• 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 […]

AR-Sales partnering – comments from AR managers at the Coffee Talk

icon-dollar-euro.jpgThere was a great turn out at the two February Coffee Talks on the topic of AR and Sales partnering to drive revenues. The best part of the Coffee Talks is when AR managers share their experiences and ask questions. Here are some of the comments from the past two Coffee Talks. 

Comment: Dana Stiffler (AMR analyst, Twitter handle) tracks the value of the deals she is influencing…

SageCircle: Not many analysts are savvy enough to formally track that kind of information like Dana. However, most analysts can give you a top-of-mind feel for the number of deals they are advising technology buyers on in a typical week or month and a rough average of size per deal. Not scientific, but this info can provide useful anecdotal points for AR teams to use with their executive sponsors.

Comment: I had a panel at a sales kickoff where sales folks told their success stories of working with analysts and AR… it was the best way to instantly gain credibility.

SageCircle: Sales reps want to know what techniques work so this type of “customer panel” is incredibility effective. To make it even more effective, AR can follow with tips-and-tricks and lessons learned from these sales reps to be posted on the internal sales portal/blog, included in regular sales newsletters, and during regular sales team conference calls. Repetition is a critical success factor to making sure that the training about the analyst impact on sales deals sticks.

Comment: Most good sales people understand the value of relationships and once you’ve helped them, they “pay you back” by keeping you informed… when they remember.  Best thing is to keep a tickler file and check back with them regularly for a status.

SageCircle: One of the common questions we get when talking about AR-Sales Partnerships is whether the sale reps will give anything back or share credit with AR. The answer is absolutely because smart sales reps will want your help in the future. They are willing to give a little today, especially if it is something easy like information about a deal. Plus, giving credit to AR does not cost them any money because a “pat on the back” does not get deducted from their bonuses or quotas. However, sales reps are incredibility busy so making it easy for them to give AR information and those pats on the back is a key to making it happen.

Carter was once a guest speaker at a vendor’s annual sales kickoff meeting where he witnesses something incredible. Our AR client had instituted an effective AR-Sales Partnership over a year earlier so he and his efforts were well known to the sales force. When our client swaggered on stage – this was a sales kickoff after all – to introduce the guest speaker, he received a thunderous standing ovation. That was a jaw-dropping example of sales reps “paying back” AR for the help of mitigating negative analyst commentary and leveraging positive analyst research.

icon-coffee-talks
Remember that SageCircle Coffee Talks are Free.  You can easily register for the upcoming ones by visiting our web site at www.sagecircle,com

 
Comment: Dave – several years ago Carter provided a memo pad to track output of analyst involvement in sales deals. That was a great idea!

SageCircle: That was a simple little tool we put together during the SageCircle “One Dot Oh” days. It was an 8.5 x 3.75 pad of forms that was designed to be kept next to the phone. That way AR managers would be reminded to get basic information about a deal when a sales rep called up asking for help. Then these slips would be an easy addition to the “tickler file” mentioned in the previous comment. Drop us an email if you would like a copy of the template (designed three-across on 8.5 x 11 paper) so you can print out some for your use.

Comment: In many cases, the sales rep may not know that an analyst is being used by a potential customer.

SageCircle: Alas, this is too often true… and unnecessary. It is very easy to ask prospects and customers about their use of the analysts when making purchasing decisions. IT managers are not embarrassed to say they are using the analysts and will actually use analysts as a stick during negotiations. AR should work with the sales training department to educate sales reps on the value of asking prospects about their use of the analysts and the very, very, very easy technique for getting this information.

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR programs should read SageCircle’s six-part series on the AR-Sales partnership concept starting with AR-Sales Partnership [part 1]: It’s not about pushing out reports
  • AR programs should set up a low-key pilot AR-Sales project to start gathering sales impact data and demonstrating how they can help Sales close business
  • AR programs then need to develop a reporting program that communicates to executive sponsors and stakeholders the economic impact of AR, thus demonstrating hard ROI

Bottom Line: During any time, but especially during a recession, AR needs to focus on the activities that matter to executive sponsors. Launching a low-key AR-Sales partnership pilot is a critical success factor for illustrating how AR is not a cost center, but a revenue-generating, strategic activity.

Question: Do you have any examples of how you’ve helped your sales colleagues close business? What are the barriers to you launching an AR-Sales Partnership pilot?

SageCircle has a full portfolio of intellectual property on the AR-Sales Partnership program: best practices (how to’s), training for AR & Sales & executives (live in-person, live distance and recorded), plan builder workshops, advisory and tools (eliminates re-invention of the wheel). Click here for more information or call us at 503-636-1500 to learn how SageCircle can help you launch an AR-Partnership program quickly and efficiently.

One Response

  1. We have had some mild success – after two internal global sales webcasts on how to drive revenue with AR – some sales folks have reached out to confirm analysts were in their deals. We have done a half a dozen advisory sessions on pre and post sales client opportunities – each was successful in driving the deal to a win. We are making good progress. More work to do….

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