Talk about watching scorpions fight it out in a bottle... Analysts often don't trust vendors, and vendors are suspicious of analysts. And enterprise end-users would prefer to ignore both if they could.
John Ragsdale has been on both sides of the fence (stints with Forrester, Giga, and CRM startups), and shared some of the top pet peeves the two sides have about each other in his latest book, Lessons Unlearned: 25 Years in Customer Service. No doubt end-users would agree with the peeves of both camps!
Top 5 Vendor Pet Peeves about Analysts:
- Analysts think they know everything about your business.
- No review of sufficient time for review of research material. Sometimes, vendors get less than 48 hours before analysts want to push reports out to the publi, says Ragsdale.
- Analysts aren't engaged... especially during briefings. They're sitting behind laptops, but maybe they're checking email?
- Painting a vision that is unachievable... for vendors and for customers. "Analysts spend all of their time in ivory towers, where every trend is preditcable, every problem has a solution, and everything would be better if only they were in charge," says Ragsdale. Ha! And how many multi-billion-dollar markets have never materialized over the years, right?
- The age-old concern: pay-for-play. The accusation that analysts award more positive coverage to high-paying vendor clients is is a subject of roaring debate, and I'm sure every analyst will deny it up and down. But Ragsdale points out that the high-paying vendor clients simply will occupy more analyst mindshare, whether intentional or not. Plus, Ragsdale points out that analysts will get reamed out by a high-paying vendor client if they publish something they don't like. I personally know of instances of this as well.
Top 5 Analyst Pet Peeves about Vendors:
- Sending a 60-slide deck for a 30-minute call.
- Claiming the vendor is the "first" to do something.. and then trying to justiofy it on the basis of a questionable metric. No way -- that kind of stuff doesn't happen, does it?
- "We'll be in town, and we'd like to come by your office for a briefing." Boston and Stamford may be HQ, but most analysts now telecommute from their homes, which could be anywhere these days.
- Spending the first 20 minutes on "positioning" and "messaging," and ignoring pleas to skip ahead.
- Showing slides that contain glowing complimentary quotes or market sizing from a rival analyst firm. "If it appears that a competing analyst firm is writing glowing things about you, I might just start looking for the other side of the story to prove them wrong," says Ragsdale.