• 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 […]

The process for developing an AR Strategic & Tactical Plan

SageCircle's AR strategic & tactical plan processCreating a comprehensive AR plan is a significant undertaking, with myriad steps and details. To accomplish this work in an efficient and effective manner — and to ensure nothing falls through the cracks — AR teams should follow a process similar to the one depicted in the graphic (click to enlarge). 

Going through a formal process is worth the effort. We have seen clients’ AR programs receive more headcount and budget when other departments in their companies face cutbacks in tough economic environments. Why? Because these AR programs had realistic AR plans that focused on delivering business value (including sales support which is prized in recessions) that could be measured.

SageCircle Technique:

This AR planning process has six discrete steps (numbered items relate to numbered circles on the diagram):

  1. Assess your AR program. This step helps identify opportunities to build on existing programs and to improve weak or non-existent areas
  2. Align AR goals with overall corporate objectives to prove AR’s value and to make timely adjustments based on business needs
  3. Build outreach programs and activities to accomplish strategic initiatives, focusing on how the various components work together
  4. Map existing resources to planned activities and then budget for new and existing AR programs using the Predictive Workload Model to estimate monthly labor needs. Having a plan that requires more resources than are currently available is not necessarily bad because it realistically shows what can and cannot be done with the current resources and allows for setting priorities.
  5. Communicate this well-designed plan with realistic paybacks (total revenues impacted), indicating priorities so that executives may allocate more resources to AR
  6. Measure and compare actual vs. planned results to identify program elements that work and those that require tweaking. This feedback becomes input into the AR plan’s next major adjustment.

AR Plans should cover six rolling quarters and be reviewed each quarter.

To make “Step 1: Assess Your AR program” easier, SageCircle offers the Analyst Relations DiagnosticTM free of charge to non-clients as well as a clients. It requires two phone calls on your part and we deliver a concise analysis of your AR program. If you would like to schedule an AR Diagnostic to assess your current AR program or discuss how to apply this process to your particular situation, please contact us at 503-636-1500 or info [at] sagecircle dot com. 

The Online SageContentTM Library provides much more detail on the AR planning process as well as the ability to download an AR plan template. The AR plan template is in Word with topic headers that are tagged to generate a table of contents. All you have to do is edit which sections you want and type in the details to make creating a detailed plan easier – easier but not necessarily easy.   Generating a good AR plan does require work, but the payback of proactive planning is reduced stress and perhaps additional resources

For more information on the SageToolTM: Predictive Workload model for AR staffing planning which is mentioned above, please give us a call.

Bottom Line: Developing an AR Strategic & Tactical Plan involves more than completing a plan template.  AR teams need a process to ensure all aspects of the plan are in place and regularly reviewed

Question: Do you have a formal process for your AR planning?

One Response

  1. […] should adopt a standard process for creating an AR plan (See The process for developing an AR Strategic & TacticalPlan for more […]

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