As a B2B Marketer you are looking to glean insights from quantitative and qualitative market research to give your company a competitive advantage. But are you asking the right questions when conducting your B2B market research? Do you have an accurate understanding of the market landscape in which you operate? Have you learnt how to navigate the obstacles and challenges of the industry? Are you able to engage other sales reps who have worked at similar companies who can offer insight? Let’s take a look at the top 5 challenges, resources and ideal questions to ask when working with B2B market research lead generation.
Top 5 Industry Challenges
B2B Market researchers have to deal with many obstacles in yielding strategic foresight from buyer insight. Some of the major challenges include:
1. Sample Sizes: It’s often difficult to find large sample sizes of the right kinds of people who are prepared to share information with you. This is a huge obstacle for effective quantitative analysis.
2. Bottom line claustrophobia: The pressure to hit sales targets can stifle one’s ability to be truly customer focused. Lead generating insights are often lost as the year end approaches and the walls close in.
3. Drowning in Info: Too many pie charts, not enough pie. There is so much information flooding the workplace and not enough meaty insights.
4. Forgetting the fingerprint: No two businesses are alike. The decisions each team makes are based on a unique set of factors that affect them specifically (location, company size etc.). If you put all of these vastly different businesses in the same enormous pot, the results might be meaningless.
5. Against the clock: You’ve got great questions that, if answered, would provide detailed information but the right people can’t give you the time. They are the business owners or executives who can accurately answer your high-level strategic questions but they are pressed for time and are not often able to answer your questions.
Top 5 B2B Market Research Resources at your Disposal
Are you making use of all of the B2B market research possibilities at your fingertips?
Interviewing Stakeholders: This is a sure fire, tried and tested method of gathering your B2B marketing research that will yield in-depth information. Straight from the horse’s mouth – albeit sometimes anecdotal.
Online Surveys: You can use easy to use online tools like SurveyMonkey to generate this useful resource. Depending on the size of your database and the precision of your questions, surveys can yield valuable B2B market research information.
Google: This is a simple and basic tool to find out what people in your market are looking for on the net. The Google Analytics keyword tool, Google Trends and even Google Search can sometimes offer up a bit of lucky research like newly published qualitative research relevant to your field.
DaaS Technology: This essential data-as-a-service technology provides leading insights and analytics for B2B marketing professionals, giving you precise information about the people in B2B companies and what they are reading, downloading and searching for online.
Talking with Ex-Sellers: Engaging with ex-sales reps from rival companies to ascertain whether you really have your finger on the pulse of your specific industry. Perhaps they dealt with exactly the same problems or perhaps they encountered totally unique issues.
Top 5 Questions to Ask
In an ideal world you might manage to set up an interview with an ex-sales rep from your competitor with information providing invaluable insights to bolster your B2B market research. This is a vastly underutilized asset.
If you truly want to understand your markets landscape you need to engage former sales reps of rival companies. “Talking with ex-sellers can bring powerful market, competitive intelligence and customer insights.” (Source)
Are you sure you are going to ask the right questions? Don’t ask only quantitative questions that will limit the information you receive. Stay away from leading questions that will only get you the response you want – a skewed finding. Most especially you need to make sure you are engaging with the right person.
- What market trends do they see in the future?
- How long were service contracts and how long was the sales process along the way?
- What pricing structures appeared to resonate the best with clients?
- For go-to-market efforts, who was the best partner to work with? Who brought the most leads?
- What buying criteria did clients have?
When you are armed with the right questions interviewing the right people, using the right resources you are right on track to demystifying B2B market research. Take a look at these additional hot tips and marketing tactics in our monthly Marketing Round Up articles.