Inquiry Sessions FAQ

Introduction to Inquiry Sessions

What is an Inquiry Session?

Inquiry Sessions (or Inquiries) are engagements with a Forrester analyst, either scheduled as 30-minute phone/video conference or delivered via an email response. Inquiry Sessions are designed to address questions based on the analyst’s research and areas of expertise. The scope of each Inquiry Session covers one to three specific questions including:

  • Questions about a technology or services market (customer trend, competitive dynamic, prediction, or big idea) and the implications for our clients.
  • Questions about a technology.
  • Questions about a specific piece of Forrester research available in a client’s service offering.
  • Questions about an analyst’s research agenda or coverage. For more details, please see the section below on using inquiries to address research plans.

Inquiry Sessions may not be used to:

  • Address the frameworks, models, and best practices exclusively available in the Forrester Decisions portfolio. Clients who wish to discuss these topics may subscribe to our Forrester Decisions services and discuss these topics in Guidance Sessions.
  • Brief analysts on technology and services offerings. Briefings are reserved for our briefings process, available to clients and non-clients. See the sections below on Briefings, and our Briefing FAQs.
  • Conduct detailed document or messaging reviewsInquiries are a time to ask questions and have conversations with our analysts. Detailed document and messaging reviews are reserved for our advisory and consulting services.   
  • Discuss Wave details. Waves are managed through a detailed Wave methodology. Following this methodology provides equal opportunities to all Wave participants. While clients may use inquiry sessions to ask about the general timing and focus of upcoming Waves, we will not discuss criteria, scoring, nor will we take scorecard feedback during inquiry sessions.

Do I have access to Inquiry Sessions?

Inquiry Sessions are reserved exclusively for Forrester clients with Inquiry access, as defined by the terms of your licensing agreement. This includes Forrester Market Insights Leader, Forrester Market Insights Emerging Grow Leader, and Forrester Tech Industry, Age of the Customer, BT Research, and M&S Research Member license holders. Check your registered products to see if you can schedule Inquiry Sessions.

Contact your Forrester account administrator or account team if you cannot schedule Inquiry Sessions but would like to. Contact us if you do not know your Forrester account administrator or account team.

How do I submit an Inquiry Session request?

The easiest way to schedule an Inquiry Session is to submit your request through our form accessed through the Connect with an Expert button found at the bottom of all reports and most pages on the Forrester platform. See below for details on the type of information Forrester needs to route your request to the appropriate analyst.

What information should I include in my request?

Be specific about your challenges and your goal of the Inquiry Session. Whenever possible, please provide your business objective, as that helps us put your request in context and deliver a more personalized response. Submit one to three questions. For example:

  • I’m working on my company’s strategic plan. We would like some insight on the US Tech Market Outlook report. Can you provide a bit more detail on the numbers behind Cloud Spend vs On-Premise spend?
  • I’m working on the messaging for our new threat intelligence solution. We would like to engage with an analyst to gain more insight into the threat intelligence landscape.
  • We’re expanding the scope of our Commerce solution. How do you see the demand for offerings like Social Commerce? What are buyers expecting in this market?
  • I want to understand the market dynamics that will affect my products next year. Is there meaningful innovation happening in the Enterprise Content Management market? What are the biggest customer pain points that still need to be addressed?

How often can I submit a request?

Clients can submit Inquiry Session requests as needed, typically after reading new research, participating in a webinar, or attending an event.

Inquiry Sessions are designed as 30-minute engagements. To ensure our analysts can provide equal access to all clients, back-to-back inquiry sessions or multiple inquiry sessions on the same topic are prohibited. If we find that your needs extend beyond what we can provide in a typical 30-minute inquiry session we will recommend other options to engage more deeply with Forrester analysts or consultants.

The Inquiry Session Experience

What should I expect during an Inquiry Session?

After a brief introduction, you and the analyst will discuss your questions and any additional context you can provide, such as business goals. Please do not assume the analyst knows your full set of questions or business needs in advance of the call. By interacting with you and asking more detailed questions, we can better understand your objectives.

Inquiry Sessions can last up to 30 minutes. Clients may choose the format of their inquiry (whether phone, VC, or email). Clients may also choose between a Forrester-provided dial-in/VC or use their own. Inquiry session email responses are short (3-7 sentence) responses to your questions. Follow up questions must be submitted as additional inquiry requests.

