In this post, we’ll be look at customer pain points and how they can be used to sell more – specifically, what pain points are and how you can position your company and products as the potential solution.
We’ll go through the four main types of pain points and why you should align your salesforce with online information, and you'll get some tips on how to make your offerings valuable to your prospects.
What Are Customer Pain Points?
A pain point is a specific problem that prospective customers of your business are experiencing. In other words, you can think of pain points as problems, plain and simple.
Like any problem, customer pain points are as diverse and varied as your prospective customers themselves. However, not all prospects will be aware of the pain point they’re actually experiencing, which can make it difficult to address. You have to help your prospects realize they have a problem before you are trying to solve it - with your product or service as the solution.
Pain points are often grouped into several broader categories:
- Financial Pain Points: Your prospects are spending too much money on their current provider/solution/products and want to reduce their costs
- Productivity Pain Points: Your prospects are wasting too much time and resource using their current provider/solution/products or want to use their time more efficiently
- Process Pain Points: Your prospects want to improve internal processes
- Support Pain Points: Your prospects aren’t receiving the support and training they need to use your products effectively
Viewing customer pain points in these categories allows you to start thinking about how to position your company or product as a solution to your prospects’ problems. For example, if your prospects’ pain points are primarily financial, you could highlight the features of your product within the context of a lower monthly cost, or emphasize the increased ROI your satisfied customers experience after buying your products.
However, while this method of categorization is a good start, it’s not as simple as identifying price as a pain point before pointing out that your product or service is cheaper than the competition. Many prospective customers’ problems are complex, and may combine issues from several of the categories above. That’s why you need to view your customers’ pain points individually, and present your company as a solution to not just one particularly problematic pain point, but as a trusted partner that can help solve a variety of problems.
Now that we know what pain points are, we need to figure out how to actually identify them.
Let your salesforce identify customers' pains
Your sales reps work on the frontlines of the battle, which makes them an invaluable source of feedback on your prospects’ pain points.
However, as valuable as your sales team’s feedback can be, it’s important to distinguish your sales reps’ pain points from your prospects’ pain points; your sales reps’ problems may be very real, but you’re not building a product or providing a service to make your sales reps’ lives easier (at least, not in the context of this article).
It’s crucial to separate operational challenges from genuine customer pain points. For example, let’s say your reps are experiencing a slow quarter, and sales goals have been missed for two consecutive months. Here’s where things can get complicated. Facing the prospect of missing another sales target, your reps might be tempted to bemoan a lack of qualified leads or the quality of the leads assigned to them. While this may be a legitimate complaint, it’s got nothing at all to do with your customers’ pain, so you have to filter out the noise to get to the actual problem.
Now let’s say that your reps tell you that they’ve had several potential deals fall through because the prospect told them that buying new tools are “too complicated.” This is a genuine customer pain point. This could speak to several potential pain points, including a lack of experience or training, a poor understanding of best practices, budget allocation issues, misunderstanding about the tools and what they do, and alot other potential problems.
Regardless of what’s causing the pain, you now have a pain point you can use in your in your customer dialogue.Let’s take a look at the pain points, and see how to use them when talking to customers:
- Financial: Emphasize lower price point (if applicable), highlight the average savings of your client base, emphasize better ROI
- Productivity: Highlight the decreased waste experienced by your other customers, emphasize ease-of-use features
- Processes: Mention integrations with existing product lines/services or synergies in logistics, highlight how your product/service can make typically difficult/time-intensive tasks easier
- Support: Help the prospect feel like a partner by highlighting your after-market support, your accessible training programs
It’s important to remember that you can’t “prove” you can ease your prospects’ pain, and what works for one customer may not work for another. That’s what makes customer reviews so crucial when using customer pain points in your marketing and sales pitches.
That’s why you should be using customer testimonials and other social validation tools in your communication. A great way of doing that is to publish a great product review/testimonial on your site that is used in your marketing.
Addressing Customer Pain Points Online
As great example of how to leverage customer pain points in your marketing, and one of the most effective ones, is a specific landing page.
Online landing pages are crucial to the success of many sales campaigns. Even though most sales work are done in field, it is very important to let the prospects find supporting information online. We need to realize that almost everyone is using online resources when trying to solve problems and buy solutions. Statistics show that a whopping 93% of B2B buying processes start with an online search (Pinpoint Market Research and Anderson Jones PR).
Aligning your online product information with your salesforce's product pitches is obvious, but your landing pages can also reinforce why your product or service can ease your prospects’ pain.
Let’s take a look at how this works. Below is a (fake) landing page for an industrial consultant's offering, a machine strategy analyzis:
This landing page is a good way of addressing customer pain points. The headline is very effective (“How to Make Machine Setup Decisions Faster”) but the strapline below it is even better. Not only is it benefit-driven, it also addresses two specific pain points, using time more effectively – which could be either a Productivity or Processes pain point. – and establishing ones’ self as the strategy go-to expert in your company.
These benefits are further emphasized further down the landing page, in the bulleted list of what readers will learn from the downloadable guide.
This landing page might not be perfect, but it’s a nice example of how to leverage customer pain points that supports what your product or service could do for your customer.
To learn more about landing pages and online lead generation, check out our Practical Online Crash Course:
More details on pain points for online marketing: https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/02/28/pain-points