Quantitative B2B Surveys: Best Practices
Exploring the Strongest Approaches of Quantitative Research
Contemporary marketing research is a well-established practice that has reliable tools to gather valuable data which makes an impact. Though, you should consider that qualitative and quantitative surveys have different B2C (business-to-customer) and Quantitative B2B Survey (business-to-business) marketing.
On the one hand, quantitative research is widely used within the B2C segment, because B2C target audiences are large, so the quantitative data can be gathered relatively quickly. On the other hand, B2B research usually uses qualitative methods as they help to gather deep sentiments and insights related to problems under study.
Get Used to Smaller Sample Sizes [General B2B Research]
The main problem that a quantitative B2B survey may encounter is the small sample size. The sample size is calculated as per cent of the general population or overall target audience. Hence, compared to the B2C segment, the sample size in the B2B segment may be 10, 100, or even 1000 times smaller.
Therefore you have to take into account this difference and count on the number of respondents, there really may be a few of them. For example, you may have a relatively good sample of small business owners, fewer middle managers, and a couple of top managers available.
Quantitative B2B surveys mean that you are going to include mostly quantitative questions (closed-ended and scale questions) in the questionnaire. But, the full range of statistical methods may not suit the gathered data, as it may be considered statistically insignificant.
Don’t Be Afraid to Use Qualitative Data if You Have it [Qualitative]
Consider conducting qualitative research before a quantitative survey, as it may streamline the whole research process and show the best directions of data gathering. Qualitative research may answer why you should perceive a specific target audience or ask specific questions.
Analysis of data obtained in the course of a preliminary qualitative survey provides a strong background for your quantitative B2B survey. It may show which target audiences (including top executives and decision-makers) are favourable for the survey.
One more advantage of taking supportive qualitative research is that you can improve the materials of the quantitative survey by words, phrases, and ideas. It is strongly recommended to conduct qualitative studies before quantitative B2B surveys as they are not cheap.
Make Sure to Carefully Select Your Participants to Boost Your Results [Panels]
Besides the surveys, there is one more quantitative B2B method that can help to obtain the needed data. We are speaking about quantitative B2B panels – groups of professionals, executives, and experts that agreed to discuss a topic or answer questions. They may be conducted once or on a continuous basis.
It is hard to conduct B2B panels as there are few business representatives who are willing to take part in this type of research. So, it may be better to ask for professional help. There are professional companies that provide survey and panel services. They also help to search for needed respondents.
However, the main problem with quantitative B2B panels is the target audience or sample. As the time of these respondents is extremely valuable, other people may pretend that they have the required qualities, experience, and expertise, so be aware of such fake respondents.