Industry analysts hold significant power across many markets. Big-budget enterprise buyers often take their vendor and product advice and recommendations as gospel and rely on Magic Quadrants and Wave reports to create short-lists of vendors to consider before making purchases. It’s no wonder that companies want to establish close relationships with key analysts.
However, simply getting in front of the analyst community doesn’t guarantee a favorable recommendation. Many analysts hold strong opinions and if your product or service doesn’t wow them, your company may never recover from initial lackluster first impressions.
An essential part of analyst relations success is establishing a rapport with analysts including ongoing dialogue around their view of the market and how your product will fulfill demand in the long term. Here are four tips to help evaluate your analyst relations readiness.
1) Tell Your Story – Can your executive spokespersons quickly and clearly articulate your business offerings, the problem or issue you address in the marketplace, and the key differentiators of your product or service? Get the nuts and bolts of how you describe your company straight before presenting to an analyst.
2) Secure Customer References – Often analysts will be curious to hear directly from customers – or at least see a list of customer names – to demonstrate the real-world applicability of your products and how they mitigate their pain points. Even if it is a pilot program or beta customer, showcasing how your offering works in a real way is invaluable.
3) Know the Competition – A major piece of an analyst’s job is to survey and understand the greater marketplace, including becoming familiar with the competitive landscape. Do your research on competitors before engaging with analysts and be prepared to talk to your strengths, but steer clear of blasting the competition directly.
4) Be Open to Criticism – Forging a productive relationship with analysts requires two-way communication. You may be great at presenting your company’s vision, but are you ready to hear analysts’ feedback – including criticism? They may identify a hole in your overall strategy or challenge your product direction based on what they are hearing from marketplace customers. Listening to their feedback and productively discussing your organization’s direction can help you drive growth opportunities for the future, if you’re open to it.