When analyst firms abuse briefings with egregious sales pitches

Here are four ways Analyst Relations people can stop analyst firm staff from selling in briefings. Can you think of any others?

  • 1. Use chat: Many online tools allow chat, and some allow you to message privately to the analysts. In your own words, explain the spokespeople isn’t a prospective client. Let’s get back to the briefing and we can arrange a separate discussion with a prospective buyer.
  • 2. Intervene orally: AR people should know what point they should intervene in the call. “It’s great to hear about your offer, but let’s follow up on this in a separate discussion with a budget holder. We’d like to use the spokespeople’s time to update you on the firm’s strategy.”
  • 3. Set a boundary: if it carries on we say: “Folks, I am sorry but should we wrap the discussion up here. It sounds like you have great ideas for how our organisations can work together. That’s not the discussion our spokesperson is here to engage in.”
  • 4. Terminate the call: “If you’ve heard all you need to hear about the company today, then I guess we’re done. I’ll have a separate call now with the spokesperson to compare notes, and then let’s you and I follow up on the commercial relationship in a separate discussion. Thanks again for your time”

Of course, the most important thing is to align on expectations before the call. One obvious give-away is if the analyst firm wants a business developer to be an active participant in the conversation. That’s a good sign for you to align on expectations prior to the briefing.

My experience is that the briefing is the wrong time, and the spokesperson is not the person, for the business development conversation. Obviously, we cut analysts a bit of slack if they see a specific opportunity and want to flag that up for a separate discussion. But analysts would not accept briefings and then switch them into sales calls. That harms the vendors’ experience of the analyst firm. If it happens egregiously, we intervene during the briefing and ensure we keep on track., or end the call if we cannot.

Duncan Chapple

Duncan Chapple is the preeminent consultant on optimising international analyst relations and the value created by analyst firms. As the head of CCgroup's analyst relations team, Chapple directs programs that increase the value of relationships with industry analysts and sourcing advisors.