If you’re a technology vendor that’s about to embark on, or plan to update, your Analyst Relations program, check out our free checklist to ensure you have your ducks in a row.
Here are some of the highlights: (Drop us an email us for the whole checklist)
An AR calendar. Analyst Relations can feel like a fire hose, with periods where the AR teams, product marketing team, and product management are working on back-to-back competitive reports, such as Gartner Magic Quadrants and Forrester Waves. The complex methodologies behind these evaluations mean a long timespan from the initial call to the final report, with many deadlines– dates for submitting qualification details, completing questionnaires, presenting product demonstrations, sharing executive vision, ensuring customer references are submitted—these need to completed within a cacophony of reviews, follow-ups, checks, calls, and presentations. So creating a central, easily accessible calendar is critical. As part of our AR reporting, we maintain a company confidential online calendar and deliver a weekly report that recaps key short-term dates, who is responsible, and next steps. There shouldn’t be any last-minute surprises, all-night sessions to create last-minute demos, or pleading for teams to help with requested data.
Transcripts, details, and reports of all analyst encounters. We mean everything: briefings, inquiries, advisories, casual conversations, in-person meetings, email exchanges, and discussions at events. Again, it sounds like a no-brainer: did you brief that Gartner analyst on your new strategy for Product A? Did they get a demo of Product B? What was their feedback and questions on Product C? Did you offer to share a series of product documents after the last call – was it sent? Again, as part of our AR programs, we track, deliver, and share action points, summaries, and recaps of every analyst encounter – so there’s never a “what do they know about us?” moment when you are about to speak with an analyst. It’s impossible to build relationships with analysts if you don’t know the history.
Transparency within your team. There can be a challenge where analyst information, reports, insights, and even the workings of your AR program seem to be kept in a silo. AR shouldn’t be a kind of ‘dark art’ conducted in a vacuum and out of the visibility of your sales and marketing teams. Share insights, information, forward analyst updates, and newsletters. And set up sessions to let them know how analysts are an integral part of the sales process and foster this involvement.
A solid, well-researched, and tiered list of target analysts (and a look beyond Gartner and Forrester). Yes, Gartner and Forrester are juggernauts in the world of AR – one (now-dated) statistic used to state that for every dollar spent on analysts by end-users, 72 cents was spent on Gartner and 10 cents on Forrester. It shows the staggering influence and reach of Gartner. We see Forrester as differentiated itself – a focus on customer references, a markedly different tone and approach – since this statistic originated, and I would say that the split is probably 65 cents to Gartner and 25 cents to Forrester. But Gartner retains its gorilla status – which means that many vendors automatically turn to Gartner at the cost of engaging or spending time with other industry analysts. The fact is, there are hundreds of analysts that are influencing your prospects, shaping your market, and could be instrumental in your business growth. So at least be aware of them – if you need a detailed list of relevant analysts, their coverage areas, and the firms they represent, drop us a line.
Want to increase the success of your Analyst Relations efforts? Check out our upcoming AR events, workshops and webinars.