50 B2B Customer Interview Questions
Ready to start talking to your customer but need some B2B customer interview questions? You’re already on the right path!
It’s estimated that 95% of companies launching new products or campaigns fail. While there are many reasons behind such a high failure rate, one common thread is limited customer intelligence. Some organizations think they know enough and move full speed ahead. Others are so focused on launch dates that they actively choose to bypass this step.
The outcomes are the same: valuable resources petered away.
Spending time to speak with just 10 customers goes a long way to mitigate this risk. You’ll hear directly from people about their needs and expectations, vital inputs for developing products and marketing activities that will actually resonate with your market.
50 B2B Customer Interview Questions
Your research goals should always be your north star when choosing your B2B customer interview questions. That’s why we’ve laid out some of our go-to questions based on different types of research goals. Sure, they’re high-level. But, they’ll help give you a gist for the types of questions to ask. As you pick and choose the questions you want, don’t forget to tailor them as necessary by industry or interviewee.
Buyer personas are the building blocks of personalized marketing activities. The more you know about what drives your customers, and also what challenges them, the more you can tailor marketing around them. If you’re running B2B customer interviews for persona development, consider some of the questions below.
- Tell me about your role. What are you responsible for?
- How did you get into this field?
- What’s one great thing about what you do?
- What 1-2 things about your job keep you up at night?
- What core metrics or KPI’s are you working towards?
- Tell me about some of the biggest business challenges you face in your everyday tasks?
- What about people challenges? What staffing or skills challenges make achieving your goals difficult?
- If you could remove one thing from your everyday list of to-do’s, what would it be?
- What’s one thing you wish you had more time and attention to do?
- What’s a major professional goal you have for yourself in the next 4-5 years?
Organizational Hierarchy & Intelligence Questions
Are you trying to learn about influencers and stakeholders within an organization? If so, use B2B customer interview questions that delve into organizational hierarchy. These let you understand the key players within an organization and how they impact purchase decisons.
- Are you part of a core team or department? What name do you give it?
- What are the general functions or responsibilities within that team?
- Tell me a little about your core team. Who is part of it?
- Who reports to you? What are their titles and what do they do?
- Tell me about your direct manager. What’s their title? What teams report into them?
- What about your manager’s manager? Who are they? What’s their title and what do they oversee?
- What are the broader initiatives being stressed across your core department?
- Where does [INSERT OTHER DEPT NAME] fall within your organization? Is it part of your core team or department? Does it run in parallel? Or, something else?
- Are certain responsibilities shared across departments? If so, what are those responsibilities and who are they shared with?
- Are there separate departments or individuals overseeing your department’s operations in any way? If so, who are they and what are the reviewing?
When doing new product development or marketing strategy work, you’ll want to know more about the competitive landscape. You’ll unearth information about how competitors are perceived in the market, key inputs to determine how best to differentiate yourself.
- What other products come to mind that do this type of thing?
- Who would you say is the best in this category? Why?
- Think about the latest product in this category you evaluated. Why were you looking into it? What problems were you trying to solve?
- When I say the name [COMPETITOR], what comes to mind? What makes you say that?
- If you were to use an adjective to describe [COMPETITOR], what is it? Why?
- When you think about [COMPETITOR], what do you think they do really well?
- When you think about [COMPETITOR], what do you think they don’t do as well?
- Are you using any products like [NAME PRODUCT] today, or have you used them in the past? If so, what was your experience like?
- I’d like to ask you about a few features offered by [COMPETITOR] to see how important they are to you. [LIST FEATURE]. Is that valuable to your organization? Why or why not?
- Thinking about the [SOFTWARE/PRODUCTS/SOLUTIONS] you use in your everyday work, and it can be outside of our core category, are there any that really stand out as exceptionally easy to use? If so, what makes them so easy to use?
New Product Intelligence Questions
As you consider launching new products and services, you’ll want to make sure you include features and benefits customers actually want. Questions that let you delve into the appeal of product concepts help orient your team in the right direction.
- I’m going to read you a description of a product idea we’re considering and would like to hear your initial reactions. [READ DESCRIPTION]. What do you think about this?
- How do you think this would be received in your organization? Why?
- What are 1-2 things you really like about this idea?
- What are 1-2 things you don’t like about this idea?
- Do any questions or concerns come up as you think about this product?
- Would this replace something you use today? If so, what would that be?
- As you look at the [PRODUCT / SCREEN / INTERFACE], what draws your attention? Why?
- How well does this address some of your day-to-day challenges? Why?
- If it could include 1 other thing, what would that be?
- What would be the #1 thing that would prevent you from using this?
Go To Market Questions
Are you ready to start marketing your product? Then you’ll need to develop a solid go to market plan. The questions below tackle key go to market plan elements so that you can build a comprehensive plan.
- Where do you usually go to learn about the latest in your industry?
- Who do you look to as a major influencer in your field?
- As you’re learning about products in this category, how do you like to explore them?
- How important is a product trial when vetting out this type of product? Why do you say that?
- What are the key things you’d want to uncover or answer as you’re evaluating this kind of product?
- Who would be part of evaluating this product?
- How quickly could you make a purchase decision? For instance, is this something you’d have to budget for, or would you be able to purchase it when you want?
- What role, if any, does procurement play in this process?
- Think about other products like this that you’ve used or explored. What do you think would be a reasonable [MONTHLY/YEARLY/ONE-TIME] price for this?
- How would you want to pay for this? For instance, a monthly credit card charge, an annual invoice, or something else?