• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    IDC overtakes HfS in 2017 global Analyst Firm Awards

    IDC overtakes HfS in 2017 global Analyst Firm Awards

    Gartner and Forrester’s leadership is no surprise, but this year IDC has won back third place in our annual Analyst Firm Awards, pushing HfS Research into a still-impressive fourth place. PAC and Ovum have also risen substantially this year, rounding out the top six. In last year’s awards, we saw that firms that could create business leads for their clients […]

    Analyst Value Survey shows deeper frustration with industry analysts

    Analyst Value Survey shows deeper frustration with industry analysts

    I’ve been in New York this week discussing the Analyst Value Survey with both Kea clients and industry analysts. The 2017 report will be available early in January, but the responses show that many users of analysts’ services are reaching out to more firms than before, and are gathering quite uneven value. Firstly, the good news is that many users […]

    Webinar: Survey shows new risks for analyst relations

    Webinar: Survey shows new risks for analyst relations

    A first glance at the Analyst Value Survey shows new risks emerging for analyst relations professionals. We’re hosting a webinar on November 30 to hear how leading AR professionals are responding to them, and what the best practice is for your analyst relations program. Three risks stand out massively. First, there a big gap between the firms that vendors think […]

    Vendors’ five key thoughts about analyst firms

    Vendors’ five key thoughts about analyst firms

    Five things stand out from vendors’ responses to a survey we conducted after our Analyst Relations roundtable at the English Speaking Union. Analysts (including analysts who call themselves consultants or advisors) are often thought to have bias, especially if most of their revenue comes from vendors. Sometimes the effort put into staying informed makes analysts seem very process-driven but less […]

    Join us for the Forum in San José on November 17

    Join us for the Forum in San José on November 17

    Should someone you know be at the year’s most important discussion on analyst relations? We’ll be at the free ARchitect User Forum 2016 in San José, CA, on November 17. Professionals from industry leaders will introduce the sessions: Lopez Research, Digital transformation; IBM, AR in large organizations; Cognizant, Managing analyst events;  Capgemini, AR knowledge management; Wipro, Intelligence-driven relationships; and ARinsights, AR […]

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.

%d bloggers like this: