  • IT managers who mis-use the MQ – Vendors will find that their prospects do not know how to use the MQ, which means developing techniques that diplomatically teach prospects how to apply the MQ
  • IT managers with MQs but not inquiry access to Gartner analysts – Prospects can get MQ reprints from vendor websites or sales reps without being clients of Gartner, which increases the likelihood of the prospect mis-using the MQ without giving the Sales rep the option of suggesting the prospect call the Gartner analyst
  • Proliferating or changing MQs – Gartner is adding, retiring and changing MQs on a regular basis, which increases the chance that a prospect is using the wrong MQ

Vendors covered by one or more Magic Quadrants should ensure that their AR-Sales Partnership Program* takes into account the unique characteristics of the MQ.

* SageCircle has the AR-Sales Partnership Plan Builder (a full day workshop) that helps vendors develop comprehensive plans for how AR supports Sales. Advisory clients, either Annual or Hour Blocks, can use inquiry to review their AR-Sales Partnership Program plan to ensure that it appropriately takes into account the special aspects of the MQ.

Bottom Line: In general, responding to situations in which a MQ is impacting a sales cycle is not much different than responding to any other piece of analyst research. The primary difference is that, unlike much research put out by the hundreds of analyst firms, the Magic Quadrant cannot be ignored. Savvy vendors will proactively address how MQs can impact sales deals – for the good or bad – and put into place processes and resources that assist the Sales force in dealing with the influence of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.

This post is one in a series on the SageCircle blog about how communications and IT vendors and their relationship with the Gartner Magic Quadrant. In addition to this series, there is a “Consumers Guide” to the Magic Quadrant that helps research consumers – whether enterprise IT managers or vendors – make appropriate use of this most famous and misused research deliverable. For those AR managers needing much more depth than what is appropriate please check out the SageCircle AR Wiki where you can find a lengthy thread of articles that provide more depth and breadth on this critical topic in the IT industry including checklists.

  1. Don’t Obsess, Don’t Ignore: the Magic Quadrant & Tech Vendors [part 1]
  2. Common Mistakes: the Magic Quadrant & Tech Vendors [part 2]
  3. Homework – Gather Background Information: the Magic Quadrant & Tech Vendors [part 3]
  4. Homework – Talk to the Analyst: the Magic Quadrant & Tech Vendors [part 4]
  5. Moving the Dot: the Magic Quadrant & Tech Vendors [part 5]
  6. The Danger is Complacency: the Magic Quadrant & Tech Vendors [part 6]
  7. Equipping Sales for the MQ Effect: the Magic Quadrant & Tech Vendors [part 7]

 

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  2. […] Comments The Danger is Compla… on Common Mistakes: the Magic Qua…Equipping Sales for … on Don’t Obsess, Don’…Equipping Sales for … on 2/ […]

  3. […] Comments Common Mistakes: the… on Equipping Sales for the MQ Eff…Homework – Gather Ba… on Equipping Sales for the MQ Eff…Homework – Talk to… […]

  4. […] team how to deal with the influence of the Wave/MQ either by leveraging positive placement (e.g., Equipping Sales for the MQ Effect: the Magic Quadrant & Tech Vendors [part 7]) or to mitigate negative positions or being left off […]

  5. […] you were left off… on Common Mistakes: the Magic Qua…So you were left off… on Equipping Sales for the MQ Eff…David R on Ovum-Datamonitor Restructuring…Brian Riley on Twitter Directory […]

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