What if the analyst can’t help with my request?

If your questions fall outside our coverage areas, we will contact you as soon as possible. Analysts will outline what they can and cannot respond to, and you may decide if you’d like to proceed with the inquiry.

Analysts will decline Inquiry Sessions if they are not covering the topic or market in question. They may also decline the request if clients do not have a specific question, if the scope of the request is too broad for a 30-minute discussion, or if the questions relate to Forrester products and services that the client has not purchased.

Inquiry Session Terms of Use

Can I set up an Inquiry Session with more than one analyst?

No. Our clients find that their best inquiry experience is a conversation with a single analyst. If you’re interested in sessions with a broader number of Forrester experts, contact your account manager or our Customer Success team.

Can I invite others to participate in my Inquiry Session phone call?

Inquiry Sessions are reserved exclusively for Forrester clients with Inquiry access, as defined by the terms of your licensing agreement. There are numerous other ways to include your colleagues in sessions with a Forrester analyst. If you’re interested in a broader conversation with Forrester experts, contact your account manager or our Customer Success team.

If multiple attendees join an inquiry session, Forrester will record and share their names with your Forrester account team and account administrator. If we notice attendance from colleagues without inquiry access, we will recommend they consider a license appropriate for their needs.

If you intend to invite a third-party organization to your inquiry session (PR agency, AR organization, etc.), they must also have purchased a Forrester license with inquiry access. Third parties are currently allowed to attend inquiry sessions only with advance notification: please note the third party’s intention to join the inquiry, and describe their connection to your organization in your inquiry request. Inquiry sessions are designed to address the needs of a single stakeholder organizing the inquiry, so any third party should attend to listen only.

Can I schedule Inquiry Sessions and have colleagues attend on my behalf?

No. As defined by the terms of your licensing agreement, the Forrester license holder must attend Inquiry Sessions they schedule. If the license holder has a conflict and would like a colleague to attend the in their place, our recommendation is to reschedule. If rescheduling is not possible, we will consider an exception, but this should not become a regular or frequent need.

We will contact VIP Leaders or Leaders who regularly or frequently schedule Inquiry Sessions but don’t attend to understand the context. We will also notify their Forrester account administrator. We may suggest that the colleague(s) who attend in their absence of the license holder purchase or upgrade into their own Forrester user license.

In some unique cases a company with Inquiry Session access may seek to have a third party participate in or conduct an Inquiry Session. This must be done with advance written approval from Forrester’s Customer Success team.

Can I have an analyst review my documents in an Inquiry Session?

Document Reviews are a distinct type of Inquiry Session, reserved for Forrester’s BT Research and Age of the Customer Research Member license holders. Document reviews are not available to Forrester Tech Industry or Forrester Market Insights license holders. In Document Reviews, Analysts will review up to 20 pages of the following: RFPs and responses to RFPs, Vendor proposals, Contracts (hardware, software, telecom services, outsourcing, and consulting), and Planning documents (strategy documents and presentations). Document Review scope is limited to one to three specific questions related to the document the analyst reviews.

If we think you will be better served through by a more comprehensive review of your document than can be managed via a 30-minute conversation, we may recommend that you conduct a Forrester Advisory or Consulting engagement.

Can I record my Inquiry Session conversation?

No. Forrester clients may take notes but not record Inquiry Sessions.

Can I use an Inquiry Session to brief an Analyst?

No. Inquiry Sessions are designed to answer specific questions or discuss research, while briefings are designed to inform analysts about a product, service offering, or event. Analysts may accept or deny briefings based on their research agenda or calendar availability. For this reason, slideware presentations are reserved for briefings. If your goal is to brief our analysts, please work through our briefing process.

Can I use an Inquiry to get feedback on my messaging?

Inquiry sessions are not designed to provide detailed feedback on a client’s messaging.  Detailed feedback on these topics is reserved for Forrester’s Advisory and Consulting Services.

