• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Webinar: Survey shows new risks for analyst relations

    Webinar: Survey shows new risks for analyst relations

    A first glance at the Analyst Value Survey shows new risks emerging for analyst relations professionals. We’re hosting a webinar on November 30 to hear how leading AR professionals are responding to them, and what the best practice is for your analyst relations program. Three risks stand out massively. First, there a big gap between the firms that vendors think […]

    Vendors’ five key thoughts about analyst firms

    Vendors’ five key thoughts about analyst firms

    Five things stand out from vendors’ responses to a survey we conducted after our Analyst Relations roundtable at the English Speaking Union. Analysts (including analysts who call themselves consultants or advisors) are often thought to have bias, especially if most of their revenue comes from vendors. Sometimes the effort put into staying informed makes analysts seem very process-driven but less […]

    Join us for the Forum in San José on November 17

    Join us for the Forum in San José on November 17

    Should someone you know be at the year’s most important discussion on analyst relations? We’ll be at the free ARchitect User Forum 2016 in San José, CA, on November 17. Professionals from industry leaders will introduce the sessions: Lopez Research, Digital transformation; IBM, AR in large organizations; Cognizant, Managing analyst events;  Capgemini, AR knowledge management; Wipro, Intelligence-driven relationships; and ARinsights, AR […]

    Take the 2016/17 Analyst Value Survey

    Take the 2016/17 Analyst Value Survey

    The Analyst Value Survey is open! Each year several hundred users of analyst research tell us which analyst firms they use, and which are most valuable. In exchange, they get access to our results webinar, where they discover which firms are delivering the most value in key market segments. You can take part too. Go to AnalystValueSurvey.com and click on […]

    Guess Who’s Looking for Top Talent in Analyst Relations?

    Guess Who’s Looking for Top Talent in Analyst Relations?

    Looking for a new direction in your Analyst Relations career? October is a time when new opportunities pop up in the field. From IBM to Google, we gathered the top US Analyst Relations firms with vacancies needing to be filled. If you’d like to learn more about the opportunity and to schedule an interview, contact these firms directly. However, if […]

AR-Sales Partnership is powerful… and scary

icon-dollar-euro.jpgOne of the more common inquiries we are handling these days is on the topic of launching an AR-Sales partnership program. The AR manager is obviously intrigued by the idea but a little concerned as well.  This would be true for any person confronting a potentially new challenge. In addition, other AR pundits like Forrester’s Kevin Lucas have actively advised AR programs not to support sales in a number research notes like “Industry Analyst Relations Should Focus On Achievable Objectives: Supporting Sales Is The Hardest Challenge For AR” and “Should AR Focus On Sales? It’s Not Just The Wrong Question – It’s Downright Misleading”. Wow, that does make working with Sales to be a scary proposition.

 However, we know from research over the last eight years and personal experience running an AR-Sales program at one of the largest global vendors that when done right an AR-Sales partnership delivers real business value. Let’s quickly review some pros and cons:

 Why consider avoiding it

  • It might open the floodgates as there are many more sales reps than AR team members
  • Getting Sales attention and time is difficult
  • Developing a collaborative relationship takes time
  • How do you find the time for a new initiative when you are already overloaded

 Why consider doing it

  • Provides your company with a competitive advantage
  • Attacks a significant pain point for Sales – one which is often unexpressed
  • Promotes AR as a critical strategic initiative because AR drives revenues
  • Creates an information pipeline from customers on analyst usage and economic impact
  • Develops a powerful ally with political clout and resources
  • Enhances AR’s source of customer stories, which are the most powerful currency to use with the analysts

 BTW Kevin, it is a hard challenge for AR, if it wasn’t everybody would have an AR-Sales program. But the ROI is so great that just to ignore the opportunity – especially in a recession – is foolhardy.

 SageCircle Technique:

  • Add an AR-Sales Partnership element to your regular AR Strategic and Tactical Plan including goals for the year
  • Take a phased approach that starts modestly and expands only with experience and incremental investments from executive sponsors
  • Start with a modest pilot project (SageCircle clients can request a copy of the “Simple Steps for Starting an AR-Sales Program”)
  • Identify the key players inside the sales organization who do the day-to-day work when it comes to training, field communication, and sales support
  • Add simple AR content to existing sales training, newsletters, or staff activities

 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. However, AR must be practical and efficient by taking a phased approach and leveraging the existing sales infrastructure.

Question: What are the barriers to you launching an AR-Sales Partnership pilot?

Get Up to Speed Quickly by Eliminating the “Re-invention of the Wheel”

To help AR executives and teams decide when and how to support sales, SageCircle has a public half-day workshop focused on how to incorporate an AR-Sales Partnership Program into the AR portfolio.

Key Issues to be addressed in this workshop include: 

  • What are the characteristics of a great AR-Sales partnership plan that provides the necessary detail without taking too much work?
  • How can AR sell the AR-Sales program to its management and Sales management?
  • Should AR work with the existing sales infrastructure or develop its own capabilities?
  • What is the right balance of information and tools that will make sales reps more effective without taking up too much of their time?
  • What are the risks that AR should be aware of when it comes to launching an AR-Sales Partnership?

The next session of the Launching an AR Sales Partnership workshop is on Tuesday, June 16th, from 8 am to 12 pm PT in the Silicon Valley. The cost is only $495. Click here to learn more about the workshop, including the agenda, and to register.

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