Now for something completely different… offering the analysts a vendor compliment in lieu of a complaint. Advisory analysts at the largest firms (e.g., Forrester and Gartner) build their opinions based more on client feedback than on research evaluations. They generally do not do lab analysis or specific competitive research. That means that the perceptions they have of the products may be more highly colored by negative customer comments heard during client phone-based inquiries than reality would suggest.
SageCircle Technique: Our suggestion to IT managers is that you schedule an inquiry with your analysts to discuss your current implementations from your key vendors. You can ask the analysts their perception and provide real-world data on the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the vendors and products you use.
Sample discussion might include:
- What is your perception of this product (vendor) and on what do you base that opinion?
- How do my experiences with these products (vendors) compare to what you are hearing from others?
- What about your colleagues, do they hear the same comments?
- How would you rate the competitors?
Using inquiry to ask analysts about their opinion is commonplace for the firms’ clients, but offering your opinion with supporting data is something analysts rarely hear. This can lead to a strong relationship with the analyst that can pay off later when you are looking for purchasing information.
Editor’s Note: This is a topic that SageCircle repeats from time-to-time in order to provide research consumers who are new readers of the blog with insights into this important, but rarely understood issue.
How to break analysts out of auto-pilot inquiry responses
Best practices for client inquiry execution
Bottom Line: As a client of the analyst firm you have inquiry privileges that can be used to gain opinions even when you are not ready to purchase. Providing analysts customer data can build the relationship for future inquiry use.
Question: IT Managers – Have you ever called an analyst to provide positive feedback? Analysts – How do you ensure a balance of customer feedback that includes positive commentary?
Are you getting the most from your analyst contracts? SageCircle can help. Our strategists can:
- Evaluate the usage of your contracted analyst services and suggest ways to maximize business value from your investment
- Train your colleagues with analysts seats (e.g., Gartner Advisory and Forrester Roleview) through efficient and effective distance learning via webinar or teleconference
- Critique your upcoming analyst contracts to ensure you are getting the right services from the right firms to meet your business needs
- Save you time, money and aggravation
To learn more contact us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or 503-636-1500.