Best practices for client inquiry execution

icon-phone-headset.jpgWhether IT managers at corporate/government organizations or product managers at IT vendors, many analyst clients do not maximize the value of client inquiry because they do not approach using inquiries systematically. The best practice below does not require a lot of time, only a few minutes to write up the background e-mail, but can result in a much more valuable interaction because the client and the analyst come to the call more focused.
 
SageCircle Technique:
·         Prepare yourself and the others who may be on the inquiry
     
o    Survey the published research
     
o    Create a list of specific questions to be asked
·         E-mail background information to the analyst client service representative
     
o    Indicate the research you have already read
     
o    Include a short paragraph on the topic
      o    Include a few bullet points on the issues to address
      o    Include relevant background about your organization·         Schedule a call with the analyst through the normal client service channel
      
o    (Vendors) Carefully specify that this is a client inquiry, not a briefing·         At the beginning of the call, explain to the analyst the purpose of the inquiry and objectives
     
o    Very briefly indicate you have read their published research so they do not spend time going over content you already know.
     
o    Set expectations clearly
     
o    Note any client confidentiality issues
·         Ask for research that has not been placed into the on-line research database
     
o    Presentations
     
o    Draft material·         Discuss the topic
     
o    Make it a dialog and do not permit the analyst to recite their standard analysis and recommendations
·         Determine whether or not your objectives were met
     
o    If objectives not met, ask what other resources are available at the firm to answer your questions·         Ask the analyst what topics they are researching
     
o    (End Users) Determine if these topics are relevant and would merit another inquiry
     
o    (Vendors) Pass this information along to the analyst relations department

Bottom Line:  Investing a few minutes before the inquiry and then making sure to ask a few follow up questions at the end of the inquiry is a great way to maximize the value of the call.
 
Question:  Do you use best practices for executing inquiries? If not, why not? If yes, what is your technique? Please leave a comment or drop an e-mail to info [at] sagecircle dot com
Are you getting the most from your analyst contracts? SageCircle can help. Our strategists can:

  • Evaluate the usage of your contracted analyst services and suggest ways to maximize business value from your investment
  • Train your colleagues with analysts seats (e.g., Gartner Advisory and Forrester Roleview) through efficient and effective distance learning via webinar or teleconference
  • Critique your upcoming analyst contracts to ensure you are getting the right services from the right firms to meet your business needs
  • Save you time, money and aggravation

To learn more contact us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or 650-274-8309.

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7 Responses

  1. [...] However, before calling the analyst with an inquiry, there are a few steps that need to be accomplished to make the inquiry efficient and effective (see Best practices for client inquiry execution). [...]

  2. [...] Best practices for client inquiry execution [...]

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  4. [...] Frankly there is no need to ignore the written research, but we agree 100% that analyst clients – end users or vendors – absolutely must supplement the published research with inquiry. To learn more about using inquiry, click on best practices for client inquiry execution. [...]

  5. [...] managers – Set up inquiries with your analysts and discuss the approach toward the IT budget that your company is [...]

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