analystLicense: Creative Commons 3 – CC BY-SA 3.0

When it comes to briefing industry analysts, I’m not sure which is worse – the crickets when an analyst is bored to tears, or the pokes when you’re missing the boat.

Conducting briefings in a way that engages the interest of analysts while also establishing credibility with them is a learned skill, and what has probably been the single most important thing I’ve learned is that the best way to excite analysts is to talk about your buyers.

Analysts want to learn about you because they care about helping their customers (your buyers), so you need to speak to them in this context. They don’t want a product lecture, but rather an intellectual exchange about how you’re helping the industry. Here are 5 tips on how to improve your analyst relations through a deep understanding of your audience.

1. Clearly articulate your target audience and market fit/need

The first questions you’ll hear from analysts (if you haven’t clearly articulated this right away) are:

  • Whom are you selling to?
  • What types of companies does your solution apply to?
  • How are customers using your solution?
  • What’s your solution’s fit/need in the marketplace?

Your ability to answer these questions credibly and thoroughly requires doing your homework on your buyers and their industries. Analysts must believe in your go-to-market strategy. There’s no trust if you’re all over the place – you need a clearly defined target audience you are marketing and selling to, and that your solution is designed to serve. If you don’t have this, it will show in your responses.

Think of this as your positioning statement, which should always be informed by your buyer insights.  Begin by defining your target market segments and their attributes, such as geography and company size, and your personas.

Then state the primary business challenges facing your targeted audience, what they need to address these challenges, and why they therefore need a solution like yours. This is a great place to use example statements. For instance, “We talked to xx, and they said that…” You’re articulating the market need you’re fulfilling around real, measureable challenges that your buyers are actively trying to address.

2. Show that research-driven buyer insights have informed your solution features/capabilities

By nature, analysts are research-driven. The best analyst briefings, and how you can develop great analyst relationships, is to demonstrate a research-driven, thorough understanding of your buyers. The way to do this is to not simply talk about your features, but rather why you built those features given your buyers’ challenges, desired capabilities, and future use cases.

3. Be aligned with analysts’ best practices

I recently had an excellent conversation with an analyst at a trade show. Her perception of how her clients should develop journey maps and personas was completely aligned with the best practices we built into our solution. It was quite the harmonious moment. Analysts get excited to talk more when you’re aligned to the best practices they’re developing. These best practices, however, are only truly best practices when they’re created with the knowledge of your buyers’ initiatives, goals, daily working life, and desired outcomes. When you’re grasping buyer needs and industry best practices how analysts are, you’re making an impression.

4. Speak the same language by being current on upcoming trends

Analysts are always on a journey with their research. They’re hearing and seeing trends and themes, and many times they’re ahead of current actual uses cases and adoption. It’s great to talk to analysts at this point. When you can echo back what you’re gathering from conversations with customers and buyers (“one of the things we’re hearing a lot is…”) and this is aligned with what analysts are hearing or predicting, you’re giving each other validation. If you’re late, and you’re only talking about trends they’ve already published and talked about widely, you’ll be perceived as behind regardless of where actual adoption is.

5. Demonstrate credibility

Analysts will immediately notice if you’re vendor-centric. They may make negative remarks about this, and will likely not recommend their clients to you. Clients subscribe to analysts to help them solve their business challenges. This is a very trusted relationship, so they’re only mentioning vendors who have demonstrated a rich understanding of their buyers and marketplace. When you show your decisions are informed by your buyers and that you truly know the marketplace, they’ll have confidence mentioning you to their clients. You can’t just have great features – you have to have the latest and even forward-thinking buyer and industry understanding. By showing that this has informed your product development, brand, and GTM strategy, you’ll position your organization as a credible company that will be sticking around for a while.

 

What does success look like with industry analysts?

When you have positioned your company successfully with industry analysts, you will be positioned well in roundups and in reports, and you will be referred prospective customers. But this is dependent on how well you’re aligning what you’re doing to your buyers, who are also their clients. So research your buyers – continuously – and keep these tips in mind when preparing for your next analyst briefing.

 {{cta(’75a1f562-d31d-4b27-bb44-0442a3b191fc’)}}