In my role at InfoBasis I talk to a number of analysts about our human capital management software – with a recent surge in activity as the market place heats up. Along the way I have learned that there are better and worse ways of tackling the vendor pitch. So, if you’re facing an analyst briefing, here are my 7 top tips for briefing success:
- PowerPoint – you can’t present without it, but be sure to use it well. Get as many words on to each slide as you can.
- Content is all – 40 slides for a 30 minute briefing is about right, and don’t worry if you run over. The analyst can always ask you to stop (but they won’t if you use these sure fire tips!)
- Differentiate – ensure your company is clearly different by labelling it ‘ground breaking’. Analysts will be favourably impressed by products that ‘push the envelope’, are ‘best-of-breed’ and ‘advancing forwards’. This will show that your company ‘focuses on the bottom line’ and is thinking ‘outside the box’, or better still ‘outside of the box’. Check Technorati for the latest hot buzzwords and apply those to your product/company. Hot terms right now? SaaS, gaming, social networking and Britney Spears. An ideal product would link all 4 of these.
- Analysts are all the same – time spent reading their research or confirming the agenda is time wasted. Instead, use that time to build your slide deck and script (set aside a whole lunch break). Stick to the script throughout the briefing – it’s your railroad to success!
- They’ve been waiting just for you – this means two things: first, expect an immediate reply e-mail following your briefing request (if you don’t get one – mail them again. And again!). Second, they will read up on your company, so during the briefing you can skip the context and dive straight into a discussion of the code base.
- Silence is golden – analyst quiet for the whole briefing? Congratulations! You’ve struck gold! They’re riveted by your presentation (any keyboard tapping you hear is avid note taking). If they do interrupt with a question, tell them to wait to the end. That content won’t cover itself!
- Fire and forget – covering the ground is what matters. Once you’ve presented, get on to chasing the next analyst.
I hope you appreciate these hard-learned lessons. I wish you as much success as I have had with my briefings! (I have frequently been told that they are “like nothing else I have ever heard”!).
Of course, if you want another view point, check these postings:
- Yankee Group’s Jason Corsello on using jargon.
- Jason Corsello’s rules on the vendor pitch – rather like my rules, only a bit better.
- Forrester’s Charlene Li’s tips on how to get a briefing
- Reaction to Gartner’s 2006 bid to limit vendor briefings to 30 minutes.
- 10 top tips on making a technology briefing.