Thursday, July 12, 2007

There's something annoying about analyst firms that...

There's something annoying about analyst firms that insist you fill in a briefing request form because they want to capture lots of information for their sales force to use.

An example we saw today asked for all this detail (alongside the normal stuff I expect):

Company Overview:
- Core competence:
- Value proposition:
- Organizational structure:
- Financial performance:

Market Position:
- Market environment:
- Drivers & Business issues:
- Target markets:
- Profile installed base:
- Competitive differentiation:

- Products & Services:
- Sales Channel:
- Customer benefits:
- Success stories:

Vision for the Future:

What are the top three issues the company is facing:

Does the analyst really need to know all this before deciding whether or not to take a briefing? I'd suggest not.

Compare it with what Gartner and Forrester ask for - that's much more reasonable and sensible.


Anonymous said...

I guess this is an example of a research firm collecting 'basic' information without actually having to ask any questions.

There are worse examples of this technique in which the analyst is effectively shifting the onus of research onto the company being researched.

In my (not so) humble opinion, it's a dubious method because, apart from anything else, it opens the possibility of skewing the analyst's view.

Duncan Chapple said...

It's a little like the old Butler requests isn't, when you're doing the first draft for the analyst.

Neil Ward-Dutton said...

I think Dom beat me to it - isn't this what analysts should actually be figuring out for themselves?

[Go on David, spill the beans - who was it?]

David Rossiter said...

Neil, seeing as you asked :-) This time it was ARC Advisory Group (

Anonymous said...

Good point David, we've posted on this one as the response was getting too long as a comment:

ARmadgeddon: Should AR managers fill in briefing forms?

David Rossiter said...

Dom - great points.

I guess the analysts would argue that their views cannot be skewed by a few words on a bit of paper.

But the subsequent briefing and conversation is going to be framed to some extent by what's on the briefing form.

And asking all those questions gives the initiative there to the vendor, not the analyst.

David Rossiter said...

Duncan - isn't it just!

And it goes on today - with the Technology Audits, there's still the big long question to complete so the analyst has all the necessary background before their briefing.

alan pelz-sharpe said...

Oooh this puts me in a bit of a quandry - as my reports (evaluations) tend to be 20-25 pages etc - I do ask vendors up front for information. Though nothing like as much as others have quoted here...more just asking for manuals and data sheets etc

In my defence I do my homework first - and gather what I can externally - but I ask them for data (hard facts) - I have learned from experience that if the website says they support Java and .Net (for example) - that does not usually mean on every module all the time etc. So I ask for confirmation on that kind of data.

I am also often asked for a form or structure prior to a briefing - in other words this process is driven by the vendor not by me.

As I see it - as we only work for end users and never for vendors - I have to respect the vendors time and patience - (there is no 'relationship' as such between us) therefore I want to have one to one conversations and briefings focus on the complex and difficult stuff - not facts that I could have gathered myself or that they could have supplied via mail.