• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    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 […]

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    Reflecting the paradoxical position of many clients, Kea’s Analyst Attitude Survey also goes to a wide range of consultants who play similar roles to analysts and are often employed by analyst firms. The responses to the current survey show that consultants are generally much less happy with their relationships with AR teams than analysts are. The paradox is that as […]

Rebutting the spoken word – can you really know what analysts are saying? [AR practitioner question]

Question: Is it possible to respond to something an analyst says? 

Advice: It is not only possible to respond to the analysts’ spoken word, it is highly recommended. Obviously, it is more difficult to respond to the spoken word than to respond to written research, but in many cases, the stakes are much higher because actual sales hang in the balance.

First, you need to find out what the analyst has actually said. It many cases, this task requires investigation on AR’s part because you are hearing about the analyst’s conversation second- or third-hand. In most cases, AR is hearing about an analyst’s verbal comments from one of their company’s sales representatives – after a sales deal has been impacted negatively. Rather than acting immediately on what the sales rep thinks was said (e.g. sometimes the sales rep gets the analyst’s name or firm wrong, or does not recall all the details of the conversation), AR should coordinate with the vendor sales rep to go back to the prospect and find out exactly what transpired. Investigation need not take a long time or generate too much stress on AR’s part. The investigation phase includes talking with the vendor sales rep, the prospect and the analyst (Online SageContentTM Library (OSL) clients can look up “Responding to Analyst Impacts- Investigation Phase” for more information, Advisory clients can set up an inquiry to get the best practices and advice on applying them).

Once AR staffers have determined as best they can what the analyst actually said, AR can advise the sales rep on how to repair the damage to the deal. Then, AR can proceed – carefully – to work with the analyst to eliminate future problems caused during end-user conversations.

The above discussion relates to reacting to a specific situation; it also is possible to determine proactively what an analyst is likely to say through putting into place a Spoken Word Audit program. This technique (OSL article “Spoken Word Audits”) works to approximate what the analyst would say in certain end-user inquiry situations. Once AR has implemented this program, it can use the data gathered to reinforce the analyst’s positive perception or turn around his or her negative perception.  AR can benchmark its progress in influencing the analyst’s perception over time through conducting Spoken Word Audits every six months.

SageCircle can make it easy for AR teams to audit the analysts’ spoken words in a way that makes sense for your situation. We have best practices, SageToolsTM, examples and advice ready to help you launch an easy-to-manage opinion monitoring program. As to out-tasking Spoken Word Audits to third parties, SageCircle does not offer this service. However, we know the firms that do and provide Advisory clients with insights on which firm to use and how to manage the relationship. Give us a call at 503-636-1500 or send an email to info [at] sagecircle.com to arrange a briefing.

Bottom Line: Because so much of the analysts’ research and recommendations are delivered via the spoken word, AR needs make analysts’ verbal comments an important focus of its charter.

Question: Do you have a spoken word audit program?

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