B2B research can be broadly categorised into quantitative research, which primarily focuses on “measurement”, and qualitative research which aims to “understand market nuances”. Both the types of research help in better marketing, future product development and service improvement, but before we learn how to conduct research, we must know about the hurdles in B2B research.

Sample size

Quantitative research which measures market size, share, frequency of purchase, etc. banks on statistics, and large sample sizes are ideal for statistics. Unfortunately, B2B companies seldom have the luxury of having a large research sample as most companies are often reluctant to share information. As the small sample size is a hindrance to effective quantitative research, B2B companies usually rely on qualitative research to gain a better insight into the minds of their customers.

Decision makers

Research relies on aggregating and averaging to draw conclusions. It is not only difficult to lump businesses together as each business will have unique characteristics like location, structure, culture, among others, it is also not easy to club B2B decision makers because purchase decisions are not always taken unilaterally. Some businesses rely on individual decision makers, while others depend on a group of experts at various hierarchies and in different departments. Representation of decision makers in the sample thus becomes a problem.

Time constraints

B2B research may require more time than B2C research, as the sample population may be relatively busier to respond to questionnaires and complete surveys. Picking the right time to conduct research is crucial for its success. For example, expecting an accounting firm to participate in a survey during tax season may not yield desired results. Moreover, key decision makers do not have a lot of free time to indulge in researches, so it is wise to not expect immediate and detailed responses.

This list is not exhaustive, but most obstacles in B2B research are associated with the issues mentioned above. Now, since you know about the problems, we will discuss how to deal with them in our next article. Stay tuned.

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