So much of the buyer’s journey is completed before a prospect ever gets in touch with your sales team. This leads many marketers down the path of content creation. And while that’s certainly important, there’s something that has an even greater impact on sales—social proof.
According to Demand Gen Report’s 2018 Buyers Survey Report, 65% of B2B buyers are relying more heavily than ever on social proof. And one of the best ways to increase your social proof is to win some positive references from industry analysts.
Analyst references can have a significant impact on purchase decisions. That’s why it’s such a big deal to land a spot in reports like the Gartner Magic Quadrant or Forrester Wave.
But you can’t just sit back and wait for analyst references to emerge out of nowhere. Building an analyst relations practice can make all the difference and lead to three specific advantages.
- Content Collaboration Opportunities
Analyst relations isn’t all about getting your products mentioned in the major industry reports. When managed properly, you can leverage analyst relationships to improve your content marketing efforts at the top of the funnel.
In the earliest stages of the buyer’s journey, your prospects turn to industry analysts for unbiased education about their challenges. Commissioning their research abilities to improve the credibility of your content can help you make a more lasting impression with potential customers.
These collaborations could come in the form of unique research reports, impactful quotes in eBooks and blog posts, or even third-party insights for PR pitches.
The only thing to keep in mind is that analyst relations aren’t pay-to-play. Just because you’re collaborating with an analyst on a piece of content doesn’t mean they’ll skew their opinions toward your products. Finding unique ways to leverage unbiased insights is essential to better analyst relationships and collaboration opportunities.
2. Unexpected Sales Opportunities
Showing up in a Magic Quadrant or Forrester Wave report is extremely valuable. However, being put in these reports doesn’t necessarily constitute an analyst relationship. In many cases, it’s a one-off event that you try to squeeze as much value out of as possible.
When you build better analyst relationships, you can go beyond one-off events like these. In some cases, relationships can lead to new sales opportunities as analysts get to know your business on a deeper level.
Studies have shown that 80% of Fortune 2000 companies invest in analyst services. These are your customers and they’re going to industry analysts for their expert opinions on brands, products, and services. When you have a strong analyst relationship and a strong product offering, sales opportunities will naturally emerge.
3. Insights into Customer Needs
Industry analysts spend their days researching what your customers need and which competitors are capitalizing on those opportunities. Market research is essential to any company’s success and taking advantage of third-party intelligence can make it much easier to recognize opportunities.
You probably have a few analysts in mind that are most recognizable to you—the ones that would really make your business stand out if you got a reference from them. But the reality is that there are dozens of industry analysts that you might not have considered. Each one will have unique insight into the buying behavior of your potential customers. There are both short- and long-term benefits to having this kind of intelligence.
In the short-term, analyst intelligence can help you tailor sales pitches and content to the specific pain points of your customers. And in the long-term, these kinds of insights can put your product development plans on the right path, ensuring that you maintain competitive advantages.
Put Your Analyst Relations in the Right Hands
All of these benefits have made it more common to have dedicated analyst relations functions within an organization. But all too often, we see analyst relations fall into the hands of someone who has very little training in this area or too little time to focus on building valuable connections.
Because industry analysts hold the power to influence media, financial communities, and decision-makers of all kinds, you need someone who can unlock the real potential of the relationships.
This is where we can help. If you want to make sure analyst relationships deliver the most ROI and have the proper level of attention, take advantage of the ones we’ve built over the last two decades.
Check out our Analyst Relations page and find out more about how we can help your business stay relevant and visible.
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