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Can you share your tips on making a great analyst briefing deck?

I'm about to make my companies first analyst briefing deck. I've made them in the past but want to make a really kick ass one this time around.
Steve Feyer
Steve Feyer
Eightfold Product Marketing DirectorJanuary 10

Afraid that this is a confidential item I can't share---sorry! A few thoughts though about how we do this well (and I have to credit a colleague, Michael Dunne, who does this work and is an exceptional AR expert).

1) Sales slides: If they're good enough to sell with, they should be good enough for the analyst.

2) Growth & leadership: Show your momentum, your success, your profile in your market. Anything you'd show to a potential investor here too. Be bold without lying...

3) Format like the analyst: See what the analyst has published themselves and structure any custom slides in the way you think the analyst would create them. For example, some analysts love charts of data, others like consulting-y flow charts.

Hope that helps a bit!

Christine Tran
Christine Tran
Quantum Metric VP, Product MarketingJuly 28

I covered the basic flow of an introductory briefing deck in another question. I'd be happy to connect with you 1-1 to walk through yours and share a bit of mine :) Find me on LinkedIn!

I've found 3 things that have really helped me have good analyst briefings.

  1. Being very thoughtful and very direct about why I've requested a briefing with that analyst. This gives the analyst context on why they should care about your solution, i.e. if you do a good job connecting the dots. As an example: You wrote X in Y report, and that's exactly what our customers tell us we solve for them. I thought it'd be helpful for your research to share how we do that... Or, You wrote X in Y report, and I found that very insightful and I'd love to share a slightly different take on it with how we do it and get your feedback on it in a follow up inquiry.
  2. Use this opportunity to share a unique POV. I love working with analysts because I learn so much from them. At the same time, they are also learning a lot about the market and the ecosystem by talking to customers and vendors as well. A brefing is an opportunity to educate analysts not just on your product, but on the customer problem you're solving. They care about customer problems, how customers are solving those problems, and trends/shifts in the technology landscape. That's how you wave yourself into the conversation.
  3. Customer stories. Customer stories. Customer stories. My rule of thumb is always include customer stories in your analyst briefings. If you don't have case studies yet, even quotes from prospects on the problem you're solving. Something, anything! Analysts care more about their clients, the problems you're helping their clients solve, and their research which hopefully you are making them smarter about.
  4. Competitive differentiation and/or where you "fit" in the ecosystem. This is about connecting the dots, being very transparent, and getting to brass tacks ;) They're going to put you somewhere. They're going to compare you with others. They're going to hear about you from customers. Be direct about your competitors (who you come up against in deals, who you anticipate), where you're different, and if there's not a clear category you fall in, where you fit (overlap, integrate) in the broader ecosystem of adjacent technologies. If you are still developing this, involve them in the process. It's a win-win because they enjoy this type of advisory, are very knowledgeable about the ecosystem, and it's great to include (and influence) them on your journey.
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Dana Foster Chery
Dana Foster Chery
Samsara Vice President, MarketingFebruary 8

The best analyst briefing decks that I've either seen or helped build are not filled with marketing messaging. They clearly layout what analysts typically care about, which could include the following: trends you've observed in market you operate in, the challenges your product(s) solves, overview of your growth trajectory, industries you touch plus key use cases for each, unique differentiators, and insight into the product & (high level) GTM strategy and company vision. 

Other elements I'd suggest: Include customer success stories, lay out the ecosystem that supports your products (ie. partners, integrations, develop engagement), and share how you support your customers. Also, it may seem obvious, but I'd caution against including stats/proof points that were produced by another analyst firm. In general, have a clear agenda that includes space for Q&A and listening to their feedback. 

Nikhil Balaraman
Nikhil Balaraman
Roofstock Senior Director Product MarketingMarch 21

I think the mistake here is making it too long. I’d suggest an inverse triangle approach, and keep it short depending on the length and purpose of your briefing, probably no more than 5-10 slides. My typical lay out is:

  1. Company slide (founded in, team, key logos, etc)
  2. Market context (TAM/SAM/SOM as needed)
  3. Problem statement: Key persona & pain points
  4. Unique perspective: What’s your thesis/why you
  5. Product overview: Perhaps a traditional marchitecture slide to start and then some screenshots or even better a 10min product demo walking thru a fictional user problem
  6. Customer case study, ideally with metrics
  7. End on questions/discussion points you have for the analyst

As you think thru your talk track, make sure to really frame your language in the same language that the analyst your talking to uses. Talk about the category the same way they do, and just be honest with them about your products strengths and weaknesses. Analysts are curious people and enjoy learning about new things, they will ask you lots of questions. Make sure that you’re giving them the right path of questioning to go down so that you can also take away valuable insights from the conversion!

Daniel Kuperman
Daniel Kuperman
Atlassian Head of Core Product Marketing & GTM, ITSM SolutionsDecember 20

While briefing decks may vary, I believe there are a few key elements that you should consider to make it a 'kick-ass' deck:

- company overview

- solution overview

- competitive landscape

- customer proof points

- demo

- Q&A

First, you start with an overview of your company. You don’t need to tell the entire founding story and should focus on the key facts to tell the analyst how long you’ve been in the market, how many employees you have, how much revenue - if you can share - and key markets you operate. You basically need to give the analyst a good idea of who the company is and how big of a player you are in the market. -> Note: if this is not the first briefing to the analyst team, you may skip this part unless something significant (e.g. new executive team, new offices, etc.) took place since the last briefing. 

