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How to Identify and Address Your Prospect's Pain Points?

How to identify and address your prospect's pain points. By John Bartz, Director of Growth


Gone are the days when boasting about "how great your product is" leads to an instant sale. Today both people and businesses don't buy products. They buy solutions. It is not about what the product or service does, or even what benefits and innovative features it has - it's about how what you offer can solve your customer's problems. Identifying pain points during the lead qualification process is an exercise that can both narrow down and expand your pipeline. Which results in more high-quality leads worth pursuing. Knowing your prospect's and client's pain points helps you tailor your solution to their needs and gives you a clear picture of potential leads that won't benefit from it - saving both parties time. Understanding your prospect's challenges will enable you to serve them better and put your solution in place of their problem

What is a Pain Point?

A pain point is any, often very specific problem that your clients or prospects may be experiencing during their customer journey. They directly or indirectly impact their business and while some are easier to identify than others, being able to pinpoint them and offer the right solution is your key to a long-term sale. Pain points fall into five main categories:

  • Financial - products, services, or current solutions that are too expensive
  • Productivity - inefficient or outdated processes that slow everyone down
  • Process - operational inefficiencies that negatively impact the team and customers
  • Support - internal issues restricting businesses from resolving customers' queries quickly and efficiently
  • People - high turnover, low morale and high cost of sustaining employees

Although businesses share common areas of pain, the causes may differ. Mapping your solution to fit either (or all!) of these categories will enable you to streamline your lead qualification process.

If "Necessity is the Mother of Invention", Then Pain Point is the Father of Solution

Businesses experience pain points constantly, whether it's the changing market, tight budget, high turnover, or low revenue. Even drastic growth can be a pain point if your organization doesn't have the manpower or infrastructure to handle the change. What's interesting about pain points is that often we or our prospects don't realize we have a problem until we are presented with something that can fix the very same issues we didn't know we had. And a product that can answer to a customer's pain point is no longer just a product - it is a solution. 

Solution selling is an approach that requires more than just finding a qualified lead and selling a product just for the sake of it. It's about deeper research and knowledge of your prospect's industry and the challenges they may be facing which often calls for help from your Sales Engineers. We can take many guesses and make many assumptions about our prospect's pain points but the best way to find out how what we do can help is to listen.

How to Identify Pain Points?

Listen to Your Customers.

Qualitative research combined with active listening is a great starting point. Engaging in a meaningful conversation can prove to be an information gold mine, especially if we let our prospects or clients do the talking. Being empathetic - means you don't need to answer every question or objection immediately, what you need to do instead is ask quality questions. Remember your goal is to identify pain points, not to sell your product, but uncover clues to your customers' pain points.

Understanding your customer's pain points is to understand their goals. What are they trying to accomplish? What needs are they trying to meet? Once you have a good understanding of what your customer is trying to do, you can start to identify the areas where they're experiencing pain.

Talk to Your Account and Customer Success Managers

Your managers can give insight into the pain points they are hearing from their clients. Having a discussion with them can uncover additional sources of pain you might not have thought about. 

Reach out to Your Lost Prospects

Another source of invaluable information is your lost prospects. Your sales team might already have some answers for you: why did the prospect turn us down? Did they share any of their pain or frustrations? What did they like about our solution and what they didn't?

Ask Questions Through a Survey

Creating a survey is a great way for getting valuable insights into your customer's pain points. It can also spark a little more honesty in their answers. Giving you a clearer picture of not only what it is that your customer really needs but also what they think about your product. It may even give you insight into an alternative product they're using right now that can't do what yours can, isn't providing enough value for them or could help improve yours.

Keep an eye on Your Competitors' Reviews

Your and your competitors' reviews can help you navigate through the pros and cons of your solution as well as tell you about other headwinds your customers face. Industry-specific forums and social media are great social listening tools you can leverage to look out for cues and areas of pain.

See What Others Are Doing

Your competitors' approach to their own customer's pain points may differ from yours but the pain points themselves might be the same. What are they solving? What message do they focus on? Reversing the messages they send to their audience can guide you in finding additional pain points faced by your company's prospects and customers.

Research Common Keywords Your Customers Are Using

What words are your customers using to find your product online? Based on this data you can narrow down what their needs and pains are. It will also let you optimize your content with what your customers search for and better understand what motivates them to look for your product or service.

Uncover the Patterns

Look for patterns in your findings. Are there certain pain points that come up again and again? Is there a particular area that's causing problems? By identifying these patterns, you can start to zero in on the most important pain points and start addressing them. This may mean improving your product or service or changing how you sell or support it.

Why is it Important to Listen to Your Customers?

Research shows that the level of understanding our customers isn't as high as we would like to think. For example, 53% of businesses believe their customers are very satisfied with their self-service offerings, but only 15% of consumers agree. This statistic is quite eye-opening given that customers who have a positive experience spend 140% more than those who aren't as satisfied. Listening to your customers and uncovering their pain points does pay off. 

Seek the Medicine for Your own Pain

Positioning your product, service, or solution to cater to your prospect's pain points can be a catapult to accelerating the number of deals you close. Having on-hand viable and tested resolutions to your prospects' common problems is an ace up your sleeve. Your due diligence in research during the lead qualification process will also lessen some of your pain points - for example, a low conversion rate. MarketStar would have not been an expert if we couldn't offer you a solution for it. See how our outsourced sales solution can drive your revenue, create growth and eliminate many of your very own pain points.

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