Analyst relations (AR) professionals have a lot on their plates and a lot on their minds!

That’s why every quarter, we host a virtual AR “Open Session.” It gives AR pros the floor — an opportunity to meet and swap ideas with fellow practitioners across the globe. These hour-long sessions are unrecorded and a time to be unfiltered about what’s on your mind: from program challenges and opportunities, to contract negotiations, to generative AI use cases, and a lot more. You can ask “What’s the latest?” and “What are others experiencing?” and share your own insights, too.

Our most recent Open Session covered a wide range of topics, including working with research firm account reps, measuring AR’s value and enhancing sales enablement. 

One topic/trend that jumped out is something we’ve seen reflected among our own clients: AR having more responsibility for peer reviews programs.

In particular, as customer/user review data on Gartner Peer Insights increasingly informs Magic Quadrants — and with more markets there now eligible for Voice of the Customer reports — more AR pros find themselves heavily involved in (or even owning) peer reviews programs. These programs often extend beyond Gartner Peer Insights: encompassing driving and leveraging reviews on G2, PeerSpot, TrustRadius and other platforms.

This added responsibility brings with it some questions and concerns from AR pros:

  • How do we balance peer reviews with other activities? One participant mentioned that the peer reviews program now occupies half of their time: necessitating a trade-off in activities, and meaning that analyst communications and interaction volume have taken a hit the past couple quarters.
  • Which platforms should we focus on? Another participant noted their CMO wants them to have a focus on all of them, while citing the need to tier and prioritize. 
  • How can you drive a consistent cadence of reviews without exhausting happy customers? Some AR pros noted they’ve gotten sales leadership involved (for example, holding reps accountable for securing one Gartner Peer Insights review in their territory per quarter). Others recommended broadening the group you approach: for example, thinking about user reviews vs. company reviews, and approaching multiple satisfied users within the same company.

In addition to offering software that consolidates customer reviews from across platforms (making it easier to cultivate references and stay on top of what’s being said), ARInsights also has peer reviews experts on our ServicePlus team. Given the wide interest in this topic, we posed some questions to Patty Wind, our VP of Services, and wanted to share her nuggets of expertise:

Q: For AR pros who now find themselves tasked with peer reviews programs, too, how can they best balance it all?

Patty Wind: AR pros should prioritize their key markets for Peer Insights and other peer review platforms — as they may be in several Peer Insights markets, but not all may be crucial for participation. If there is an upcoming Magic Quadrant or Market Guide in a particular market, that should be the priority, and you should work to source reviews in advance of the kickoff for that research. It’s important to get an early view on what the competition is doing in that market too, and plan your cadence accordingly. 

Q: For AR pros who find themselves newly tasked with peer review management, what are some of the first must-do’s? What might be some quick wins?

Patty Wind: Seek out internal contacts in sales and customer marketing who can help you identify customers who may be willing to leave a review. Make it easy for those colleagues to make the ask, with templates and background documents that will inform the customer about what to expect. You want to make sure the customer feels well prepared and knowledgeable about the process, so that they will move forward with the review, and will be sure to fill out what is required for the review to be approved by Gartner or other platforms. 

Q: Which groups, across the organization, often collaborate on peer reviews programs to help drive success? Who can AR pros tap for support?

Patty Wind: Customer marketing/customer success and sales can help to drive the peer reviews program. Find out about already existing touchpoints with customers within your organization, and determine how your peer review requests can be integrated into these touchpoints. For example, if customer success has a regular touchpoint where they survey the customer on satisfaction, insert an automated request for a peer review into that process.