Every company knows that having top experts rave about what you do is a surefire way to establish credibility and trust in your brand and, as a result, see your sales soar through the roof. In the B2B space, having the backing of industry analysts is key to convincing your prospects and customers that you can actually do what you say you can. But how can you build and improve analyst relations to build trust in the marketplace?
While rubbing elbows with top analysts has benefits like better sales and improved brand awareness, building relationships with and securing support from these experts is no easy task. If attracting new leads is enough of a challenge already, try impressing industry analysts who have seen it all and have strong opinions about where the market is going. Even if you have a solid product development strategy in place and offer great value to your customers, you can bet these industry analysts will have a thing or two to say about what you can do better.
However, even if you’re not at the top of your game, you should still strive to build and improve analyst relations. Connecting and working with these experts over time can better prepare your team to talk about your product and rep your brand in a way that makes you truly stand out. More importantly, these relationships will equip you with valuable insights that you can leverage to shape your overall business strategy in a way that propels your brand forward.
Luckily for you, here at Act-On, we know a thing or two about establishing a good rapport with industry analysts and are thrilled to share our knowledge to help you do the same.
Keep reading to learn how to build and improve analyst relations.
Demo Your Product to Build the Case for Your Brand
While there’s no secret sauce for getting analysts to notice you, one thing is for sure: you’d better be ready to talk about and show the value of your product when they lend you their eyes and ears. After all, you don’t want to let years of networking and relationship building go down the drain simply because you were not prepared.
When you land a coveted interview spot with a top industry analyst, you can bet they’ll want to dig deep to learn all about your product, your company’s long-term plan and vision, and what it is that makes your offerings unique compared to your competitors. You’ll also have to be ready to provide a demo and discuss the following in your presentation.
- Key Differentiators: You probably solve for a similar problem to other solutions on the market. To make your product or service stand out, you have to highlight how it is different and better than your competitors’ solution.
- Value: Don’t forget to discuss which customer pain points your solution solves for and how.
- Potential for ROI: Purchasing new products or services is a difficult decision for any company, regardless of size, so you have to demonstrate how your offerings will help improve your customers’ bottom line.
- Product Development Strategy: Without giving away all your secrets, discuss how you envision your product evolving in the future to better serve your customers.
Each product and company story is unique, so you’ll probably have many more things to add to your discussion with analysts, but focusing on the key aspects above is a great starting point.
Secure References and Testimonials From Happy Customers
While you may have a great rapport with your contacts at the leading firms, chances are they’ll want to cast a much wider net when it comes to gathering information about your product. And who better to tell them about why your product is valuable and unique than your current customers?
It’s true. Nothing speaks volumes about the value of your brand and product quite like happy customers. Therefore, identifying and cultivating relationships with brand ambassadors can prove to be an effective strategy when it comes to demonstrating the power of your product and the credibility of your brand.
Leverage the Feedback and Insights You Receive
An analyst’s job is not only to evaluate your product for their clients but also provide you and your customers with insights and advice on where the industry is going and what product features pack the most punch. So, while they may have many great things to say about your product or service, they may also have thoughts about what you can do to make your offerings more valuable and competitive.
Nobody wants to hear that their product just isn’t where it needs to be or that their competitors are many steps ahead of them when it comes to product development and innovation. My advice is to make the most out of this feedback by leveraging it in a way that helps you improve your product development and marketing and sales strategies moving forward. They’re experts in the market for a reason, after all.
For example, we have gained a lot of valuable insights from participating in interviews with analysts and undergoing rigorous evaluation processes over the years. Our team’s commitment to leveraging this information to improve and innovate our platform has not only helped us better serve our customers with more powerful and accessible marketing automation; it’s also empowered us to land a coveted “Visionary” spot on the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management. None of this would be possible if we didn’t take the feedback from our customers and industry experts to heart.
We hope this blog helps you build and improve analyst relations in your industry. In our experience, combining a great product with helpful customer service and engaging marketing can do wonders, but you have to be willing to innovate and take analysts’ outlook and advice to heart.
If you’re able to continue improving and evolving, you’ll probably end up on some pretty impressive lists. We’ve been following the advice above for years now, and we’re back on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management for the third year in a row.
Download the report to learn why Gartner considers us “Visionary” in our space!