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8 min

How to write B2B market research questions

The way to write B2B market research questions explained

Feb 2, 2023
B2B market research


Your business-to-business (B2B) market research needs to be tailored to your customers, but that doesn't mean it can't be standardised. Asking the B2B market research questions in the right order is a critical part of any good research project. So, you'll want to make sure they're as efficient and effective as possible.

Define your industry in order to write B2B market research questions

If you're writing B2B market research questions, it's important to define your industry and audience. Create a survey that reflects the language your audience uses and understands. 

You can start by asking yourself: Who are the people who buy from me? What do they need from me? How much do they know about the products or services I offer, and why do I think that's true (or not)?

Once you have an answer to those questions, think about how best to communicate with them in a way that makes sense for them. Additionally, use language that they understand and are familiar with.

Know who you are talking to when creating B2B market research questions

It's important to know who you are talking to because it's the only way for the B2B market research questions to be effective. Your audience can be divided into three groups:

  • Demographics - age, gender, and income level.
  • Attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours - what kind of people do they think they are? How do they feel about things? What do they like or dislike? How often do they buy products like yours? Do they see themselves as early adopters or late adopters of new technology (or anything else)?
  • Interests - what topics interest them most right now? Are there any particular news stories that affect their lives today that might influence their purchase decisions in some way? 

Follow the same sequence when writing B2B market research questions

When you're writing B2B market research questions, it's important to stay consistent and follow the same sequence. Here are a few tips on how to do this:

  • Open-ended questions. These are the best way to start your research because they give you a lot of information about what's important to the customer. They can also tell you what they think about your product or service.
  • Ask about what is important to them (e.g., "What do you like best about our products?")
  • Enquire about their decision-making process works (e.g., "How do you decide which supplier will provide us with X?")
  • Ask them who else they're considering as potential suppliers for X ("Who else have you considered when buying this kind of product or service? Why?)

Open-ended questions are the most effective way to get respondents to talk. They're also more likely to get a response than closed-ended ones, so they should be asked first.

Closed-ended questions (those with answer choices) can be used later in your survey or interview when you've established rapport with your respondent. You can also use them when you want them to choose from a list of options rather than provide an open response.

Open-ended questions can also help you learn how to improve your product or service. You will be able to see what your audience thinks of the current offerings. Additionally, they will be able to tell you what they would like to see changed. This is a great way of getting honest feedback from customers that may not have been shared otherwise. Thus, once you've asked open-ended questions, move on to closed ones.

Closed-ended questions are better for getting specific information and quantitative data. They're also easier to analyse and interpret, so they will help you make decisions faster than open-ended responses.

Set your objective before writing B2B market research questions

What is the purpose of your survey? What do you want to know? Additionally, consider what you are trying to accomplish by asking these questions. How will this information help you achieve your business goals and objectives, or provide value for your contacts? You may have several specific goals in mind, or perhaps just one overarching objective (e.g., "I want more leads"). Whatever it is, make sure that every question in the survey has a clear connection back to that goal(s) or objective(s).

Determine the type of research you want to conduct to write your questions

There are a few types of research questions that you can conduct:

  • Qualitative vs quantitative
  • Focus groups vs surveys

Surveys are cheaper and more time efficient but don't get as much in-depth feedback. However, focus groups are better for getting people to open up and share their opinions on a topic. On the downside, they can be expensive and time-consuming. Surveys are better for learning about the customer experience. On the other hand, focus groups allow you to learn more about why customers behave the way they do.

Identify your target audience

Now that you know what kind of research methods you want to go with, it's time to identify your target audience.

The first step in this process is defining the audience. Who are they? What do they do? How old are they? Are there any other characteristics that make them unique from other groups within the market segment?

Next, determine who exactly will be answering these questions. In order for a survey or questionnaire to be effective, it needs a clear understanding of who will respond and why. This step can help ensure that future marketing efforts are directed in ways that resonate with the right people and not just anyone who happens upon an advertisement while scrolling through social media.

Choose the right B2B market research questions to ask

Now that you know how to write B2B market research questions, it's time to choose the right ones. To do this, consider these tips:

  • Ask questions that are relevant to your audience. This means asking about topics they care about and can relate to in their daily lives. For example, if you're conducting an online survey about customer loyalty programs for small businesses (the type of business most likely to use a loyalty program), don't ask specific details about which stores they shop at or which brands they buy from. Instead, focus on whether or not they have used a loyalty program before and what kind of rewards matter most when choosing one service over another (e.g., discounts vs points).
  • Ask questions specific enough to get answers but general enough so as not to narrow down results too much. It's important for B2B market researchers because they often need large sample sizes so that findings aren't biassed by demographics like age group or location alone.

Test your questionnaires before launching your survey

Once you've written your questionnaires and tested them on a few people from your target audience, it's time to go live with the survey. Here are some tips for launching your B2B market research survey:

  • Don't forget to add an incentive in exchange for taking the time out of their day to answer questions! This could be something as simple as offering them a chance at winning an Amazon gift card or something more elaborate like entry into an exclusive giveaway that only respondents get access to.
  • Make sure that you have all of your survey links set up properly before sending out invitations so everyone gets directed where they need to go without any issues later down the road.

Developing effective B2B market research questions will help give you a clear picture of customer needs and preferences so you can grow your business and build customer loyalty.

Determine what time of the day is most convenient for your contact

One key question to ask is what time of day is most convenient for your contact. Are they likely to be available during business hours, or do they work late into the night? Do they have a family that takes up much of their time in the evenings and weekends, or are they free to talk during those times as well?

This information will help you determine when it's best for you to reach out and get answers to your B2B market research questions. In addition to determining what time of day is most convenient for respondents, also determine:

  • What does this person care about?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Who are the people you're trying to reach with your research? How do they differ from other segments of your target audience?
  • What's in it for them?

You want to know what your prospects are going to get out of responding to you. Why should they care about what you have to offer? How can this benefit them?

Determine what has research shown to be a successful approach to getting people like the contact to respond

The best way to get your contact to respond is by making sure that they are interested in what you're offering and comfortable with the amount of time it will take them to complete your survey. You also want to make sure that they have enough free time on their hands so that they aren't overly busy with other things, which could make them less willing or able to participate in your research project.

Your market research questions should reflect these three factors: interest level (or lack thereof), comfort level with completing surveys, and availability of spare time for completing surveys.

If you want the contact to respond, ask them a question that's clear about what they should do. Additionally, it can also be helpful to frame your question in terms of what benefits and consequences come from each possible answer.

Incorporating these questions into your market research will help you craft more effective surveys

Now that you have a better understanding of how to craft B2B market research questions, let's put those skills to work!

When writing your survey, the questions themselves will help determine what type of results you get. The most effective surveys ask open-ended questions because they help people tell you what they really think. This can be especially helpful if there are any issues with the product or service being provided. Closed-ended questions are good for getting specific data (e.g., "What is your annual income?"), but may lead respondents toward giving answers that do not accurately reflect their true feelings about something. By incorporating both types into your surveys, it's possible for them to become even more effective at providing insights into consumer behaviour than ever before! Learn more about consumer insights in this post. 

To get the most out of your survey, it's important to ask open-ended questions first. This will help you learn how customers feel about your product or service and what they like most about it. You can then use this information to improve upon your offering in the future.

After asking these types of questions, it's time for closed-ended ones that give more specific answers from respondents who have already given their feedback on the topic at hand.


Once you've completed a survey, it's time to assess the results. Use this information to make decisions about your product or service, your business model, and how to improve customer loyalty.

The next step is to take action based on what you've learned from your market research surveys. Your goal should be to use the results of this process for future growth and development. 

Research is an important part of any B2B marketer's job. The better you know your customers and what they want, the more likely it is that they'll buy from you. The key to conducting effective research is asking questions that get at people's motivations and needs and then using those insights to improve your product or service. Learn more about motivations in this post. 

Curious to know the difference between B2B survey questions and B2C survey questions? We've got just the right post for you. Check out 'B2B survey questions and B2C survey questions: What is the difference'

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