SageCircle constantly recommends that communications and IT vendors take advantage of their inquiry privileges with analysts and actively work this activity into their interactions plan. In last Saturday’s post (click here) we encouraged startups to use inquiry and suggested some techniques that are valid for all vendors.
Inquiries are a great way to stay “top of mind” with your key analysts between major events or announcements. In addition, you can use inquiry to enhance the analyst relationship as long as you avoid idle chit-chat and ask questions of substance.
Some potential topics that might be appropriate for a vendor inquiry with an analyst might include a series of questions regarding their research agenda:
- What are the hot topics you are researching that are related to your products or services?
- What are you hearing from clients, which can be segmented by industry or type?
- What client information or questions were a surprise at a recent conference?
You can use inquiry as a way of improving your marketing:
- What would make great proof points for this technology?
- How can we better document data for ROI and TCO models?
- Is the information in the press release believable in light of the market condition?
Another area for potential inquires relates to competitive intelligence. While the analyst will not give you information obtained under non-disclosure you can certainly ask:
- What do you think of the recent competitor announcement?
- Are any new companies entering our market space?
- Who might be positioned to leapfrog you on an issue?
- Have you heard of any client concerns regarding competitors?
In all cases you should be sure you have read the most current publications of the analyst and planned questions that relate to their areas of coverage. Making an inquiry useful to the analyst will encourage future successful interactions.
- Review SageCircle’s tips and tricks about inquiry usage here
- Review your list of key analysts at firms where you have contracts
- Add recurring Outlook calendar times to conduct inquiries, at least every two weeks to reserve your time
- Schedule at least two inquiries into the future, adjusting your calendar as needed
- Maintain a list of the analysts contacted so you can rotate through the target list
Bottom Line: Client inquiry is too valuable a tool for vendors not to exploit fully. This should be a standard activity to schedule into the total mix of analyst interactions.
Question: AR teams – Do you plan inquires as part of your interactions mix? What other topics have been useful for inquiry? Analysts – Are vendors helpful when they do regular inquires?
Are you getting full value from your contracts with the analyst firms? SageCircle can help. Our strategists can:
- Assist in creating analyst firm contract goals and objectives
- Help you establish a realistic firm checklist
- Determine the best ways to negotiate contact value.
SageCircle strategists understand your opportunities, challenges and priorities because we have been AR practitioners and executives as well as industry analysts and AR researchers. SageCircle emphasizes the use of phone-based inquiry through its Advisory Service, which is your lifeline when you need timely access to an AR and analyst expert to exploit an opportunity or mitigate a problem. Advisory is available through an annual “all you can eat” contract or blocks of two or five hours “by the drink.” Click here to learn more about our advisory services.
To learn more contact us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or 650-274-8309.