Saturday, December 6, 2008

Should Analyst Relations Focus on Sales?

This is the title of an article by Kevin Lucas, Forrester. The subtitle is: "It's Not Just the Wrong Question-It's Downright Misleading." so you can guess what Kevin's answer is. From Forrester's perspective the real question should be: What corporate business value can AR Deliver and that may or may not be Sales. Forrester's research shows that AR managers felt more confident about reaching goals for marketing and product management.

Kevin lists other values that AR can bring including:
  • Share Value
  • Product and Service Creation
  • Market Awareness and perception
  • Order to Cash
  • Service and Support

His recommendations are:

  1. Clarify which corporate business goals you'll support
  2. Align all elements of your AR program with the chosen business goals
  3. Be realistic about what you can really acheive

My take on this is that all of the above is true-- in a different economic environment; however, many companies are in survival mode now, or worse, and are cutting marketing and AR functions and focusing only on sales and the short term. Although this is not a recommended strategy--that is the reality of the situation right now and AR has to pay attention to the shift.

In light of this, I believe that AR must focus on Sales for at least one of their goals--no matter how difficult it is to execute--it can be done. In addition, the other goals mentioned are very difficult to quantify and if you can assist in shortenting the sales process-that will be noticed and is quantifiable. What do you think? I will discuss how AR can affect sales in the next post. Comments welcome.