• 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 […]

AR & Recession – AR needs to help Sales deal with analysts’ cost cutting advice

icon-dollar-euro.jpgAt SageCircle we keep our eye on all aspects of the analyst ecosystem. This includes other bloggers with opinions about the analysts. In a very uninformed blog post, Irrelevance doesn’t pay, analystsanalyst said that analysts should “… start telling people how to save money and jobs, NOW.” What a nonsensical statement. Does analystsananlyst not know that helping their end-user clients save money is the bread-and-butter advice for Gartner and Forrester (and META and Giga before they were acquired)? Has analystsanalyst not looked at Gartner’s IT and the Economy theme webpage, which is about gathering all the research on cost optimization? Did analystsanalysts not follow SageCircle’s lead and listen to Gartner’s February 5th earnings call where CEO Gene Hall mentioned 

“… 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. …”

Obviously, analystsanalyst has never been an effective end-client of Gartner or Forrester, because s/he would have received cost cutting, job saving advice over the last quarter century in good economic times or bad. Obviously, analystsanalyst has never been in a technology vendor’s AR or sales department (like SageCircle’s clients) and had to struggle with fixing a sales situation where an analyst has given a prospect totally unrealistic discount advice.


Ok, enough venting. (The preceding rant represents the personal opinion of the commentator and does not necessarily represent the opinion of SageCircle, its clients or sponsors. Now back to our regulat AR best practices discussion.)

The above rant is quite serious in that every AR manager should be very aware that advisory analysts, especially Gartner, are constantly giving advice to vendor’s prospects on cost cutting. This “cost optimization” advice is especially impactful during an enterprise IT managers’ planning process.   It can impact an IT or telecommunications product or service purchase as well as the contract negotiations process. As a consequence, AR needs to equip their sales colleagues with “just enough” information to recognize what is happening and the right best practices to leverage this analyst advice when it is to the sales rep’s advantage or mitigate negative impacts if they occur.

The February AR Coffee Talk is on AR-Sales partnering. It is on Wednesday, February 18th at 12 pm PT. It is free. Click here learn more and register.

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR should conduct a written word audit of their relevant analysts to ascertain what advice on cost cutting they are providing enterprise clients. Because this research does not mention vendors it is possible that it slipped by AR’s normal automated alerts
  • AR should conduct a spoken word audit to deepen its understanding of analysts’ cost cutting advice and determine the nature of enterprise clients inquiries
  • Using the process set up in the AR-Sales Partnership program, AR should send a Silver Bullet that explains how analyst advise enterprise IT managers on cost cutting and the implications for Sales
  • (Optional) Using the process set up in the AR-Sales Partnership program, AR should generate a training mini-session to educate the sales force on the issue of analyst cost optimization advice

BTW, you do have formal AR-Sales Partnership Program in place, don’t you? If not, please give SageCircle a call at 503-636-1500 to learn how our portfolio of training, advice, tools and reference material can help you set up an AR-Sales Partnership Program that will help transform AR from a cost center to a profit center.

Bottom Line: In both good economic times and recessions, advisory analysts work with their enterprise IT manager clients on cost cutting measures. Savvy AR managers work with their sales colleagues to turn this advice to the vendor’s advantage in sales deals.

Question: Vendor sales reps – Have you ever had a deal derailed due to unrealistic discount advice given by an analyst to your prospect? AR – Do you have a formal process for helping sales reps struggling with overcoming the negative impact of advisory analyst cost cutting advice?

One Response

  1. You quite clearly missed the point of my post.

    I am fully aware of the fact that analysts have been giving advice on cost savings before now, just that (as I said in my post) they need to work harder on shorter payback times for these savings and make them demonstrable.

    Still too many are talking about pie-in-the sky techologies and strategies with no demonstrable benefit from a cost perspective. So my statement is far from non-sensical.

    Still, I’m sure you enjoyed your rant…

    P.S. re: your previous post, we did get together a full management team, planned and now have negotiated harder than ever before with analyst firms this year as a vendor, dropped sponsoring certain conferences and saved a bundle…😉

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