Customer Pain Points: How to Identify and Solve Problems
What are your customers’ pain points? This question is something both your sales and marketing team must be experts on to drive business growth and revenue.
From financial pain points to productivity pain points, you need to uncover the biggest challenges your prospective customers face in order to position your product or service as the solution.
But no customer is the same – sales reps must ask the right questions to present a solution that caters to that specific prospect and their business.
Let’s explore the best ways to identify customer pain points, align insights, and solve these problems.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What Are Customer Pain Points?
- The Types of Customer Pain Points
- How to Identify Customer Pain Points
- How to Solve Customer Pain Points
What Are Customer Pain Points?
Pain points are issues or problems that are causing prospective customers of your business “pain,” requiring a solution.
Uncovering customer pain points ultimately affects both your sales and marketing strategy.
Salespeople want to figure out the prospect’s pain points so they can tailor their sales pitch and present the product or service they’re selling as the appropriate solution. And marketers want to understand these pain points so they can advertise/present their solution effectively and in an appealing and enticing way.
That’s why identifying and uncovering these pain points is so crucial.
However, uncovering customer pain points isn’t as easy as it seems and there is no one-size-fits-all tactic. In fact, some customers don’t even know the root of the issues they’re struggling with.
The Types of Customer Pain Points
Customer pain points are often grouped into 4 main types: productivity, financial, process, and support.
Productivity Pain Points
Customers want to be more efficient with their time and are most likely wasting too much time with their current solution.
An example of a productivity pain point might be a manual process that takes hours to complete.
Financial Pain Points
Customers want to reduce their spend and are most likely spending too much money on their current solution.
A sample financial pain point could be a legacy software that costs more money than it saves.
Process Pain Points
Customers want to improve internal processes and are experiencing issues with their current systems and processes in place.
A process pain point could be internal project management among teams.
Support Pain Points
Customers are not receiving the appropriate support they need, especially at critical stages of the customer journey or sales process.
An example of a support pain point might be customers not knowing where to turn when they have a question.
Identifying the type of pain point your prospect is struggling with will help you position your solution and tailor your offer to their needs.
For example, if your prospect is struggling with financial problems, emphasize the ROI your customers are achieving or highlight average savings. Better yet, if your solution costs less than your competitors, make this loud and clear.
How to Identify Customer Pain Points
Conduct Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Many teams conduct qualitative and quantitative research to identify prospective pain points.
Qualitative research generates in-depth, detailed responses typically from asking open-ended questions. And quantitative research generates more hard data and numerical information from asking standardized questions.
Both your sales and marketing team can generate these findings in different ways.
- Sales team: what are the most common pain points that arise in discovery calls with prospects?
- Marketing team: what are the common struggles identified in your research and surveys?
Here’s an example of qualitative research. The marketing team here at Yesware sent out a survey asking salespeople what their biggest sales challenges are right now.
Asking the participants to leave a detailed response helped to generate thorough answers which gave us a deeper understanding of what our prospects are struggling with.
This not only helps us write content based on these pain points but informs both our marketing and sales team what business problems our target audience is currently facing.
Also, there’s plenty of research and studies online. You’re selling to salespeople? Search for the biggest challenges salespeople face.
There are various ways for both teams to learn more about your prospects:
- Personal phone calls
- Social media
- Online reviews
- Industry events
But the most effective way is to talk to them directly. Let’s look at how to do this next.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
When talking to a prospect – it all comes down to asking the right questions. Your prospects most likely started their buying journey in the first place based on a business pain, and now they’re looking for a solution.
The best way to uncover this business pain is by getting the prospect talking. And what’s the best way to do this?
By asking open-ended questions.
Avoid questions with yes or no answers – this will only give you a narrow and limited view of your prospect’s problems.
The key is to ask open-ended qualitative questions that require an in-depth explanation, giving you a broader view of the problem. This allows you to grasp as much information as possible.
Questions You Can Ask to Uncover Your Prospect’s Pain Points:
- What takes up the most time in your day?
- Why isn’t your current solution and/or process working for you?
- What is the biggest challenge you’re currently facing?
- You mentioned frustration around X. Can you elaborate?
