A meeting isn’t just a meeting in the AR world. There are briefings, advisories, and inquiries – plus a whole slew of other meetings during the process behind competitive reports such as Forrester Waves and Gartner’s Magic Quadrants.
We’re going to be covering each of these meeting types, but today we’re covering inquires and how to make the most of the meeting as a B2B technology vendor team.
What is an inquiry?
An inquiry is a scheduled call with a specific, named industry analyst to look for input to a particular question about your market, product, competitors, or strategic direction. They are focused and generally run for 30 minutes.
To make the most of this, here’s a handy checklist of how to run an inquiry call:
- 1. Have the correct number of the right spokespeople on the call. This may sound like an obvious one, but as the meeting will likely be 30 minutes long, avoid a cast of thousands that will suck up valuable time. We advise clients to one (or an absolute maximum of two) attendees. The assigned internal spokesperson should be a relevant expert on the topic to be discussed – and comfortable to clarify points and to ask or answer any follow-up questions
- 2. Submit specific questions to the analyst up-front. Be specific. This is an opportunity to gain insight from an industry expert who is speaking with your prospects, customers, competitors, and other market influencers. So be as specific as possible with the questions you submit up-front. The questions you submit will guide the conversation, so lead with the most relevant question and have intelligent questions that will help you understand your market or realize a vision you have for the market. Submitting questions upfront also allows the analyst to prepare and ensures that you are speaking with the right analyst.
- 3. Agree internally on an inquiry call goal. We can’t stress this enough – have an internal conversation on ONE specific point, conclusion, answer you want from the inquiry. This may be as simple as the answer to one of the questions you have submitted to the analyst group before the inquiry, but it may be to talk about some competitors, potential strategic direction, or market that you are discussing internally but don’t want to set as an explicit, specific question to the analyst.
- 4. Read the research, blog posts, and opinions posted by the analyst. Ideally, before you even request the inquiry – as you don’t want to be asking questions the analyst has already publicly addressed or written about several times – unless you want to ask them about how they came to that conclusion or viewpoint.
- 5. Make notes and list actions. We do this for all our AR clients – we are assigned scribes and ensure that every analyst interaction is documented and tracked, with specific follow-up actions and points. So ensure that someone on your team takes notes and details all the immediate, short-, and longer-term action items.
- 6. It’s not a briefing, but be ready to ‘seed’ the conversation. Remember, this isn’t a briefing, but if you have a crucial launch, product update, or change in strategic direction on the horizon, mention it and give the analyst a heads-up. Take action to follow up: schedule a briefing, another inquiry meeting, or set up an advisory or deep-dive session.
- 7. Be smart and timely about inquiry follow-up. All analyst interactions are an opportunity to build relationships, demonstrate your vision and strategic intent, and reinforce your ability to deliver on that strategic vision.
If you’re a B2B technology marketer or team looking to increase your engagement and success with industry analysts, join us for a half-day AR workshop: https://www.prompt-inc.com/tech-analyst-relations-workshop/