What makes this job so unique? Executive Advisors bring Gartner, research, best practices and tools to life across a broad range of world-leading clients. They have direct interaction with C-level executives and help influence decisions on these clients’ mission-critical priorities.
Gartner, is investing more resources in the Executive Advisor position across all product lines, as this high-touch role is critical to influencing the overall client experience. Be sure to take a look at some of our open roles for Executive Advisors and see if any are a good fit!
What Is an Executive Advisor?
Executive Advisors bring Gartner, research, best practices and tools to life. It’s the job of an Executive Advisor to understand our clients’ organizations, marketplaces, current challenges and priorities in order to advise them on the best course of action. We do that by asking insightful questions to diagnose the root causes of their challenges. And we may also suggest a different course of action they haven’t considered, or talk them through a best practice from a different industry that could work in their business. Ultimately, we help them take action and drive change.
You also might be wondering how someone becomes an Executive Advisor. Executive Advisors come from a variety of places and backgrounds. Many of us had experience in the functions we support. For example, I support chief sales officers and their teams, and I “carried a bag,” as they say, spending many years in sales training and effectiveness. Some Executive Advisors have grown up within Gartner, for many years, getting a diverse set of professional experiences. Additionally, many have advanced degrees. While not required, my M.B.A. has helped me achieve a broader managerial understanding of the executives I support.
What does the job look like? Here’s a glimpse into a day in the life of a Gartner, Executive Advisor.
Preparing for the Day
How does a typical day for an Executive Advisor start? For me, that’s either with a workout, a cup of coffee or both. I look at the calendar and ask myself, “What do I need to prep? What do I need to look at to ensure that each client has a successful experience during his or her call with us?”
One thing I realized very early-on as an Executive Advisor is that preparing for client conversations is critical. I have to review past conversations and understand the question or questions that led to the call. I look at which executives are on the call. Do they know Gartner, or is this their first interaction with the company? What’s their expected outcome and goal of the conversation? And what’s our expected outcome? What next steps will I propose to ensure that the executives will take action after we speak?
I’ve got to think about these things for each of my calls for the day — I might have three or four, or as many as eight. Today it’s four, the first at 9:00 a.m.
Delivering Member Impact
9:00 a.m.: My first call starts. I speak with a few senior sales executives at a Fortune 500 organization, including the chief sales officer, her three direct reports and the VP of sales operations. We talk about their challenges dealing with a customer consensus environment (which isn’t surprising to me, as our Gartner, sales research tells us that the average number of B2B stakeholders in a purchase decision today is 6.8). During the call, I spend time early-on asking questions to better understand what the team is observing, the impact those observations have had on the team, and some of the strategies or tactics they have tried in the past or already considered. Knowing all of that, I can now share our data-backed recommendations and contextualize them for this organization’s market, customers and sales process so that they resonate, create impact and lead to our recommended solutions.
What do we discover? This organization has a huge opportunity to rethink stakeholder management, customer engagement, account and deal strategy, and account planning. The conversation leads to several next steps with the team.
There will be three more calls like this throughout the day, all about different client challenges and topics, such as managing global accounts, creating a sales enablement team and better managing distributor relationships.
1:00 p.m.: The day has a few internal meetings, too. I’ve got a call with Gartner, commercial team members to strategize about client engagement. What’s our plan to ensure that executives are finding value in their services? Where do we need to focus? Who do I need to reach out to directly to re-engage or follow up from an earlier meeting to drive some next steps?
Then I’m off to a call with our sales research team members, the people creating great research content, as well as tools and diagnostics for our clients, and who make us sound very smart. We have a webinar to build over the next couple of weeks. Today we talk about the story we want to tell. We’ve got new data about customer buying groups, and it’s very cool stuff. But how do we turn it into a 60-minute webinar that is engaging, descriptive and actionable for our diverse audience? We share ideas and move presentation slides around. We each end up with our marching orders, and off we go. I will need to start writing talking points for the story we agreed on.
Next up is a one-on-one with my advisory analyst. We work closely together across clients to deliver value by answering their questions and following up on next steps. We spend the time discussing his questions on a client situation that has come up, and I give him some coaching on Gartner, sales research.
Travel for Client On-sites
4:00 p.m.: The day has flown by (it almost always does). Time to head to Chicago O’Hare Airport. I’ve got a flight to Houston for a day with executives at our client sites there, which includes six meetings with three different companies. I owe some follow-up to the clients I spoke with today, so I’ll package that and send it while I’m at O’Hare or on the plane. Maybe I’ll run into you there sometime soon. It happens more than you’d think.
Interested in advising our clients? Apply here!