Do You Know Who That Is?

We get the feeling that sales enablement is something that popped-up recently in the office of the AR professional. How is that possible you might ask yourself. Well, the people that pay your salary are just being informed about what AR does and how it can contribute even more to the company.

Our apologies for that “extra” work (not really).

We like to look at it in a different way; We just saved your job. Informing the analyst firms is only fifty percent of your job today. Please make sure you do understand that things change, also in the world of marketing and influencer relations. I spoke many times about shifting budgets. It happens too often that people wake up when it is already too late. Make preparations. Move to the front before your budget holder does. Make sure you provide them with ideas that other parts within the organisation can benefit from.

Just a quick suggestion from Kea Company: make twenty questions. Of course, those questions should be AR related. Ask people if they know companies like Gartner or Bloor Research. Also ask them if they are aware of your company showing up in research, written by X firms and if they would use it for selling to new clients. Now start to push every week a one-page sheet to the sales force with the information they can do something with. Try this for about ten weeks. Evaluate and ask the same twenty questions again. I bet you they can all answer them by now. The real creative part I’ll leave to you, but if you need help you know of course where to find us.

The point being awareness. This will not be accomplished by hiding behind doing vendor briefings or making power point slides nobody cares about. They won’t see the benefit that the senior management team will see. But that other fifty percent of your time you can show the value to the man and women of the salesforce. Make fans and position AR as a true added value to your total organisation, not only your shareholders.

Kea, out!



Do Analysts Want to Talk to You?

Of course this is nothing new, VC’s asking entrepreneurs the question: “do analyst want to talk to you guys?” What a great example of faith in the IT sector. VC’s who think that every IT company is aware of the analysts they need to talk to, just want to confirm that there is an interest in the company which is seeking investment.

There is nothing wrong with VC’s who think that people who need investment are aware of companies like Gartner and Forrester. That general knowledge of research firms would be great! Makes talking about it much easier when the question pops up from the VC. However, is it a realistic question to ask, and is it it fair to presume that entrepreneurs know the benefits from talking to analysts? The general perception is that it costs a lot of time and money to do analyst relations, and that it is a billion dollar club. So my first reaction would be ‘no’.

We have a department for Technology Investors. Great guys that talk to people who need cash and guidance to conquer the market. They like to think, since they work for a firm that offers influencer relations services, that people understand what they are talking about when they discuss analyst relations and vendor briefings. Everybody understands public relations, but many people fail to understand analyst relations.

Some figures to give you folks a nice idea. Last year we spoke to 24 entrepreneurs in the IT sector from the Benelux region who needed an investment. Of those 24, 15 had heard of Gartner and 11 of Forrester. That was it. Never mind the ones who didn’t even know what we meant when we talked about analyst relations or analyst firms. Considering we do business with over 30 research firms ourselves, we were amazed by the lack of knowledge from people that need to be on top of their game. Now I know this is our core business, but than again, research firms have been around for decades.

So it is great to notice that VC’s do more and more business in Public Relations and social media. But how many VC’s are actively engaging with analyst firms after an investment has been made? Life would be much easier for VC’s if entrepreneurs who are operating in IT and need their money and guidance, opened up relations with research firms before they ask for the VC’s services.

And to the other side of the table. If you are an IT company who needs help, don’t think that you need investment before you can get introduced to your core analyst. Increase your chances of getting that investment by talking to people who know the analyst industry. Finding a VC to talk to is the least of your worries. Succeeding and getting the investment from the VC in order to grow your business and full fill your dreams, starts with understanding what preparations you need to take to get the right attention, from the right people, at the right time. Now that you are aware that VC’s are likely to ask you this question, make the necessary preparations.

Best of luck, to both of you.



Analyst Relations is Not a Billion Dollar Club

If we would receive a free lunch every time a Tech SME owner says “So you are in Analyst Relations, so mainly high-end customers, right?”, we’d be eating for free the rest of our lives. Why is this perception there? Why don’t people see that Analyst Relations is not about how many employees a company has or how high the revenue is. You don’t have to own a big office and be on top of the world (yet). In every stage there is value to be added by communicating with analysts worldwide.

It is all about what you have to offer, and how you can communicate that to the world. It isn’t about what your competition is doing or how big they are in comparison to you. Of course it all relates to one another, but these should not be the reason not to undertake the steps needed to communicate to the outside world via the professional channels. You need to benchmark your vision and product with outsiders who’s job it is to know what is happening in the world. These analysts judge you based on their twenty something years of experience. Yes they can be critical, but that is what you look for in feedback. If you can’t handle that, quit being an entrepreneur.

If you feel that you don’t need any help than that is completely up to you. Personally I don’t think it is about needing help, but leveraging every opportunity you get and about making an extra effort to introduce your company to the world via independent experienced professionals, who know what they are talking about. Yes they are still only human, but we all have our core business and this is how we help each other. Make a 25K reservation in your budget and show the world what you have to offer, you’ll end up saving time and money. Working smart, efficient and listening to others is something anyone can do, not just billion dollar companies.



A podcast with Philip Carter from IDC (part one)

Welcome to our new podcast series with Duncan Chapple (Managing Partner, Kea Company) and Philip Carter (Chief Analyst, IDC).

One of the main topics discussed on the podcast will be digital transformation and what role analyst firms need to play in helping organizations to develop a different sort of user of the sorts of services, the valuable insight that analysts firms are producing. (more…)