• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is the most influential non-financial business research document. In the late 1980s, it was a quick and dirty stalking horse to provoke discussions. Today it is an extensive and yet highly limited process, based on the quantification of opinions which are highly qualitative. The early evolution of the MQ tells us a lot about the challenge of industry […]

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    A funeral and celebration for David Bradshaw (shown left in this 2000 Ovum awayday photo, arm raised, with me and other colleagues) is to take place at West Norwood Crematorium, London SE27 at 2.45pm on Tuesday 23rd August and after at the Amba Hotel above London’s Charing Cross Station, on the Strand. David considered that that Ovum in that incarnation was […]

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw, one of the colleagues I worked with during my time as an analyst at Ovum, died on August 11. He led Cloud research in Europe for IDC, whose statement is below. David played a unique role at Ovum, bridging its telecoms and IT groups in the late 1990s by looking at computer-telecoms integration areas like CRM, which I […]

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    Reflecting the paradoxical position of many clients, Kea’s Analyst Attitude Survey also goes to a wide range of consultants who play similar roles to analysts and are often employed by analyst firms. The responses to the current survey show that consultants are generally much less happy with their relationships with AR teams than analysts are. The paradox is that as […]

    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 […]

Potential analyst inquiry topics for IT and communications vendors

icon-phone-headset.jpgSageCircle 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.

SageCircle Technique:

  • 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.  

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