How we rank the impact of influencers on sales

The most effective way to rank the impact of influencers on sales is through market research. Too many firms rely on a combination of subjective judgements with Klout scores and, over the last decade, Impact Modelling has emerged as one of the strongest methods around. Our method involves a series of stages. We take your list of influencers and then expand it using our Intranet, which is a contact management solution for IR and AR we have run since 2003, and ARchitect Express, the huge database of influencers which we exclusively resell. It’s pretty extensive. Then we collate data about each of those influencers to show the overlap in their work with your market, so we can weight influencers by how much of their time is spend on your sort of solutions.

We then call each of those influencers and aim to interview all of them. The interviews are done by former analysts, including myself. We use those interviews to validate our research and to get a better idea of how close each influencers is to clients’ buying decisions (very senior analysts, for example, often don’t have much time with clients going through buying decisions). Usually, influencers also give us further influencers ‘ names. We run that list by the client, if they want to see it, and then aim to interview them as well. After eliminating the influencers which are not relevant, we convert all that data into statistics.
We then link that with our market analysis, which shows how far each firm’s client base overlaps with your markets. So that means we identify firms that are stronger in your key vertical markets, horizontal solution areas and geographies. We use a statistical process, called Key Factor Analysis, which looks at our CIO and IT Buyer Survey and Analyst Value Survey to weight each influencer’s score (which really show their topic relevance and closeness to clients) with the ability of the firm to ‘amplify’ the influencers impact on clients. We convert the scores into percentages, and then rank the analysts by the score. That’s how you get the impact ranking.

We can often segment the score by business segments nominated by the client. That’s done by taking the research into which topics each influencer focusses on and then validating that with the analysts. We turn that into percentages to show what we call relevance, breaking each analysts’ time across the segments, and then multiply the impact score by that to give the segment weighting.

The whole methodology has been tested and used over and over since 2000. It’s fairly stable, although our SAPIA methodology (See the picture above) had to be enhanced for social media impact. As market research goes, it’s highly tailored, with normally around 200 hours of interview time and custom research. Then we add into that our market analysis of the industry, which segments each influencer’s firm by geography, vertical market and solution area.

To find our more, contact us.

Duncan Chapple

Duncan Chapple is the preeminent consultant on optimising international analyst relations and the value created by analyst firms. As SageCircle research director, Chapple directs programs that assess and increase the business value of relationships with industry analysts and sourcing advisors.