• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Some of the firms mentioned by the IIAR’s analyst team awards fall short of excellence. That’s the verdict of several hundred analysts who took our Analyst Attitude Survey, and of the CEO of one of the top analyst firms. Phil Fersht left the comment below on our criticism of the IIAR awards. We thought we’d reprint it together with the […]

    Do the IIAR awards simply reward large firms?

    Do the IIAR awards simply reward large firms?

    The 2016 Institute for Industry Analyst Relations’ awards seem to be rewarding firms for the scale of their analyst relations, rather than their quality. In a blog post on July 6th, the IIAR awarded IBM the status of best analyst relations teams, with Cisco, Dell and HP as runners-up. Together with Microsoft, which outsources much of its analyst relations to […]

    Unmaking fruit salad: 6 ways to help analysts segment markets

    Unmaking fruit salad: 6 ways to help analysts segment markets

     It’s a common challenge for providers: some new or fast-changing market contains very different solutions. Clients want either apples or oranges, but the analyst research reads more like fruit salad. As new solutions come into old markets, or as analysts try to squeeze hot new solutions into their less-exciting coverage areas, it’s increasingly hard for users of analyst research to make […]

    Control in Analyst Attitude Surveys

    Control in Analyst Attitude Surveys

    Because a lot of analysts take part in our Analyst Attitude Surveys, we are able to offer clients what we call a control group. In the language of research, a control group is a group of people who don’t get the treatment that we want to measure the effectiveness of. For example, most firms might be focussed on a top tier […]

    Time for a new direction in AR measurement?

    Time for a new direction in AR measurement?

    Worldwide, Analyst Relations teams are committed to fostering the best information exchange, experiences and trusted relationships with tightly-targetted global industry analysts and influencers. Sometimes the targeting is too narrow and analysts are treated inhumanly. However, the technology buying process is transforming and so must the benchmarking of analyst relationships. There’s already a long-term transformation of analyst relations. Over one-third of technology […]

Will you get analyst opinions in a briefing if you are not a client? [AR seminar question]

question-mark-graphic.jpgYes… if you give them a chance to actually speak and if you take the time to ask correctly.

There is a common (mis-)understanding that analysts will only provide opinions if you are a paying client of their firm.  So can you get their opinions during a briefing? For the most part, analysts are more than happy to comment on what they hear in a briefing. The primary reasons why they don’t express their opinions are because vendor spokespeople drone on in “monologue mode” and also because vendor participants do not directly ask the analysts for a response. Luckily these are both these situations are easy to correct.

This question came up during the recent AR Effectiveness Seminar.

It is important that AR ask for analyst opinions during briefings for a variety of reasons:

  • Effectiveness: Analyst reactions can often indicate whether the message is getting across and it gives the briefing team an opportunity to correct any misperceptions or fill in any gaps immediately
  • Focus: If some or all of the analysts are participating by phone, periodically asking analysts what they thought of some statement will ensure that are paying attention and not doing e-mail
  • Buy In: Asking the analyst’s opinion and potentially acting on any advice can help fulfill the top of the Hierarchy of Analyst Needs (Impact Strategy), which can lead to significant buy in later
  • Educating colleagues: Assuming that the analyst is market savvy, having the analyst participate in the discussion will impress upon company colleagues that analysts can offer true business value leading to later internal buy in to bringing analysts in for a consulting day

The exception to this is Gartner. There has been a policy in place for a few years that Gartnerians will only provide their opinion if all the participants in the briefing are Gartner Advisory seat holders. Many analysts do adhere to the policy. However, there are some Gartner analysts who will offer their opinion regardless of client status. It never to hurts to ask – as the worst that can happen is that they say no. To be safe it is smart to warn your briefing participants about Gartner’s policy so that they do not argue with or badger the analysts if they fail to provide a response.

Regardless of the analyst firm involved getting feedback and analyst opinion during a briefing should not be accidental, but planned into the presentation.  Questions do not always have to elicit an opinion.  Educate your spokespeople to pause and ensure the analyst agrees or disagrees.  Ask pointed questions or at least seek acknowledgement. Ask if they have seen evidence of contrary opinions, options, plans, or results.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Review the briefing presentation and identify slides where it will be logical to ask the analysts’ opinions about the content
  • Assign a participant in the briefing to the role of “questioner”
  • Brief all participants on the importance of asking questions and come to an agreement on what topics to focus questions on
  • Ensure during the briefing that questions are actually asked

Bottom Line: Asking analysts of their opinions during briefings is a critical best practice. It ensures that analysts are engaged and spokespeople do not fall into monologuing.

Questions:

AR teams – Do you get push backs from you spokespeople about asking questions? Have you ever had analysts refuse to give their opinions?

Analysts – Do you like to be asked your opinion of the content being presented?

2 Responses

  1. I find a marked difference between US-based Gartner analysts and all the rest. The latter are more relaxed, don’t usually mind speaking to analysts from competing firms. And of course, dialogue drives relationship and sales much better than corporate policies straight jackets.

  2. Hi Ludovic, Great point. Analysts differ from region to region, even within the same firm.

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: