Looking back through our history, we’ve answered hundreds of market research questions for our clients. We’ve done projects for scores of sales and marketing leaders, product and channel managers, and C-level executives.

As we looked back through our research, we began to see certain questions pop up over and over again, while others gained importance with current events.

Now we’ve decided to share some of our favorite questions with the world. Each one these questions can form the basis for a sharp project that uncovers key, strategic insights.

Stakeholder Role

  • What percent of the buyer’s journey is marketing vs. sales (in our industry)?
  • How do I merge social selling with social marketing?
  • Should I change how we score leads?
  • With all these changes do I have the right amount of staff?
  • Do I have the right budget?
  • I’m outspending the CIO, how do I prove it’s worth it?
  • How do I benchmark my MarTech stack?
  • What does the competitive landscape look like?
  • How are we positioned in buyers’ minds?
  • Do our buyer personas need updating?
  • Is there a new buyer persona we need to consider?
  • What channels should we invest in?
  • Is email marketing dead or alive?
  • How do we do more with video?
  • How should we deal with ad blocking?
  • Which pieces of my content are evergreen?
  • How can I effectively promote my content marketing?
  • How do we avoid “content shock”?
  • How do we benchmark our content marketing?
  • Has there been a change in how competitors are pricing or discounting?
  • How and when were partners involved in the sales process?
  • How are free to paid conversations handled? What tactics are used to push up-sells?
  • How big is our competitor’s sales team?
  • How do our buyers educate themselves on offerings?
  • How do our potential clients generate a short list?
  • How is support handled by our competition? Are customers happy with the result?
  • How is the competitor’s sales team structured – inside vs. outside, regional, etc.?
  • How much does the customer want to pay for support and maintenance?
  • How much of a factor was price in the purchasing decision?
  • How often do we lose to do-it-yourself?
  • How often do we lose to ‘do nothing’?
  • How often does our competitor win? What is a typical deal size, etc.?
  • How often is the organization engaged with after initial sign-up (upsell)?”
  • How would our customers measure and validate a successful deployment?
  • Was this a buy based on best-of-breed or ecosystem, etc.?
  • What are our customers’ and our competitors’ customers’ key buying criteria?
  • What business challenges do our clients face by industry?
  • What functionality was lacking in the solution that customers ultimately chose?
  • What portion of that sales motion can we emulate?
  • What purchase model do customers want – perpetual, subscription (i.e. service), etc.?
  • Which features are customers using more than expected?
  • Which features is the organization not using even though they were considered a key reason for purchase?
  • Which of our competitors has a great sales motion?
  • Which vendor personas does a buyer persona prefer to interact with?
  • What are typical jobs that a customer needs to get done?
  • What are the new jobs that a target organization needs to get done?
  • Who is the primary audience for the product? Who is secondary?
  • What features are going to lead to the most new customers?
  • What features are “table stakes” for each buyer persona and industry segment?
  • What metrics will organizations use to measure a successful deployment of the solution?
  • Can we plug platform or product holes with solutions from our partners?
  • What is our competitor’s roadmap?
  • What kind of market opportunity does this product truly have?
  • What is the expected lifespan of the product we are launching?
  • Are their regulatory or compliance concerns that would affect the uptake of our product / service?
  • Does our solution need to be heavily customized to meet the needs of every target industry?
  • What should our API strategy be?
  • How can we make onboarding easier?
  • How will migration be handled?
  • What are the expectations for upgrades and maintenance releases?
  • What kind of support models are customers looking for?
  • How do we keep support in sync with a product that changes so frequently?
  • How do we rate on reliability?
  • How do we rate on scalability?
  • How do we rate on security?
  • How do we rate on manageability?
  • How do we rate on usability?
  • How can we benchmark our own development effort?
  • What kind of pricing models are customers looking for? Subscription, perpetual, both?
  • How can we make our product in such a way that it aligns with the agile movement?
  • What degree of instrumentation will customers allow?
  • Is it time to kill this product? (Is it a zombie?)
  • How do we keep partners appropriately informed?
  • How do they want to keep us informed?
  • How do we train partners on the solutions we have?
  • Which partner(s) are driving the most revenue?
  • How many of our partners are also running with the enemy?
  • Do any of our partners seem ready to co-create with us?
  • What should we beg, borrow, or steal from competing partner programs?
  • Can we offer something other than $ or leads to our partners?
  • How do competitors’ certification programs differ from ours? Harder, easier, differentiated?
  • How do our partners want to access support?
  • Are our partners more successful in certain parts of the world?
  • How do our partners want to be informed about new opportunities (leads)?
  • How good are we at pre-sales support for partner led deals?
  • How good are we at post-sales support for partner led deals?
  • How do we merge our analytics with that of partners?
  • How do we effectively benchmark the maturity of our program?
  • How well are we handling channel conflict?
  • How do partners rate our marketing support?
  • How do we move our partners from product sales to service sales?
  • How do we continue to grow?
  • How do we beat our competition?
  • When is it time to scale back a business unit (i.e. cash cow)?
  • How can we enhance our BI / Analytics / Forecasting capabilities?
  • How can we find better (and more) talent?
  • Are we at risk of a cyber attack? If so, what can we do to prevent it?
  • How do we deal with increasing regulation and compliance concerns?
  • How do we address changing buyer preferences across marketing, sales, and product?
  • How do we address the impact of technology on the competitive and market landscape?