• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

    Netscout and Gartner have scheduled their trial for next July. The case stands little chance of improving Netscout’s value. It does, however, risk harming the reputation of both analyst firms and analyst relations professionals. Over the last weeks, pressure has mounted on Netscout’s lawyers. Netscout claims Gartner’s Magic Quadrant harmed its enterprise sales and that the truth of Gartner’s statements […]

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is the most influential non-financial business research document. In the late 1980s, it was a quick and dirty stalking horse to provoke discussions. Today it is an extensive and yet highly limited process, based on the quantification of opinions which are highly qualitative. The early evolution of the MQ tells us a lot about the challenge of industry […]

    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 […]

Analysts can be excellent guest speakers at Sales training sessions

icon-dollar-euro.jpgAn interesting service that analyst relations can provide the company’s sales organization is arranging for an industry analyst to be a guest speaker at an internal sales training event. This could span the range from a main stage speech at the annual sales kickoff to a 15-minute discussion as part of a regular weekly sales team call. Topics can cover a broad range from changes in the competitive landscape, to what the analyst is hearing from end users, to why enterprise technology buyers use the analysts. We have yet to hear of a situation where the analyst session was not one of the highest rated sessions at a major sales event. Of course, the analyst has to have great content and snappy presentation skills. But in general feet-on-street sales representatives love to hear what the analysts have to say and to grill them with tough questions. 

There are a number of benefits for all constituencies in having an analyst guest speaker:

  • Your Sales representatives – valuable information and insights to help them close business
  • Sales training department – a special guest that will “perk up the audience,” especially after lunch at a multi-day sales kickoff
  • Sales managers
    • An agenda item on a regular team call that will get the sales staff to either a) attend and/or b) stop doing email with the mute button on and pay attention
    • Competitive market insights that will help them fine tune their plans and sales content
    • Building relationships with an analyst that might provide future dividends such as being notified when the analyst hears about a situation where a sales rep is not providing top service
  • Analysts
    • A fun speaking gig
    • An opportunity to pick up interesting insights
    • Delivering a valuable service that could enhance the relationship with a client
    • Having the top of the Analyst Hierarchy of Needs pinged by being made to feel like a contributor to the client’s success
  • AR
    • Builds a working relationship with Sales
    • Enhances the relationships with the analyst
    • Generates a series of “quality touches” with the analyst that will keep the vendor top of mind and contribute to other strategic projects (e.g., addressing a problem analyst, a long-range “move the dot” exercise, et cetera)
    • Provides an excuse to educate the analyst on important topics as preparation for the engagement
    • Encourages the analyst to communicate with AR what the analyst is hearing from end users about the company’s sales efforts, which could in turn be provided to Sales and enhance that relationship

Of course, there are various best practices that have to be put into place to ensure that the engagement goes smoothly and the vendor harvests full business value. In addition there might be the issue of budget, especially if the analyst is required to travel to attend a sales meeting. However, none of these issues should be particularly daunting considering the high ROI for these engagements.

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR should inquire with the sales training department about what events might be appropriate for an analyst as guest speaker
  • AR should generate criteria for which analysts to select for different engagements
  • AR needs to be an active manager of the entire speaking opportunity to ensure high business value

Bottom Line: Leveraging an industry analyst as a guest speaker at a sales event provides AR with a great tool for improving its relationships with both the analysts and sales.

Question: AR – Have you ever used an analyst as a guest speaker at a sales event? If yes, what was your experience? Analysts – Do you like speaking to vendor sales teams?

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