So how does one go about entering a new market? Research, of course!
A great place to start is with a prospect survey. Utilizing prospect surveys among target non-customers is beneficial before taking the plunge into a new demographic, geography, or industry.
They are also helpful in widening the net of people who are already a part of your target audience but have not converted to a paying customer or client.
Chances are your business has aspirations to expand its footprint and reach new customers as it grows. This doesn’t necessarily mean everyone wants to become a global leader in their industry, but they likely want to bring their goods and services to fresh faces at some point.
In this blog post, our online survey company covers the basics of prospect surveys, including what they are, their typical process, and their advantages.
Not sure whether you need to even obtain feedback from your customers or non-customers? Here are some great options to explore.
What are Prospect Surveys?
A prospect survey is a type of quantitative online survey that collects feedback from targeted respondents who are not currently customers of your business.
These respondents may include any of the following consumers:
- In a geography outside of your current reach.
- Of a different tier of similar products or services.
- Of a different type of product or service.
- Of a competitor’s products or services exclusively.
The overall objective is to speak directly with prospective customers of your business and gauge their interest in your products or services.
The results from a prospect survey should tell you whether it makes sense to pursue a targeted group of potential customers.
Another name for a prospect survey is a non-customer survey. These surveys essentially address the same goal but may be the preferred term for some businesses.
What are the Benefits of Prospect Surveys?
Prospect surveys have a variety of advantages for growing businesses. Here are some of the main benefits you can expect:
- Measure interest and viability in new markets. See whether it makes sense for your company to expand to a new subset of customers.
- Discover preferred features and pricing. Learn what matters most to non-customers and incorporate that feedback into your offerings or marketing.
- Improve current competitive offerings. Explore the shortfalls of the products and services that non-customers purchase in the market.
- Inform larger investments down the road. Avoid wasting resources on a market that’s a poor fit, or ramp up spending on a terrific opportunity.
Example Prospect Survey Questions
Here are some typical questions you might ask in a prospect survey:
- When you think of [Insert product or service type], which of the following words come to mind?
- What factors are most important when selecting a company or brand for [Insert product or service type]?
- Which of the following concerns do you have with [Insert product or service type]?
- What is your preferred company or brand when purchasing [Insert product or service type]? Why?
- How appealing are each of the following benefits of a [Insert product or service concept]?
- How reasonable is [Insert price] for [Insert product or service concept]?
How to Conduct a Prospect Survey
Step 1. Kickoff Meeting
Once your business has expressed interest in a prospect survey and partnered with a third-party market research firm, the first official step is usually a kickoff meeting.
This step is focused on defining the objectives of the study and mapping out the project timeline.
Step 2. Survey Draft & Program
Your company can then expect to receive a survey draft tackling the key components of a prospect study as well as any custom secondary objectives.
After your company is happy with the survey, the market research firm will program it into an online survey format and administer quality assurance testing.
Step 3. Prospect Survey Fieldwork
Next, an online survey company, like Drive Research, will distribute the survey to target respondents.
The targeting efforts will focus on reaching respondents who are not currently customers of your products or services. The market research firm will screen responses to remove individuals who identify as customers of your business.
Step 4. Quality Checks
The market research firm will then run quality checks to ensure the integrity of the survey data and remove bad cases.
These routine procedures typically look for speeders, junk open-ended answers, illogical responses, or red herring failures.
What exactly is a red herring question? Watch this video.
Step 5. Reporting
Finally, the analysis and reporting stage begins in which insights and recommendations are assembled for your company. Your team will have the option between a topline or a comprehensive market research report.
Regardless of the reporting level you choose, expect a debrief of the results after the report is delivered. This will help you truly understand how to use these insights in your new business development strategies.
Ready to contact our team? Here are 4 ways to reach us:
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at 888-725-DATA
- Text us at 315-303-2040
As a Research Analyst, Tim is involved in every stage of a market research project for our clients. He first developed an interest in market research while studying at Binghamton University based on its marriage of business, statistics, and psychology.
Learn more about Tim, here.