Q&A from SageCircle’s “Dealing with Problem Analysts” webinar

A “problem analyst” is in the eye of the beholder. There are analysts whom vendors think are problems, but are really only doing their jobs in an effective manner. However, there are truly analysts who cause problems for vendors with technology buyers and the press. The two SageCircle webinars on “Dealing with Problems Analysts” were lively with questions and discussion as AR professionals grabbled with how to identify and deal with various types of analysts. Here are answers to some of the questions we received during the webinar.

Shameless Marketing – If you missed the webinar, you can schedule a SageCircle “AR Briefing” on the topic for you and your colleagues. Click here for a brochure or contact us at 650-274-8309 for more information.

Q: What do you do at analyst events (50+ analysts) where you have a blending of problem analysts – to avoid “public problems”?

A: First off, you should always invite a problem analyst to an analyst event they would logically participate in. The analyst would hear about the summit or conference and become ever more of a problem if they decided in their mind that they were disrespected.

Analyst events can actually be good opportunities to turn around a problem analyst, depending on the type of problem of course. There are some planning steps you have to take to ensure they don’t disrupt the event.  These include Continue reading

Presentation déjà vu could be a sign you are dealing with a problem analyst

Something that always stands out in my experience as an AR manager at a major vendor is what I call “presentation déjà vu.” This happens when you are reviewing an analyst presentation and just feel like you’ve seen it before. This typically occurs when you are looking at the slides of an analyst you have not dealt with before. Perhaps you have seen the presentation before or maybe the deck is just so generic or archetypical that it is immediately recognizable. No big deal. However, presentation déjà vu might also be a warning signal that you are dealing with a type of problem analyst.

Some analysts fall into a trap of doing a light revision of a past presentation for an upcoming conference. This is especially true for Gartner analysts who have to do essentially the same presentation year-after-year at Symposium (e.g., the Powerhouse Vendor and its successor session Gartner Compares). This can be a real problem because if the analyst is not paying careful attention in the revision process, old information and recommendations could be repeated.  This may cause tech buyers to make wrong decisions resulting in missed sales opportunities for vendors who are mis-represented. This could be disastrous for both the IT manager and the vendor.

Rather than pouncing on the analyst for using Continue reading

Got a problem analyst? Screaming won’t help.

That primal scream of frustration from the throats of many AR professionals often comes as a reaction to something that a “problem analyst” has said or done. Be it the killing of a promising sales deal or an uninformed but highly visible press quote, problem analysts can wreck havoc on the AR team’s plans and standing within their own companies. How should AR professionals react when they are confronted by the wrath of an executive screaming?  What activities should a team plan to turn around negative analysts?

An approach that rarely works is for the AR manager to turnaround and scream, whether at the analyst or the analyst’s boss.  What does work is for the AR manager to step back, take a deep breath and calmly analyze the situation.

One issue that AR has is determining whether or not it even makes sense to invest any effort into turning around or countering a problem analyst. Frankly, many problem analysts are not worth the effort because they have little influence. The next issue is to determine the type of problem analyst you are confronting (e.g., pragmatist, know it all, budget vampire, well-known press hound, rock star, among others) because different types of problem analysts require different approaches.

The critical step – if the decision is to turn the analyst around – is creating a plan to address the situation. Oh, don’t forget to equip your sales force with information and tools to mitigate negative commentary in the meantime. Of course AR has to do this while your executives are breathing fire down your neck.

Announcing the SageCircle “Dealing with Problem Analysts” Webinar

Our SageCircle AR Webinar will provide you with succinct and actionable information that will help you analyze your situation and determine Continue reading

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