How influenced are your buyers by tech analysts like Gartner and Forrester and consulting firms like KPMG, EY, Deloitte, and Accenture? Said another way, how much should I as an enterprise software CMO invest here?

Here are a few patterns I see in buyer behavior:

List building is heavily influenced by reports like the Forrester Wave and Gartner Magic Quadrant. They are a critical input to the buyer research that can eventually lead to a first sales call.

But their influence varies. Some experienced buyers want to cut short the typical long list / short list process. So they’ll use their own preferences to short list a few vendors. And there are others who perceive analyst bias toward large, established vendors. They seek out “emerging” startups and the newest technology with google searches, etc.

Here’s the thing though. Being included in the buyer’s guide is one thing; winning selection decisions is quite another.

And this is where I see tech analysts have critical influence. Because of anchoring bias, even after demos and scorecarding and POCs, buyers often come back to the analysts’ take on pros and cons they heard or read very early on when making a selection decision.

So back to my original question — how much should you as an enterprise software CMO invest here?

Do what it takes to get covered in the market research reports if you’re not already. And if you’re in the reports, know the analysts’ take on your offering and proactively address their issues in your marketing and sales process, at minimum.


This short post is part of our series called How The Buyer Sees It. We’re revealing the buyer’s perspective on the puzzles that keep our clients up at night.