It goes without saying that B2B consumers look for new products in order to make their lives a bit easier. In other words, they have pain points they need fixing.
Whether it be something isn’t working as efficiently as it should, or you’re spending too much money on a simple solution. Maybe there’s a product out there that can automate most of the work you spend half your day working on.
The list, sadly, can seem endless.
Customer pain points are abundant, and it is up to marketers and salespeople to both identify and address them when reaching out to prospects. Ultimately, your sales and marketing strategies depend on it.
What Are Customer Pain Points, And Why Are They Important?
At a fundamental level, pain points are simply problems that potential and existing customers are experiencing in the marketplace, and want to be solved.
Customer pain points are extremely diverse — different people in different roles will face different challenges and therefore require different solutions. This is why actually identifying these pain points often requires putting yourself in your customers’ shoes.
Identifying customer pain points is crucial to the success of both your sales and marketing strategies. Salespeople need to determine pain points in order to customize their pitch and present their product or service as the best possible solution to their challenges.
And marketers need to understand pain points so that they can effectively advertise and create content around their solution in a way that will appeal to and entice potential customers.
Basically, your whole GTM strategy should be centered around customer pain points. Because the whole point of your product or service is to solve a problem, right?
Types of Customer Pain Points
B2B customer pain points can generally be split into four different categories: Productivity, financial, processes, and support.
- Productivity: Customers wish to be more efficient with their time and are most likely to be unhappy with the amount of time they waste with their current solution.
- Financial: Customers want to reduce spending, and are probably seeking to find a solution at a lower cost, with equal efficiency.
- Processes: Customers are looking to improve internal processes and are most likely experiencing issues with their current systems.
- Support: Customers wish to receive more appropriate support, specifically at critical stages of the customer journey.
Common Customer Pain Points
Every customer is different, and every company will need solutions to a unique set of problems. Yet in the world of B2B, there are certainly some common pain points that we all can relate to.
- Customers are unable to find accurate contact information
- Customers are unable to get through to prospects when cold calling
- Time based-factors, such as reaching out to the wrong people at the wrong time
- Customers need to create content and offers that stand out from the crowd
Take for example ZoomInfo customer Vectra, a technology company applying artificial intelligence in the fight against cyber attackers. Their main pain point that needed to be addressed was prospecting. Vectra’s sales team was spending hours every day tracking down contact information, manually verifying it, and then trudging through the scourge of wrong numbers and email bounce backs. This was leading them to miss out on major growth opportunities.
By identifying this pain point, ZoomInfo was able to provide them with accurate prospecting data as well as a powerful suite of search and target tools.
How To Identify Customer Pain Points
Most prospects begin their buying journey (or at least preliminary research) because of a business-related issue they would like to be solved. And the key to understanding what this specific problem entails is to simply talk to them about it.
I know, it seems crazy in this day and age of automation and intent signals (which can also give you a good idea of what people are searching for and the questions they’re asking), but engaging in conversation and connecting with people is the key to understanding what they actually want.
1. Ask Customer Pain Point Survey Questions
Surveys and interviews are a great way to obtain current customer and prospect information in regards to what their problems are, and how they’d like them to be solved. Below are a few open-ended questions to get them talking about their most pressing issues.
- What is the main thing holding your business back from growth?
- What takes up the most time in your and your team’s day?
- What is preventing you from hitting your goals?
- Why isn’t your current solution working for you? What do you wish it was doing better?
- What is the biggest challenge you’re currently facing?
After gleaning useful information from these conversations, you can start to build messaging around your product, and frame it in a way that specifically addresses the concerns of prospective customers.
2. Conduct Qualitative Sales Research
A great resource that is always available to marketers is salespeople. Salespeople spend their whole day determining and trying to understand customer pain points in order to pitch the product to them.
Turning to sales reps to identify patterns and/or trends is a great way to gain some insight into the mind of customers without having to wait for customer feedback.
3. Use Intent Signals
When a buyer has a pain point, they typically do some preliminary research on how they can fix it. They visit websites, read articles and blog posts, download ebooks or whitepapers, racking up a lot of digital footprints that you can then track using intent signals. What’s more, using intent signals allows you to reach buyers earlier in the sales process, putting you ahead of the competition.
Solve Pain Points, See Results in Revenue
At the end of the day, B2B buyers make purchasing decisions because they have a problem that needs solving. Unlike B2C consumers, impulse and emotions have little to do with whether or not a company decides to adopt a SaaS product, which is why solving pain points should be at the core of everything your marketing and sales teams do.
Once you’ve identified your customers’ most pressing pain points, you can start to tailor your messaging and make it clear that what you have to offer could really help them in their day-to-day. Because while you are selling physical products, you’re really selling nonmaterial solutions.