• 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 […]

Take a retail approach early in an AR Sales-Partnership to drive adoption

icon-dollar-euro.jpgAR teams that are early in an AR-Sales Partnership Program launch logically take a “wholesale” approach to getting the word out about how Sales can take advantage of AR’s expertise to handle the influence of the analysts on sales deals. This wholesale approach typically includes sending out mass emails both directly or through field communications, participating in regular all hands teleconferences, and posting information on an internal portal. These are all worthy activities. Unfortunately they might not be sufficient steps because sales teams are bombarded with similar messages from other parts of the company and AR’s news gets lost. To cut through the noise, AR should incorporate some retail selling to complement the wholesale outreach.

By “retail” we mean working with an individual sales representative or small team in a pilot project (see AR–Sales Partnership [part 4]: Take baby steps by rolling out a small pilot phase). This affords AR the opportunity to work with Sales on a consistent basis to identify opportunities to help in a deal and try to inculcate new habits. While significantly more time consuming than the typical wholesale approach, adopting retail techniques can help AR develop credibility, generate testimonials to be used in wholesale outreach, and potentially start word-of-mouth buzz. The last is especially useful because nothing works better than one sales rep telling another “You have to work with AR because they can turn that Magic Quadrant situation around for you!”

SageCircle Technique:

  • Incorporate a pilot project into the AR-Sales Partnership launch plan
  • Select a pilot group who will let AR participate in regular pipeline calls
  • Be generous in offering time to help the sales pilot team with leveraging positive analyst research and mitigating negative commentary
  • Encourage the pilot team to get into the habit of conferring with AR early and often on deals
  • Once AR has established credibility ask the sales pilot to quietly spread the word to sales colleagues that might need assistance or who are savvy at using new resources
  • After a big win with AR assistance, ask the pilot team to participate in a case study or testimonial that can be used with the broader sales team

Bottom Line: Early in an AR-Sales Partnership, AR needs to invest extra time working with an individual representative or small team in order to ensure that someone “gets” the value of working with AR. With the credibility that is earned in an effective pilot project, AR can springboard to broader acceptance and collaboration with Sales. Creating this personal relationship with sales also helps test your pilot program and allows you to adjust it before taking on a larger project.

Question: AR – What techniques have you found useful in getting Sales to work with AR?

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