How do you identify customer pain points in B2B sales?

This is a must-read for salespeople aiming to improve their B2B customer relationships

Rory Sadler
August 15, 2023
February 24, 2024
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This is a must-read for salespeople aiming to improve their B2B customer relationships

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Hey there, fellow sales enthusiasts! Are you feeling the pain of not converting enough leads? Well, it might be time to address your customer's pain points more effectively.

After all, don't we all know that a customer's pain is a salesperson's gain? So, grab a cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice), and let's dig into the world of customer pain points, why they matter, and how to address them like a pro!

Customer Pain Points: The What and Why

First things first, let's define what we mean by "customer pain points". In a nutshell, these refer to any problems that make your customers' life a bit of a nightmare.

In the B2B SaaS sales universe, these pains could be anything from outdated procedures that eat into productivity, lackluster support in their business journey, or paying a premium for a solution that has a cheaper alternative with the same functionality.

Identifying these pain points is crucial, as it allows you to tailor your sales pitches, interactive demos, and marketing campaigns to highlight how your product is the solution to their woes.

The Universal Language of Pain Points

Pain points are a universal phenomenon, affecting businesses across the spectrum. Broadly, they can be categorized into five domains: financial, productivity, people, process, and support. Understanding these categories can help you craft compelling sales materials to demonstrate how your product can alleviate these pains.

Financial Pain Points

Every business, big or small, aims to turn a profit. Any factor that hampers profitability or return on investment (ROI) can be classified as a financial pain point. These are particularly palpable during budget cuts or market downturns, or when technological advancements promise cost savings.

The key to addressing financial pain points is convincing your customer that your solution offers the best value for their investment.

Financial Pain Points in Real Life:

  1. Steep subscription fees
  2. High cost of repeat purchases
  3. Additional charges per team member

Productivity Pain Points

Time is money, especially in business. Any process or activity that hampers efficient use of time is a productivity pain point.

To address these, you'll need to illustrate how your solution can streamline processes and save precious time for your customers.

Productivity Pain Points in Real Life:

  1. Outdated operating systems
  2. Excessive downtime
  3. Time wasted on manual tasks that could be automated
  4. Burdensome paperwork

People Pain Points

Finding the right talent and keeping them motivated is a challenge for many businesses. Clients grappling with such pain points struggle to maximize their staff's potential.

Your solution should help them tackle issues related to company culture, employee turnover, or training gaps.

People Pain Points in Real Life:

  1. Difficulty retaining employees
  2. Low morale among staff
  3. Challenges in attracting or recruiting talent
  4. Inadequate training
  5. Poor communication

Process Pain Points

Process pain points pertain to issues associated with the business-customer interaction. Inefficient processes can adversely affect a business by creating bottlenecks, hindering communication, and ultimately losing customers.

Process Pain Points in Real Life

  1. Difficulty connecting customers to the appropriate department
  2. Delayed delivery times
  3. Cumbersome application procedures
  4. Communication breakdowns

Support Customer Pain Points

Customers might face issues related to customer support or customer onboarding, resulting in a subpar initial experience with a business.

Support Pain Points in Real Life

  1. Inadequate onboarding support
  2. Insufficient training
  3. Subpar customer service
  4. Data scarcity
  5. Struggles to boost customer adoption

Detective Work: Identifying Customer Pain Points

To effectively address your customers' pain points, you'll need to do some detective work. Here are four methods to help you unearth these pain points:

Four Tactics to Discover Customer Pain Points

1. Conduct Qualitative Customer Research:

Host workshops or surveys with your customers or industry peers to uncover their current challenges.

2. Engage Customers in Conversation:

During your discovery call, don't dive straight into the sales pitch. Engage your customers with open-ended questions to pinpoint their pain points.

3. Share Customer Feedback Across the Sales Team:

Your sales team interacts with customers daily, gaining invaluable insights into their needs and pain points. Sharing this feedback across the team can reveal common pain points.

4. Scour Negative Reviews and Social Media:

There are likely numerous forums dedicated to your industry. Sifting through these can reveal common pain points in existing products and solutions.

Prioritizing Pain Points: A Matter of Impact and Urgency

Once you've identified your customer's pain points, you'll need to prioritize them based on their severity and impact on their business. This involves understanding the extent of the problem, the urgency to solve it, and its impact on their business operations.

Addressing Customer Pain Points in B2B Sales

Now that you've identified and prioritized your customer's pain points, you can tailor your sales and marketing strategies to demonstrate how your solution can address these issues.

Strategies to Address Customer Pain Points

The best way to address your customers' pain points will depend on where you are in the sales process. While broader, industry-specific pain points can be leveraged during marketing campaigns, customer-specific pain points need to be addressed during the demo phase or pitch stage to seal the deal.

Leverage Pain Points in Paid Search Campaigns and SEO

When customers encounter a problem, their first instinct is to Google it. Tap into this habit by leveraging paid search ads and SEO to address your customer's pain points. For instance, if you offer a payroll solution, your marketing team could create an ad or blog post that targets industry pain points.

Utilize Pain Points on Landing Pages

Landing pages are a great tool for lead generation. By creating multiple landing pages that address each potential pain point, you can generate leads tailored to the specific problems your solution solves.

Incorporate Pain Points in Sales Outreach

In your sales outreach efforts, use your customers' pain points to grab their attention. Even in your sales outreach subject lines, you can highlight specific pain points you know that your customers are facing.

Address Pain Points During the Sales Demo Phase

By the demo stage, your sales team should have a good grasp of the issues plaguing your prospect's business. The product demo is your chance to showcase exactly how your product can address these problems in action.

The Gain of Understanding B2B Pains

Understanding and addressing customer pain points is a key ingredient for sales success. By delivering engaging, personalized demos that solve B2B customer pain points, you can truly stand out in the competitive landscape. And with a demo platform like Walnut, you can do just that.

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