You know your business inside out, and you have a wide range of information you could share. When you start to talk to industry analysts, you need to know exactly what of that information they will find interesting and relevant, and what will have them yawning…
Having gathered insight over the past few months from a number of different analysts, here are some tips to creating your brief perfect:
#1 CLEARLY STATE YOUR OBJECTIVES
You need to instantly grab your audience’s attention – let them know why you’ve brought them together, and what you hope to achieve.
If you’re putting together a presentation to support what you say, remember that it should stand alone, so that it is comprehensible and can be referred back to. Your title slide is the first thing the audience will see when they open the deck, so make it count. If you’re presenting live, this slide may be on screen longer than the others as they wait to start, so use a solid heading and message to subtly plant an impression in their minds!
#2 LET YOUR CUSTOMERS SPEAK FOR YOU
Your customers are your most precious advocates: put them first. Show that you know exactly who your target audience is, what their pain points are, and how you eliminate or reduce that pain. Show how you provide real business value for your customers, using real, tangible stories and data where possible. What have your learnt from your customers? What have they learnt from you?
Analysts care far more about the customers you’ve helped than they care about you (sorry!). When analysts are speaking to prospects you want them to be full of interesting stories about how you’ve helped these prospects’ competitors and how, by extension, you could help them. Focus on customers’ common challenges so that they resonate with the analysts and help them to remember you when talking to prospects.
#3 DEMONSTRATE CAPABILITY AND VIABILITY
Analysts don’t want fancy marketing or sales spiel. They want to know what you do and that you can actually demonstrate why you’re so great using real facts and figures. You need to answer a few key questions:
- What is it that you do and why does it matter?
- How do you help your customers?
- Why are your relevant to analysts?
- What is your go-to-market plan? How and where are you going to grow?
- Who do you compete against now and who do you aspire to compete against?
- Are you going to change the dynamics of the market that the attending analysts track?
#4 KNOW YOUR BUSINESS
Retain a clear sense of your unique story and the value you bring to the customers who work with you. Make sure you include a clear statement about what you actually do – don’t leave it vague or use sales speak to make it seem glossy! Think about answering the following questions:
- What business issues are you addressing?
- What is the scale of the value your customers derive from working with you?
- Use quantified measurement of realised benefits to demonstrate the scale of the value you offer your customers.
#5 KEEP FACTS MINIMAL BUT RELEVANT
Analysts may not be interested in a blow by blow breakdown of your internal business structure, but there’s certain basic information they would want to have in order to have an informed conversation about you with others. If they don’t have the information they need, they won’t mention you! Think about including the following kind of information:
- The kind of pricing options you offer.
- Whether you offer any packages of services.
- The capacity, capability and commitment you have to execute your business plan.
- Demonstration that you’re commercially credible.
#6 END WITH A SOLID CALL TO ACTION
What do you want the analyst to do post brief? Should they check out parts of your website, or any extra materials? Is there a follow up briefing, or future schedule? Do you have any next steps you’d like to propose? Make sure the audience has a clear view of what they need to do to continue the relationship.
SOME PARTING TIPS
- Avoid inward-looking content and talking too much about how great you are. Focus on your customers instead.
- Key differentiators need to be quantifiable and really well thought out. Talk about how you apply your differentiators to real-world situations.
- If you provide stats and predictions make sure you explain how you’ve come to that conclusion.
- Make the link between what you do and how it drives outcomes really, really clear. As Simon Sinek said, “people don’t buy what they do, they buy why you do it”. Make sure you are clearly demonstrating your value.
- Don’t spend too much time on generic market commentary. If an analyst is good they’ll spend a huge amount of time looking at this market and should already know all the context! Focus on how you solve the problem, not the problem itself.
- Try to make sure there is a clear point on each of your slides. If it’s not obvious then you probably have too much content on there, or you’re being too vague.
- Ask intelligent questions. This is a great opportunity to find out if you’re missing anything, what analysts think will be the ‘next big thing’ in your industry, how well your competitors are perceived in the market, where to focus your growth efforts etc. etc.
Go forth, and pitch.