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AR teams implementing AR-Sales partnerships document hard ROI – Looking Ahead to 2010

icon-crystal-ball.jpgThis post is one in a series where SageCircle pulls out the crystal ball and looks ahead to what happens in the analyst ecosystem in 2010. See below for links to all posts in this series.

While much of the discussion around the business value of AR-Sales Partnerships programs rightly focuses on helping Sales close deals, there is a huge value to AR as well. 

One of the issues that many marketing communication (marcomm) functions (e.g., AR and PR) face is how to demonstrate return on investment (ROI). This is a critical activity as all corporate functions have to compete for resources in normal times, even more so during a down market. Unfortunately, marketing in general and marcomm in particular have difficulty defining a credible ROI framework and gathering the data needed to populate such a framework. Analyst relations teams have an advantage in that there is a potential part of their responsibility that has the high probability of demonstrating hard ROI – working with the sales organization.

A properly executed AR-Sales Partnership will permit AR to directly assist sales representatives on active deals. That is good. However, what is better is when AR puts into place a program to systematically collect economic data that can feed into an ROI calculation.

In 2010, smart AR teams will implement both parts of an AR-Sales Partnership, helping sales and harvesting sales impact data. The politically savvy AR managers will use the sales impact to demonstrate hard ROI and make the case for incremental investment in AR. This campaign for additional resources will not be easy, but having hard revenue related data will provide critical proof points.

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR teams should explore launching an AR-Sales Partnership program even if it means cutting back on other long-time established activities
  • Harvesting sales impact data should be an integral part of the AR-Sales plan
  • AR must start small with a pilot program that permits the quick collection of sales data as well as provide for learning and process validation
  • AR should work with executive sponsors and other stakeholders to determine the type of reporting they will demand as proof points for AR ROI

Bottom Line: Effective AR drives sales! And, if it collects appropriate sales impact data, then an effective AR-Sales Partnership can also be the basis for a proposal to invest incremental resources in AR.

Question: AR – Do you collect sales impact data from those that call AR in an ad hoc manner requesting assistance? If no, why not? If yes, how have you utilized the data with your executive sponsors?


Looking ahead to 2010 Series

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