It’s important to have a plan and follow an interview script to gather consistent data points on all your prospects (you can read more on customer interview code of conduct right here).
Questions around the business drivers, the problems, the intensity of the pain, the problem ownership, the decision-making units (the jury) and the buying processes help you understand which problems matter most; they’re deal breakers and should be addressed first.
I’ve been using this question list as a starting point when planning problem interviews for a year. It worked really well for me; I hope you’ll find it as useful as I have.
|TOPIC||SAMPLE QUESTIONS||WHAT IT TELLS YOU|
||Demographics help you recognize patterns between prospects. What roles or behaviors do they share?|
||Business drivers help you understand objectives and spending priorities. Where will budgets be spent this year? Understanding your prospect’s customers can help you find new opportunities.|
||Problem priorities help you create an emotional connection with your prospects. Real problems are the only ones that matter. What do they care about?|
||Problem drilldown allow you to build empathy and understand the pain from your prospects’ perspective. You can collect information on the evolution of the problem to see if changes are forthcoming. What is the root cause of these problems?|
|Intensity of pain||
||Questions around the intensity of the pain allow you to understand the buyer mode, the impact and the perceived value. Why should you solve this problem?|
||Questions to understand the User buyer. Who will benefit most from your solution?|
||These questions help you understand if your prospect could be a buyer? Could he purchase your solution?|
||Buying process questions give you insights on the internal processes and stakeholders. Who do you need to speak with?|
||Business process questions give you clues as to how the company works. These are convergent questions you can ask when you know which problem you’re taking on.|
||Technology landscape questions tell you about the competition for budgets and expected payment models. What would suit them best?|
|Whole product definition||
||These questions tell you about the whole product. What do you need to do to close this prospect?|
||Influencers tell you how you can reach and influence these companies. Who do they take advice from?|
|Calculation of Return on Investment||
||Questions meant to help you create your ROI story. How much savings or impact can you expect?|
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