• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

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    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

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    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

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    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 […]

AR & recession – briefings need to focus on customers and fast business results

Analyst Relations PlanningBesides refocusing their priorities and activities during a recession, analyst relations (AR) professionals also need to think about what they are telling the analysts. Ordinarily briefings can cover any of a number of topics with even more numerous proof points to support their key messages. However, during a recession AR teams should be rethinking what they communicate to the analysts. 

SageCircle research of how IT managers use industry analysts, reveals that helping them make the business case for a technology product or service purchase is high on their list of activities. This insight provides AR with the direction they should taking their briefings during a recession. Because enterprise executives become cautious during a recession, they demand a more detailed justification for technology purchases. By giving industry analysts customer success stories and hard return on investment (ROI) numbers, AR can provide the analysts with fodder that they can in turn give to IT managers that will help shorten the sales cycles.

While customer success stories have always been considered a high priority topic for vendors to provide analysts, because they are difficult to obtain they frequently get pushed to the back burner.  During a recession AR needs to make finding and communicating customer success stories a much higher, if not the highest, priority. This becomes part of AR’s strategy of refocusing its priorities during a recession.

A critical success factor is to focus attention on examples of fast business results. Try to find examples where customers obtained some sort of payback in months instead of the massive paybacks that take years. What you are looking for are tidbits that will enable analysts to push their enterprise clients to get off the fence and make a purchase now instead of waiting.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Build relationships with colleagues that have frequent contact with customers and prospects (e.g., sales, customer service, consulting and customer relations)
  • Educate colleagues on the business value of sharing customer success stories with analysts
  • Negotiate with colleagues the right to offer analysts exclusive use of case studies for a short amount of time – the analysts might use it as the basis of a research note
  • Develop a set of standard templates for case studies (short, medium and long)
  • Generate a special analyst list focused on those analysts that have the most direct interactions with your prospects and customers
  • Use client inquiry to review draft customer case studies with top analysts – ostensibly to make the case studies better, but really to get early mindshare

Online SageContentTM Library clients can find best practices for creating killer customer studies, and downloads for questions to ask customers and process checklist by looking up “Using Case Studies With Analysts” in the Analyst Interactions section of the main index.  Advisory clients can get the same information via inquiry. If you are not a client, you can get the eight-page SageNoteTM AR43 “Make it Real: Case Studies” as a thank-you for participating in an Analyst Relations DiagnosticTM.

Bottom Line: Customer success stories are more important than even in a recession. AR teams need to make finding examples of customer success and quick ROI a high priority.

Question: How are you working and spending differently in this recession?

SageCircle has published or will be publishing a series of posts addressing a variety of recession-oriented topics

How AR needs to work differently in a recession:

How AR needs to spend differently in a recession:

Purchasing analyst services best practices are more critical in a recession:

  1. Using five rights to avoid a wrong when it comes to purchasing Gartner or Forrester services
  2. Right reasons – Evaluate why you are purchasing analyst services
  3. Right services – Align the services you buy to better match the reason for info or advice
  4. Right firms – Search out alternative services providers that better match your reasons
  5. Right price – Acquire those services that meet your basics requirements
  6. Right usage – Drive usage of the services you buy to ensure maximize business value

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