Are you an Analyst Relations (AR) manager with a regional remit that includes Africa? Remain unconvinced of Gartner’s influence at a regional level and unclear how to drive sales effectiveness? Here are three points to consider when designing your influencer programme.
- African enterprise Chief Information Officer (CIO) challenges are no different to their international peers’
It is true that Gartner does not have any analysts based in Africa, nor do they have a specific Africa coverage agenda such as those for India or China. This however, does not mean that Gartner has limited influence in the region.
African CIO’s face the same challenges as those of their peers abroad, and turn to Gartner for exactly the same reasons – a source of credible, independent expertise, steeped in IT best practice. Analyst, Mark Raskino, underscored this point following Gartner Africa’s 2014 Symposium.
The truth is African CIO’s are crying out for skilled IT resources and often treat their investment in Gartner (and many of the large consulting firms) as a virtual extension of their existing teams, even if it does come with a hefty price tag. It is for this reason that Gartner Africa is now selling its services into approximately *12 African countries and is continually expanding its sales force on the ground in South Africa.
- The vertical industries investing
Gartner’s regional spending split between end users and vendors is roughly 80/20. The most significant *proportion of the end user client base falls into the Banking and Investment vertical, which mirrors the most digitally savvy industry in the region, and not surprisingly, one’s with the deepest pockets!
Gartner’s key African verticals (in order of priority) are:
- Banking and Investment
- Energy and Utilities
The easiest way to determine topics and verticals of highest priority in region is by looking at the annual event calendar. Gartner’s sales folks contribute directly to the prioritization of these events based on customer feedback.
AR managers should use their inquiry time to connect with the analyst presenters who regularly visit the region, as well as the vertical lead analysts, to arm their sales folks with contextualized content.
- Understanding the Gartner CIO product portfolio
Whilst Gartner does not employ analysts in the region, they do employ a team of Executive Partner’s (EP) to support their Executive Program (previously called the CIO Signature Program) client base, as well as a team of consultants. A common mistake is to confuse the role of the EP and consultants with that of the Gartner analysts.
The Executive Program solution is only available to Gartner end user clients. The sole purpose of the EP is to assist the CIO in achieving their key initiatives through access to Gartner’s analyst and research resources and regular meetings.
A couple of points worth highlighting here are:
- The EP forms part of a global team of Gartner Executive Partners. The materials and tools that they use are those produced centrally by the Gartner IT Executive research team, most recently led by Dave Aron.
- The only individuals who can advise on vendor selection are analysts or consultants.
AR managers not already familiar with the product should build an understanding of the solution. Fundamentally, it is the materials and tools delivered through this product that the most senior IT end users are exposed to most.
Had any experience working with Gartner in other emerging markets? What role do you think that Analyst Relations has to play in the regional sales cycle?
*Gartner Africa is only permitted to service and sell to clients outside of South Africa in a remote capacity (i.e. no Gartner personnel, including analysts, are allowed to physically travel into any country except South Africa).
*Public Sector also makes up a significant percentage of Gartner Africa’s client mix