How Competitive intelligence questions should be structured for maximum success

This is an image of question marks on a clothesline for an article called How Competitive intelligence questions should be structured for maximum success by Octopus competitive intelligence market intelligence agency & competitor analysis solutions. How Do You Write a Good Competitive Analysis? How Do You Assess Competitor Analysis? What do we know? What can happen? What don’t we know?

How Competitive intelligence questions should be structured for maximum success

Any decent competitive intelligence project starts with excellent questions. The quality of the questions influences the quality of the answers received. 

Defining questions is crucial to ensure that you get the information you need. Here are ten quick ways to express and structure excellent questions:


An excellent question should be precise and focused on a particular topic. Ensuring that the answer provides the necessary and the required detail.


The question should be relevant to the context or the problem you are trying to solve. Are they any questions that are just nice-to-know rather than must-know or need-to-know? Don’t waste time on nice-to-knows. They are not relevant to the problem. And these questions will likely be the hardest to answer. 

What is competitive intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is the finding & critical analysis of information to make sense of what’s happening & why. Predict what’s going to happen & give the options to control the outcome. The insight to create more certainty & competitive advantage.

How to do Competitor Analysis For Your Growth


Make sure your question is open-ended to encourage detailed and comprehensive responses. Allowing the respondent to provide a more nuanced answer.


The question should be clear and easy to understand. Avoid ambiguity or multiple interpretations. Here is a question from us Why Does Your Sales Team Need Competitive Intelligence?


Excellent questions challenge the respondent’s thinking, encouraging them to respond more thoughtfully.


The timing of the question is important. Ask the question at the right to ensure you receive a helpful response. Never let time make you combine two questions into one.


Questions should be phrased in a way that does not make the respondent feel judged or criticised. And be aware of natural biases and build them into the analysis of the answer. 


Excellent questions should encourage the respondent to engage in conversation, leading to more detailed and informative answers. If it’s a verbal question, never jump in with your opinion. Let them talk.


Questions should be designed to solve a particular problem. They provide a focused approach to finding solutions. You must clearly define the problem the question is designed to solve. And understand what you are going to do with the answer.


Asking empathetic questions shows interest in the respondent’s experience and emotions. This will lead to more meaningful open conversations.

And remember, the best insight-related questions are future-facing. Questions should be focused, relevant, and actionable. This ensures that the insight gleaned is used to make excellent decisions. When crafting excellent questions, it’s essential to:

  • Understand what information is needed
  • Who are the stakeholders
  • How the intelligence will be used
  • Identify the key areas to focus on 
  • Isolate the most relevant sources of information to talk to

Good questions should be open-ended and designed to elicit detailed and nuanced responses. And not lead the respondent towards a particular answer. The question should be specific and not too broad to ensure the answers are relevant.

How Competitive intelligence questions should be structured for maximum success

In summary, a competitive intelligence project must begin by creating excellent questions. To ensure that the information gathered is relevant, accurate, and actionable. It helps ensure that the intelligence gathered is aligned with your strategic objectives. And can be effectively used to inform business decisions.

Here is another article which many be of interest asking What Makes an Excellent Competitive Intelligence and OSINT Analyst?

We are Octopus, and we’re all about your real competitive advantage.

We are the global bespoke people-powered global competitive intelligence agency creating the insight you can do something with.

Get your free review today

We are Octopus, the competitive intelligence company providing bespoke competitive intelligence, competitive analysis, competitor analysis, marketing intelligence, and competitive strategy advisory. 

Request a free review & we’ll show you how our bespoke people-powered competitive intelligence insight can help you:

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Home » Blog » Collecting Competitive Insights » How Competitive intelligence questions should be structured for maximum success

What is competitive intelligence?

The collection and analysis of information to make sense of what’s happening, what's next, and what you can do to enhance your competitive advantage.

This is a drawing of the Octopus Intelligence Logo By Octopus Competitive Intelligence, Due Diligence, Competitor Analysls, Market Analysis, Competitor Research and Strategic Business Development to beat your competitors, increase sales and reduce risk

Want to know more about market and competitive intelligence and how it can help you beat your competitors?

We find the answers to beat your competitors, make better decisions, win more business and see what’s next. Since 2008, Octopus has been at the forefront of people-powered competitive intelligence solutions, helping brands, enterprises, high-growth SaaS companies, and startups. Globally, we have undertaken hundreds of competitive intelligence projects, providing straight-talking, actionable intelligence and cutting through the clutter with clear, concise deliverables.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.