Working with Sales to leverage the analysts’ position in the marketplace to drive sales takes both processes and time. Therefore AR departments should generate a plan that looks at both the long term issues and day-to-day activities. The plan should clearly define goals and outline the programs and execution steps that will be taken to achieve those goals.
The AR-Sales Partnership Program plan will likely be four to 25 pages long. The amount of work required to create it will vary depending on how complex your AR and Sales situations are, what goals are to be achieved by AR-Sales Partnership, the expectations of your executives for this type of planning document, and the impact the IT analysts have on your market.
Your mileage may vary. As with all SageCircle templates and outlines, it is important to apply this outline to your specific situation. A common task is to remove sections that are not relevant to your situation or impractical to do.
SageCircle Outline for the AR-Sales Partnership Program Plan:
- Situation assessment
- Goals and objectives of the program (outcomes based, not activities based)
- Building the bridge to Sales
- Executives sponsorship
- Training the Sales organization
- Identifying analyst opinion relevant to Sales
- Communicating to Sales
- Handling inbound service requests from Sales
- Measuring success
- Rapid response process
- AR budget and headcount required
- Rollout phases, starting with a small pilot
- Calendar and milestones
Bottom Line: Every AR program looking to implement an AR-Sales Partnership should develop a plan. The effort put into developing this plan should be proportionate to the impact of the analysts and the AR resources available.
Question: Do you have a formal AR planning process? If you do, how will you incorporate the AR-Sales Partnership into it?
This post is part of a series about building the AR-Sales Partnership Program. In addition to this series, there are a number of posts with tips and tricks about preparing Sales for dealing with analyst influence on deals.
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 1]: It’s not about pushing out reports
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 2]: Building the bridge to Sales
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 3]: Creating the plan
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 4]: Rolling out a pilot program for a small group
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 5]: Edu-marketing to executives and sales reps
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 6]: Action items to launch a project
Are you intrigued by the idea of a strategic and practical AR-Sales Partnership program? SageCircle can help. Our strategists can:
- Assist AR and sales teams develop an effective and practical AR-Sales Partnership program
- Conduct targeted and succinct training for sales teams that provides only the critical skills and knowledge needed – not “nice to know” info that is not relevant to busy sales reps
- Act as a “life line” when on-demand advice is needed on a critical sales deal that is being negatively impacted
SageCircle’s AR-Sales Partnership Plan Builder workshop is designed to help AR develop a detailed plan based on best practices quickly and eliminate wasted effort associated with the “reinvention of the wheel.” The workshop is a structure engagement complete with tools that help AR hit the ground running. Leveraging our research and experience as AR managers working with sales, we have a library of content, training and services that help vendor sales teams use positive commentary or mitigate negative commentary.
To learn more contact us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or 650-274-8309.