- What is preventing you from hitting your goals?
- What’s the main thing you would say is holding your business back from growth?
- If you had an unlimited budget, what is the first improvement you would make?
- What is one thing you would change about the current operations of your business and/or team?
In the questions above, your role is to carefully listen and pinpoint the issues that your solution specifically can solve. And when you present your solution, your response should be tailored around what the prospect said.
This way, it shows you were actively listening as well as addressing the prospect’s pain point head-on.
To show you were actively listening, rephrase what the prospect said. For example: “X will help save you hours per day” vs. “You mentioned you waste hours per day logging information, well X will reduce that by Y.”
Align Sales and Marketing Data
Sales and marketing alignment is crucial for identifying customer pain points.
In your marketing activities such as ads and landing pages – use emotional triggers that address very specific pain points. Grab the audience’s attention by addressing these pain points head-on and reinforcing why your product or service can ease your prospects’ pain.
Then, these pain points will naturally arise in your sales conversations since that pain point was already targeted in marketing initiatives.
Align your data, and you both succeed.Data that helps you sell smarterDaily activity, engagement data, and outcomes
How to Solve Customer Pain Points
Share Solutions Through Customer Testimonials & Case Studies
If you’re confident that your product can solve your prospect’s pain points, your next step is to show it. Just because you’re saying you can solve their problems doesn’t mean you can – they need proof.
This is where customer testimonials and case studies can come into play. You’re giving your prospects a chance to hear from real people.
The key here is to make these use cases as genuine as possible.
For example, here at Yesware, we conducted a customer testimonial series where we simply went on a zoom call and asked various customers questions about how Yesware solves their pain points.
Rather than filming it ourselves and making the testimonial look and sound glamorized and professional, we allowed customers to sit in the comfort of their homes or offices and answer the questions in whatever way they want. This helps create testimonials that are as raw and genuine as possible.
For marketing, you can display these on your site and on social media. And for sales, you can hand these off to prospects based on the specific pain points that arise in buyer conversations.
Another way you can specifically address pain points is by providing case studies on how customers have achieved X, Y, and Z using your solution.
Here’s an example of how Yesware incorporates this:
Make sure your prospects have access to case studies and testimonials, giving them validation that your solution does in fact solve the issues they’re facing.
Show Customers That You Understand Their Pain Points
It’s important to effectively communicate how you’re going to solve your customer’s pain points.
The key here is to show your customers that you understand their pain points.
According to IBM, 78% of customers don’t feel understood by brands.
That’s why it’s important to ensure your prospects feel that you understand the problems they’re facing and you want to help them solve these to accomplish their goals.
By making it clear that they’ve been heard – they’re much more likely to listen to the message you’re trying to convey.
Here are some effective ways of doing so:
1. Tailor Your Solution to Their Business
Present your solution in a way that solves their specific problems. Address their name, the company’s name, and any specific concepts or phrases they used to describe their pain points. Rephrase and incorporate these into your solution.
This not only shows them you were listening but makes the whole pitch much more personable (an essential element of a sales pitch).
2. Use the Same Language
Use your prospect’s language and terminology. This is a common method for building rapport and making the conversation feel more genuine and human.
If you can convey a clear understanding of the problems they’re facing, you’ll stand out from the crowd. As shown above, many companies and brands still struggle with this.
3. Emphasize the Benefits of Solving the Pain Point
By leveraging these pain points and emphasizing ways their lives will be easier once they’re resolved, you open up a door and new perspective that will only motivate them to act fast on a solution.
4. Show How Your Solution Can Relieve This Pain
Make it clear how your solution will relieve these current struggles. Use social proof here, emphasize how customers of yours have saved X amount of time by leveraging your solution.Uncover what's workingGet notified when recipients read your emails, click on links, and view attachments.
All in all, your ability to identify and solve customer pain points will put you ahead of the game.
Remember, although customer pain points can be very similar, there’s no one-size-fits-all tactic for addressing and offering the best solution.
The key is to listen and personalize your solution to each customer.
And always remember the importance of sales and marketing alignment – share research, data, insights and you’ll only see progress in your ability to pinpoint these pain points and help your customers address them head-on.
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