AR-Sales Partnership [part 5]: Use edu-marketing to drive participation

icon-dollar-euro.jpgOk, you have successfully launched your AR-Sales Partnership Pilot Program. Now you sit and stare at the phone waiting for these selected sales reps to call you asking for help. And you wait. And you wait. And you…

A fact of corporate life is that sales representatives are completely interrupt driven and often will not remember all the tools that are available to them. As a consequence, AR needs to drive participation until the sales reps get into the habit of using AR’s support services. This will be critical to the success of your pilot program and will require resources when you extend the program to the entire sales force.  A technique we suggest is an edu-marketing campaign that uses marketing techniques to educate the Sales team about the AR-Sales Partnership Program.

The AR edu-marketing campaign is similar to the program AR uses to influence the analysts. It should use a mix of techniques in an ongoing program of interactions. The campaign should use repetition and multiple touch-points to get information across to the sales force. As you go through the pilot stages you should consider and begin planning for the needs of the entire sales force. The audiences will need to be be segmented with different information and messages depending on their particular point-of-view (e.g., executives, sales specialists, regional sales managers and so on).

Bottom Line: This might seem like one more task AR should do but probably won’t.  The reality is that it is an investment and not an expense – and it is critical to the success of both your pilot and ultimately your entire program. By investing the time and effort to raise awareness about the AR-Sales Partnership Program, which should take only a few hours per month, AR can position itself much more strategically with the sales organization. This can lead to more cooperation from sales colleagues when AR needs examples of analyst impacts on sales deals.  These will be needed as you expand the program and will be requesting more investment in AR from executives.

Question: Are you in the habit of using edu-marketing to drive awareness about AR and the impact of the analysts?

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.

  1. AR-Sales Partnership [part 1]: It’s not about pushing out reports
  2. AR-Sales Partnership [part 2]: Building the bridge to Sales
  3. AR-Sales Partnership [part 3]: Creating the plan
  4. AR-Sales Partnership [part 4]: Rolling out a pilot program for a small group
  5. AR-Sales Partnership [part 5]: Edu-marketing to executives and sales reps
  6. 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. 

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