• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    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 […]

    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 […]

Gartner Consulting could be lurking in the background of active sales opportunities

icon-dollar-euro.jpgIn last week’s Gartner Q4 and FY08 earnings call there was a very interesting point that CEO Gene Hall made:

“… In consulting, fourth quarter results were stronger than expected and this was driven by robust demand for our contract optimization and benchmarking services. These unique services directly help our clients lower costs and their outperformance continued the positive trends from the second and third quarters. …”

This statement should make IT and telecommunications vendors sit up and take notice. Gartner’s Cost Optimization Services consultants could be working on enterprise IT purchasing projects that directly impact sales opportunities – and not always positively for any particular vendor. 

Unfortunately for vendors, the information you give to a Gartner analyst does not always flow over to their consulting colleagues. Thus, the Gartner consultant could be relying on published research notes, which only tell part of the story and have none of the nuance or most current vendor information that is inside the analyst’s head. As a consequence, uninformed consultants might be leaving vendors off a vendor bid list or short changing their capabilities.

It is important that vendor sales representatives determine when Gartner Consulting is part of an IT organization’s procurement team for a project. While the end user might mention that an analyst is advising on a project or that a particular piece of research was used, more often than not the end user won’t think to mention that Gartner Consulting has been engaged. It’s not that Gartner Consulting has instructed its clients to keep mum about their participation. Rather, because Consulting is not as sexy as the analysts, Gartner Consulting is rarely top-of-mind during conversations and just won’t be mentioned.  Sales representatives need to specifically ask about both analysts and consultants.

On the topic of AR and Sales working together, there is free Coffee Talk on Creating an AR-Sales Partnership coming up on February 18, 2009 at 12 pm PT. There was a great turnout for the first session with lots of sharing of ideas and experiences as well as questions. Join the AR community that gets together to discuss important issues of the day. Click here for more information and to register.

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR needs to do a “mini-session” for Sales that provides “just enough” information about Gartner Consulting and how to ask prospects if they have engaged Gartner Consulting
  • AR should develop a process to handle situations where Gartner Consulting is working on a procurement project (e.g., one step is to do an inquiry with the analysts to see if they have conferred with any consultants recently)
  • AR should document the sales deals (e.g., size of deal, role of GC, outcome) to use to demonstrate AR ROI

“Mini-sessions” are short training units specifically created for vendor sales organizations. They are five to fifteen minutes long and focus on a specific topic. They can slipped into the sales organization’s regular team calls or training events. The goal is build awareness in sales on an important issue, not to make sales reps experts on the analysts or AR.

Bottom Line: Knowing if Gartner Consulting is involved is an absolutely critical piece of intelligence that is important to uncover because it can mean the difference between success or failure on a sales opportunity. AR and Sales need to partner in situations where Gartner Consulting is involved to make sure the prospect understands that a Gartner consultant is not a substitute for doing appropriate inquiries with the analysts.

Question: Have you ever had a sales deal negatively impacted by Gartner Consulting?

 SageCircle has announced a SageCircle Special Webinar: Impact of the Recession on the Analysts and AR – Time for Ruthless Action. In this 90-minute webinar we will look at the last recession in comparison to this recession, the impact of this recession on the analyst ecosystem and what steps analyst relations (AR) programs need to take to ensure that their companies continue to work effectively with the IT and telecommunications analysts during this recession.

4 Responses

  1. Hi Carter
    You are touching on bigger issue…how advisors and consulting firms like TPI, GC, Compass etc are having a larger impact on the industry and increasingly overlapping with AR competencies especially for IT Services companies.

  2. How do Gartner consultants discuss open source projects that may have value but not covered by analysts?

  3. […] What are the pluses and minuse…Joe Barkan on What are the pluses and minuse…James on Gartner Consulting could be lu…Marc Duke on What are the pluses and minuse…IdaRose Sylvester on What are the pluses and […]

  4. Unfortunately, Gartner tends to shield consulting from AR, resulting in some engagements where consultants may contradict the official Gartner policy.

    Same thing for the IDC consultants in local geos.

    The best tactic is to flag it to the analyst who covers the space -predictably he/she should come down on the consultant to defend his/her turf….

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