Clients may request, and analysts may offer, some general feedback on strategy, messaging, and previously scheduled engagements (like briefings and advisory sessions) as part of an Inquiry Session. This feedback is high-level in nature and based only on an analyst’s impressions of the interaction, not a detailed analysis.  For example, inquiry clients may ask about the relevance of the message, check alignment with the analyst’s research findings, or get thoughts on future opportunities. Clients should arrange these inquiries with the lead analyst on the briefing, not every analyst that attended the briefing.

Can I use Inquiry Sessions to talk to an analyst about their upcoming research plans?

Please do this selectively. We recommend starting with the planned research tool to view Forrester’s upcoming research for the next 12 months. If you still believe it is necessary to speak with the Analyst about their research plans, schedule an Inquiry Session for 30 minutes.

Research agenda check-ins are subject to analyst availability. We may also decline requests to speak to analysts who do not cover your specific questions, market, or area of focus.

Should I use a Forrester Inquiry Session to discuss whether my company’s product will be included in an upcoming Wave report?

No. Waves are research reports that are planned months in advance of publication. Companies are screened for participation in Waves as part a comprehensive review of the market landscape, objective screening criteria, and a strict methodology. There is no need to schedule time with analysts to discuss Wave participation and analysts may decline

Comparing Inquiry Sessions To Other Forrester Services

What’s the difference between an Inquiry Session and a Research Request?

A Research Request is a complimentary service available to all Forrester seat holders. It is distinct from an Inquiry Session. In a Research Request, a Customer Success Specialist will locate the most relevant published research for a client’s business needs. You can submit your question at forrester.com and will receive a response within two business days.

What’s the difference between an Inquiry Session and a Briefing?

Briefings enable technology and service providers to update Forrester about their firm’s strategic developments such as new product releases or acquisitions. Analyst participation is based on their interest and availability. There is no fee for this service.

Briefings are an opportunity for technology and service providers to present to Forrester, but they are not interactive sessions. Briefing requests can be submitted by both Forrester clients and non-clients by submitting an online form or by sending an email to briefings@forrester.com.

By contrast, an Inquiry Session is an engagement with a Forrester analyst, either scheduled as a 30-minute phone call or delivered via an email response. Inquiry Sessions are only available to Forrester clients with Inquiry Session access. Inquiry sessions may not be used to brief analysts.

What’s the difference between an Inquiry Session and an Advisory engagement?

Inquiry Sessions provide quick access to a Forrester analyst, enabling you to ask specific questions about existing research in a conversational format. Advisory engagements take a more strategic approach to the analyst’s area of expertise through more detailed interactive sessions, and are considered a part of Forrester’s Consulting Services. If we believe the scope of your questions go beyond what we can answer in a 30-minute inquiry session, we may suggest an Advisory engagement.

Can I use Inquiry Sessions to Get Feedback From Multiple Analysts on My Company Strategy or Recent Event?

Clients with inquiry session access may use an online or phone-based survey to collect feedback from multiple analysts on a limited basis. These “perception” surveys are typically designed to gather tactical feedback from analysts and are not a replacement for analyst interactions like advisory sessions.

Clients seeking to conduct these surveys should submit the request to our inquiry service (inquiry@forrester.com) and copy their Forrester sales representative. The following limitations apply:

  • Clients should limit the surveys to one survey per account per year.
  • Surveys must be limited to a maximum of 10 analysts per survey.
  • Surveys may take no more than 20 minutes for an analyst to complete.
  • Surveys should be mostly “close-ended” questions and/or allow for 1-2 sentence responses. Surveys should always include an option for analysts to pass on questions if they are not able to respond.
  • The stakeholder running the survey must be a Forrester client with inquiry access.
  • Survey results may only be used for the benefit of the client with the inquiry service.
  • Survey results are for the internal use of the client with inquiry service and may not be used in any external communications.

In your inquiry request to inquiry@forrester.com:

  • Submit the survey or provide a summary of the survey focus and number of questions.
  • Submit a list of analysts you would like to survey. Please limit your surveys to the most relevant analysts. (Note: if analysts do not feel they have enough information to complete the survey, they may decline the request.)
  • If the survey will be run by a third party, submit the name of the company and the nature of your relationship (e.g., PR agency, strategy consultant).
  • If you are requesting an exception to the limitations listed above, please submit the request with the term “Perception Audit Exception Request”, explaining the reason.