A Reason NOT to Do B2B Research

If you’re an industrial manufacturer, then chances are your client to salesperson ratio is pretty low.

This is what really baffles me when I see businesses with this kind of ratio doing quantitative market research among their industrial clients.

Seriously!? Do you really not trust your sales team to get the information they need to do their job? Do you really think an anonymous survey will elicit better information than your salesperson sitting down with the buyer and asking them what they need to know?

It’s either that or your salespeople are not being incentivized properly.

Listen, if you’ve got a business where you have 5-10 clients per salesperson, think about how the aggregate data would actually be used? Are you just collecting data to make your boss feel better about your customer sat figures? Then I suggest you think long and hard about whether or not the research is actually worth it.

You don’t do research to prove to someone else that your customers are happy. You do research to give the people who are the face of your company the tools they need keep their clients happy. And frankly, an aggregated driver analysis showing which attributes factor most into your customers’ likelihood to purchase is really not doing much to your salespeople, who are interacting with their clients on a one-to-one basis.

If your salespeople can’t figure out how to make their clients happy, then maybe you need new salespeople. But seriously, I recommend you question whether or not aggregated data is going to be useful to the people for whom it really matters … or if you’re just trying to make your boss happy. Either way, trust me, your boss would prefer bigger sales numbers than bigger customer sat numbers.

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