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Anonymous Guest Post: More Vendor Briefing Advice

by Anton Chuvakin  |  October 22, 2018  |  Submit a Comment

A little bird landed on my desk, and it had the below clutched in its little beak. The text looks like it was written by a fellow analyst:

Dear Vendor:

Thanks so much for your briefing today. You obviously put a lot of work into your slide deck. However, you forgot that here in Gartner we have analysts that love market information and investment numbers and growth forecasts, and analysts that prefer to see the product. I’m one of the latter. I’m also aware that sometimes, some of these ‘customers love us slides’ come from Gartner competitors. While I understand how important it is to you that customers love you, you really need to think about your evidence. Comparing your MSSP and consulting services arm to AWS isn’t really comparing apples to apples, and if you don’t understand that, then it worries me how you think you’re promoting your business. I have to say that, because I can’t comment on our competitors use of data to create that chart for you in the first place. So please don’t take my irritation that we were half an hour into the call before you even listed your products as a personal ad hominem attack, but please, get your AR team to brief you better before you try and brief me.

Whilst we’re on the topic of preparation, demos of product are always good (if they work), but you really need to do two things to make them effective and endear us to you and them.

Firstly – leave enough time for them, focus on your core and differentiating functionality, and be prepared to answer clearly such questions as ‘why do you think that the future of security is cloud / blockchain / AI, rather than anything else’ or ‘you use AI? Great – now what does AI mean in your product’. You’re talking to technical people, at some point you’ll need to get technical.

Secondly, plan your demo resource carefully. It’s not a good idea to use live data in a demo, especially not for a security or privacy product. It’s especially not a good idea to use live data from one of your sensitive customers.

And finally. A one hour VB that’s been cut down to 20 useful minutes because of marketing slides and a flaky demo isn’t really enough to give me any insight. So when I ask for slides, user/admin manuals, relevant white papers, deeper insight, try and figure out a way to respond that helps me. If I don’t know about a product I’m not going to talk about it with clients, positively or negatively. So you don’t get any visibility with clients. It’s all for you really, not me. So buck up your ideas.

Thanks ever so, look forward to next time….

Enjoy!

P.S. Emphasis added by Anton, not by the original anonymous author.

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Anton Chuvakin
Research VP and Distinguished Analyst
5+ years with Gartner
17 years IT industry

Anton Chuvakin is a Research VP and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner's GTP Security and Risk Management group. Before Mr. Chuvakin joined Gartner, his job responsibilities included security product management, evangelist… Read Full Bio




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