We all have probably experienced our spokespeople returning from an analyst interaction saying, “the analyst just doesn’t get it.”
These disagreements can be about relatively insignificant details or major foundational chasms. How we address our peers’ sentiment is critical to maintaining and gaining internal support for AR. We can either work to bring everyone together (and elevate the importance of AR) or walk away and let everyone hold on to their misconceptions and strife.
We AR pros know that walking away isn’t really an option. The consequences of not bringing our spokespeople, stakeholders, and analysts together can be detrimental. You could see an increase in leadership, marketing and sales questioning the value of AR. You could see spokespeople de-prioritizing their time and effort for meaningful analyst conversations. You could end up with less than favorable placement in evaluation research. Or, you could end up having more ground to cover when you undoubtedly face market pressures to be represented well in the analyst ecosystem. And that’s just to name a few.
As you can see, the implications of not closing the distance can snowball, so we need to be armed and ready with a plan to mediate our colleagues’ reactions that the analysts “just don’t get it.”
5 tips for bridging the mind gap:
- Set the right expectations: Spokespeople and stakeholders need to understand that changing minds takes time. Set the right expectations to help them be realistic of the outcome and patient with the process.
- Find points of commonality: Most likely there is more that we agree on than disagree. Often overlooked, one important step is to find points of commonality. Are your team and the analyst saying similar things, but using different words? Normalize the analyst’s nomenclature with your team to help them speak the same language and find common ground.
- Learn more on an inquiry: When you reach a divide like this, set up an inquiry to better understand the “why” behind the analyst’s beliefs. Maybe they’ve been heavily influenced by the history of their category or their previous experience. Or, maybe they were indoctrinated with a certain viewpoint by your competitors. Asking the right questions on an inquiry will expose the origins of their perspective and will give your team a more complete understanding of why they feel the way they do. Plus, they might have a really intriguing perspective based on end-user experiences that are valuable for you to understand.
- Show them the proof: The most credible voices in a perspective divide are not from within but are from your enterprise customers and partners. Use their case studies as evidence to emphasize the “why” behind the way you see the world.
- Remember relationship basics: Analyst relations is a two-way street, like all good relationships. Only people we trust can change our minds, and analysts are no different. Keep relationship building and trust at the forefront of your conversations. Ask for analysts’ input on your vision, product, and go-to-market strategy. Building this trust may help both you and the analyst come to a better understanding of the market and the opportunities that exist.
AR is not for the faint at heart, but it’s our job to guide the relationship between the analyst and our internal stakeholders. Remind your team that analysts are tasked with making tough calls, constantly trying to make market predictions, signal strategic direction, empower leaders, spot trends of disruption, motivate, illuminate, and instruct. This type of investigation takes time and conversations with multiple voices.
Let’s do the work internally to help our spokespeople and stakeholders understand an analyst’s point of view so that someday everyone will “get it.”
This is just one common objection to AR, but we know there are more. Join us for our next webinar where we discuss how we help our clients overcome even more AR objections.