• 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 […]

Quantifying the Impact of the Analysts on Sales

icon-dollar-euro.jpgI was speaking with a client at a small vendor who was not having any problems getting her executives’ attention and support for AR. Why? Her executives understand that the analysts’ impact a minimum of US$6-7MM sales per quarter. They know the dollar impact on sales because this AR manager diligently captures information about deal size when sales representatives call her for assistance. 

Another client asked me to review a PowerPoint chart he had created. It was a very powerful chart because, again, it showed the millions in revenues that started as analyst-related leads – in this case, over 20% of the company’s annual revenues. Similarly, this second client also has no problem getting executive attention and support.

Showing the dollars, euros, yen or pounds the analysts have their fingerprints on presents a very powerful business case to top-line focused executives – and these days, which executives are not revenue focused? Yet, when presented with this approach, many AR managers simply shrug and say that they could never get their sales force to provide them with this information. However, when we ask whether they get calls from upset sales reps or managers about deals negatively impacted by analysts, invariably they say “yes.” Bam! The light goes on that AR has been getting this data all along, but has not been capturing and using it. While this source of data is only the tip of the iceberg, it still serves as a powerful proof point.

SageCircle Technique:

SageCircle recommends that AR start a “Stage 1” program to systematically capture monetary impact whenever they are on the phone assisting a sales colleague with an analyst problem. Sales impact data to capture includes:

  • Prospect
  • Deal type
  • Deal size
  • Deal stage
  • Sales representative
  • Analyst
  • Analyst firm
  • Analyst impact (i.e., what was said, or what does the prospect think was said)
  • Date

Obviously this information takes very little time to capture and is needed anyway for AR to assist the sales representative. Keep a pad of paper next to your phone to record this information. Monthly or quarterly, AR can then put together a simple report or e-mail that communicates the impact of the analysts on sales. In this e-mail, AR can indicate whether or not the information is comprehensive, or a subset of likely analyst impact. These e-mails can also include best practices on how the recipients, whether executives or sales managers, can use these insights to generate additional revenues by leveraging positive analyst comments or mitigating negative ones.

The next stage (Stage 2: Advanced) of this technique is to create a formal information pipeline from sales about analyst involvement with prospects. Of course, this communication requires developing a relationship with sales, putting into place a process for information exchange and training the sales representatives to ask prospects about analyst usage in purchase decisions. This stage clearly requires more effort. However, if AR has been successful in its Stage 1 program, then it will be in a better position to obtain resources and cooperation for Stage 2.

Bottom Line: AR managers who are successful in obtaining additional resources are typically those who can demonstrate the monetary impact of the analysts on company revenues.  AR needs to put into place a program to capture, analyze and report on the analysts’ effect on leads and sales.

Question: Do you capture sales impact data? If no, why not?

 

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