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B2B Mystery Shopping Questions & Qualifications

Sean Parnell - Monday, December 12, 2016

B2B Mystery Shopping Questions & Qualifications

Unless you have a monopoly, you face competition. So, what do your competitors charge for their products and services so you can compare their value proposition to yours?

Competitive Pricing

In business-to-business marketing, you probably won't find your competitors' price list on their websites. Even if they sell software or cloud solutions and do advertise their pricing, it's often only a baseline: pricing for basic products or services without any customization or significant volume – and so they do not advertise their true pricing following bundling and negotiation.

If you'd like to find out how your competitors really price out their products and services, as well as insights about their selling process, B2B mystery shopping is something to consider. This form of competitive intelligence takes its name from a consumer marketing term as "shopping" doesn't quite capture the path to purchase or buying decision. It's more of an investigation that must be conducted on a strictly ethical basis, but we'll run with it as "B2B mystery shopping" for now...

B2B Mystery Shopping Questions

To ensure a successful B2B mystery shopping project, we start with your answers to the following questions to help us understand what you need and if the project is a good fit for our capabilities:

  • For how many competitors do you want pricing, do we want pricing for multiple services with each competitor?
  • In what countries are these competitors located and is there any need for foreign language?
  • What combination of online form, email and calls would be needed to get pricing, and how many expected touchpoints in total per company?
  • Would your competitors be able to quickly give pricing over the phone or would it be more of a proposal process?
  • What are you going to do with this information, and what impact do you think it will have for your company?
  • What is your budget for this research?

Does Your B2B Mystery Shopping Project Qualify?

Considering that our B2B mystery shopping services are in high demand and that they are complex and challenging on a good day, we can only take on engagements that are a good fit for us and we turn down quite a few.

Some think we turn down projects because of a minimum charge. In part, this is true, but it's more about how much goes into the effort.

Small B2B mystery shopping projects require 70-80% as much work as larger projects. We also work mostly on a program basis because one-off projects rarely generate the results that are needed to justify their investment, and thus do not lead to additional projects that justify the amount of time we invest in our clients.

Thus, if you're only looking for more than a few price points and foresee conducting this research on a regular basis (i.e. annually), then this could be a good opportunity to work together.

Results-Based Marketing

We're all about generating tangible, quantifiable results whether it's marketing consulting, market research, content marketing, or one of the other services we offer. Working on a program basis is what generates the results for our clients, and is mutually beneficial.

If you'd like to explore your B2B mystery shopping project and feel it meets our criteria, then let us know.

Contact us to learn more about our B2B mystery shopping, competitive intelligence and market research services