Sometimes IT and telecommunications vendors express frustration at the very existence of IT advisory analysts and their influence with the technology buyers (aka end users or IT managers). Often the vendors accuse the IT buyers of being lazy or stupid because they use the analysts instead of doing the research themselves. Bloggers are equally amazed at why end users would spend money on analyst contracts when there is so much information available for free on the Internet.
The reality is that the advisory analysts provide valuable services to technology buyers and have earned the trust of those buyers over the years. When they don’t understand the true reasons why the advisory analysts are widely used, vendor executives will miss opportunities to invest in analyst relations efforts. This is also true for the sales force who need to understand the motivations for using the analysts, Training is critical for preparing sales reps to handle lucrative deals that are impacted by IT analysts.
There are a number of reasons why IT advisory analysts exist and are an influence in technology purchasing decisions. Certainly any enterprise could expend enough time and energy to research their purchase, but analysts quickly solve problems such as
- Resource constraints within most enterprises
- Bandwidth constraints
- Skill constraints
- Calendar constraints
- Needed expertise on different or new technologies
- Broad market perspective on technologies and vendors
- Objective perspective with no hidden agenda
- Risk management
- A negotiation tool
- Organizational politics (including having a handy scapegoat if something goes wrong)
- Skills and processes building
- Too much stuff on the ‘Net of dubious quality and relevance
In many cases, end users are simply outsourcing tasks – tech product research and IT management technique development – just like their companies outsource payroll processing, IT tech support and janitorial services. In other cases, end users conduct parallel research but want an outsider’s fresh perspective just like when an in-house legal department works with an outside law firm for advice and specialized knowledge.
- Commission a study of your company’s customers to determine motivations for using analysts
- Train your direct sales force to gather intelligence from prospects on motivations
- Incorporate insights into AR strategic and tactical plans
- Be sure your executives understand the analyst impact
Bottom Line: Knowing why IT and telecommunications buyers use IT advisory analysts is important for understanding the relevance of the IT advisory analysts and the type of information IT advisory analysts require. In addition, understanding the motivation of technology buyers can provide important insight into how vendor sales representatives need to react to analyst influence in sales deals.
Question: What other motivations might end users have for using the IT analysts?
Do you need to develop a deeper understanding of tech buyer motivations for using analysts and the implications for your company and AR program? SageCircle can help – Strategists can:
- Provide additional written research on each bullet point
- Provide a list of vendors that can conduct studies of your customer base (SageCircle does not offer survey services)
- Assist you in developing your customer questionnaire
- Train your sales force, lead management team and win-loss team on how to ask prospects and customers about the role of the analysts in deals and why analysts are being used
For more information, please contact us at 650-274-8309 or info [at] sagecircle dot com.
Since 2000, SageCircle has helped analyst relations teams to focus on business value by encouraging innovative thinking that leverages insights and drives revenue.