Then, you go through your solution and here’s where you want to talk about what problem you are solving for what particular persona and market and how your product can uniquely solve that particular problem. 

This then leads you to discuss how you see the competitive landscape and why your company is better or different or why you think other vendors in the market are falling short. 

Then, you showcase a few customers as proof points about everything you just said. This is to show that is not just you saying you are good or better, you have customers that back you up. 

Now that you have told the analysts why should they care, is time to show them your product in a live demo. Here you want to avoid going too deep in specific features and toggles and make sure you highlight not just the overall user experience but show the capabilities that make you unique and support the story you just told. 

And last, leave a few minutes for a Q&A. The briefing is typically a one-sided afair, in which you talk and the analysts listen but they may want to dive deeper into different product areas or something you showed them. Make sure to pace yourself and rehearse the briefing with the team that will be supporting you. 

Jackie Palmer
Jackie Palmer
Pendo VP Product MarketingApril 4

There are three types of analyst briefing decks you need to be able to prepare. The first is a quarterly update. I use these quarterly briefings to stay in touch with my analyst community and share new things that have happened in the quarter. I usually do them at the end of the first month of the next quarter so the revenue numbers are ready. My agenda for this type of briefing deck is:

  • Quarter Business Momentum - use this to communicate any growth and numbers you can share. I've found that even in private companies my CFO is willing to let me share numbers with the analysts as they are under NDA. And it's in your best interest to share because otherwise they will make stuff up based on their interpretation of the "market" which is usually wrong. I share quarterly revenue, YOY growth, number of customers > some ARR (like $100k), NRR if you have it etc.

  • New Wins - use this to show a few examples of how you beat your competitors this quarter. I include who you competed against, who was the incumbent, the business problem the prospect was trying to solve, and why they chose you. This way you can highlight your differentiators and your competitive momentum.

  • Product (or other) Updates and Roadmap - use a few slides to share the big things you've released in the quarter, or other big announcements like events. Then show an updated roadmap for what's to come in the current quarter or next 6 months.

The next type of analyst briefing I usually do is a product update. Use this to keep the analysts up to date between quarterly briefings on anything big being released or use it to catch new analysts up on what you currently offer. You could do this prior to a big release as a special preview and sometimes the analysts are even willing to give you quotes for your press releases. The agenda for these briefings will change depending on whether it's an overview or a specific release product update. Make sure to include customer case studies and/or use cases and ideally be able to show momentum from beta customers or early purchasers.

The last type of briefing and maybe arguably the most important is the evaluation briefing like for an MQ or Wave. Here you should structure your agenda EXACTLY as they have outlined. I've seen vendors who stray from what the analysts ask for and fail in being able to hit all the things in the time allotted. Another hint is to title each slide with the agenda item so the analysts can follow along. They have a checklist they are going off of for the evaluation and it is much easier for them to follow along and check you off if you leave them breadcrumbs. A sample agenda I've used for an MQ is:

  • Key differentiators - be concise here, pick your top three and show a slide on them before you get into the product stuff. You'll need to follow their requests exactly here and have slides for product capabilities, business model, services and support - whatever they ask for. In this section you can also include a slide that calls out a few key customer results, a slide that shows a few of your company awards, you can show your Gartner Peer Insights ratings (or Glassdoor ratings if they're good) etc

  • Significant changes - show any YOY growth, customer numbers, major new hires, new markets/industries entered into and other company related things

  • Mergers and acquisitions

  • Major product changes/innovations - you won't have time to go through everything so a hint is to use a table/list to show all the new releases but bold or outline only the biggest and talk through them. The analysts will only evaluate you on what you show on your slides so you can use the slides to show more than you actually talk about here. I like to have my Chief Product Officer do this section

  • Roadmap - same as above, show more than you actually talk about and bold/highlight the biggest things in some way. You can have your CPO cover product vision here too

  • Top three reasons for selecting your company - don't just state the three reasons, show some examples. I like to pull the competitive customer wins I've shown in the quarterly briefings and marry them up to the top 3 reasons/differentiators. The more customer results/wins you can show throughout the briefing the better!

  • Go-to-market strategy - This is where you can highlight anything exciting you are doing in sales, service and marketing. Also show your customer stats and logos

  • Pricing and packaging - you should not just show your pricing model here, you should say why it's different and what value it brings to the customer/prospect

  • A summary closing slide - reiterate what the top 3 differentiators you showed them at the beginning and add a customer stat or quote

  • Appendix: integrations, customer stories, roadmap details - make sure to talk about what's in the appendix and even page through it if you have time. Remember the more you can show, even if you don't read off everything on the slide, the better

Abner Germanow
Abner Germanow
Stealth FounderSeptember 25

I've been on both sides of the table. Before you set pixels to powerpoint...

#1 - What questions do you have for the analyst to help validate or refute your assumptions about the market? 

#2 - Can you describe the customer problem and your offering clearly enough that when a customer who fits your ideal target calls the analyst, the analyst thinks of you.

#3 - Do you have a unquie perspective or better yet data on customer behaviors that would help the analyst do their job more effectively?

#4 - Have you read the recent research of the key analysts you will be briefing?

#5 - How is your snizzle different / better / cheaper than what the analyst already knows well?  

Some good posts on the topic:

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