Last week, following the Forrester Technology Leadership Forum in Orlando, ARInsights held their second ARchitectTM Users Group meeting. ARchitect is the leading Analyst Relationship Management (ARM) system with a significant number of client companies using it. It was nice to see some of those companies represented at the meeting and the dinner that followed. Of course, there was a lot of good informal information exchange during the reception, aka the booze and schmooze.
Rick Shuri, ARInsights’ Chief Technology Officer, outlined some of the new features recently implemented as well as plans for the upcoming year. The development schedule is strongly influenced by customer requests and some discussion of what the group felt was important gave an indication of where the product is likely to be expanded. It has been our experience managing an actual ARchitect deployment that ARInsights is very responsive when it comes to listening to customer and prospect suggestions.
Sunder Sarangan of Infosys shared his perspective on why it is critical to track metrics and to measure the performance of AR. Their measurement program is strongly tied to business objectives, which helps them achieve strong executive support. He highlighted the metrics that Infosys tracks and how they have leveraged ARchitect to generate those metrics. The real-life examples prompted a lot of discussion about why measurement is so important.
Dave Eckert of SageCircle then led a discussion on the tactics that ARchitect clients can use for gathering and analyzing metrics. The keys to good metrics are planning, establishing data entry standards, and creating a balanced scorecard that appropriately reports the results. Dave showed some samples of how data could be more easily entered and how reports can be automatically generated.
Several interesting questions related to how to get AR professionals motivated to consistently enter appropriate interaction data into an ARM. While some managers rely on using a big stick the group was seeking those carrots that encourage staff to make the entries in a timely manner. We believe that making entry easy, for example using ARchitect’s email capture makes creating analyst interactions easy, and providing pre-created reports that quickly expose the value are significant tactics. We blogged about this in part of the ARM series, but we would welcome your comments on ways you have found to improve interaction tracking.
In addition to the posts we have made in the blog the Online SageContentTM Library contains information on selecting and using a suitable ARM. Implementation planning and staff training are also significant factors in the success of any ARM.
- AR programs need to set measureable goals based on company objectives
- AR teams need a consistent process for tracking analyst interactions and obtaining metrics
- AR staff members need to see immediate value to their work if timely entries are expected
- Metrics are a key to showing ROI for the analyst relations program
Bottom Line: The Return on Investment for AR programs becomes more significant when company budgets are tight. AR teams need to be seen as strategic partners in revenue generation and not as incidental cost centers. Producing good performance metrics for executive staff can go a long way toward obtaining executive support.
Questions: Do you use an ARM? How do you encourage AR staff to make timely entries?