Pain Points: What They Are, Examples, and How to Resolve Them
The Pain Points, or Points of Pain, are persistent issues with a product or service that may bother customers and their businesses. Or to put it simply, they are unmet needs waiting to be satisfied.
The more you know about your customers' Pain Points, the more you can help them. Just as when you solve their problems, the more likely it is that your customers will choose your products or services.
Your target audience is not an expert in the areas they care about, if they were, they would have already solved their doubts and would not need your opinion. But, occasionally, they might not even know that they actually have a problem.
Finding the Pain Points of your customers is crucial to have a good sales argument. No one likes to experience the same problem more than once, that's why identifying the Pain Points is essential to also improve your customers' experience.
In this article, we explain how to identify and resolve customers' Pain Points.
¿What are Pain Points?
Pain Points, or Points of Pain, are persistent problems with a product or service that may bother customers and their businesses. Or to put it simply, they are unmet needs waiting to be satisfied.
Pain Points are persistent issues with a product or service that can inconvenience customers and their businesses.
A customer's pain can be related to their personal or professional life and can be physical, emotional, or logistical.
Some prospects may not even realize the Pain Points they are experiencing. You need to convince them that they have a problem and that your company has the solution to solve it.
Types of Pain Points
Pain is the first thing top salespeople look for in their prospects because it is what hooks potential customers on their purchasing journey to find a solution.
Here are the most common types of business problems your potential customers could face, along with examples of each.
1. Positioning Pain Points
These are the challenges businesses face in positioning themselves in the market. These Pain Points can arise when companies struggle to differentiate themselves from the competition or to reach and connect with their target audience.
Here are some examples of what you might hear from prospects struggling with positioning issues:
"Our competitors are spending more than us."
"No one knows who our company is."
"The market is changing, leaving us behind."
"So far, we have not considered digital marketing, so we're behind."
If you can identify prospects experiencing positioning problems and offer them a solution to carve out a niche and make themselves known to customers, your product or service will surely be valuable to them.
2. Financial Pain Points
Business is about money. Not having enough is a problem, and most difficulties become more manageable when you have more. Every company benefits from improving its financial situation.
Here are some examples of financial Pain Points requiring serious solutions:
"We are not selling enough to keep the lights on."
"Revenue has increased, but profitability is low."
"We don't have enough visibility to know if we're making good financial decisions."
"We may be overpaying for equipment and tools, but we don't know what to cut."
If your solutions can help manage cash flow and reduce expenses for your customers with Financial Pain Points, you will have grateful customers who will want to form a long-term relationship with you.
3. People or Human Resources Pain Points
People are at the heart of all businesses and often constitute the largest expense and most important asset of any organization.
If there are people problems like the following, they can cause problems in other areas of the business:
"Employee morale is low."
"We're losing our top employees to higher paying positions elsewhere."
"Our lack of diversity leads to a lack of innovation."
"We can't trust our middle management to train and motivate."
"Our actual company culture doesn't align with what we state."
If your product or service helps organizations manage, incentivize, or delight employees, you'll be a hero, and the sale will be a done deal.
4. Operational Pain Points
With human resources issues come operational problems (or vice versa). Your prospects know that the best way to achieve repeatable success is by implementing repeatable processes. The question is, how?
They may be facing obstacles like:
"Our hiring process is difficult to manage and we struggle to find highly qualified candidates."
"Customer churn is high because our service department is swamped and can't keep up."
"We don't have a system for qualifying leads."
"There are inconsistencies in each employee's workflow, leading to disorganization and variable performance."
"Our current software is outdated, but we fear the transition to a new one would be difficult."
If you uncover operational Pain Points, ask your customer to visualize what a smooth-running company, department, or system would feel like and what kind of difference it would make.
5. Productivity Pain Points
A manager's job is to remove obstacles for the team so that things get done, productivity stays high, and profits rise. That being said, it's easy to get stuck in the weeds of the business and fall victim to inefficiencies that waste time.
Here are some examples of productivity Pain Points in businesses:
"We keep missing customer deadlines."
"We spend too much time in meetings."
"Our administrative work is out of control."
"Quality issues with our product have led to costly recalls and customer loss."
"Our employees don't have enough support to complete assigned tasks."
If something is preventing a company and its employees from working efficiently, you can position your solution as a time, money, and headache saver.
6. Small Business Pain Points
Unresolved Pain Points when working in a small business can potentially bring operations to a halt.
If your client is a small business, you should ask questions that address the many tasks a small team needs to complete.
Some examples of the Pain Points of small businesses are as follows:
"Orders are consistently shipped late, and our team is already highly stressed trying to keep up."
"Finding talent that best fits the business has not been easy."
"Posting on all our social media channels is tedious."
"In my business, managing a team is daunting because I already wear many hats."
"Keeping up with accounting becomes more complicated as time goes by."
Many of these problems can be addressed with a product or service offer based on current technology and consulting. Small businesses could benefit from workflow automation and the proper guidance from experienced professionals.
How to Identify Customer Pain Points?
1. Conduct Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Many teams conduct qualitative and quantitative research to identify potential Pain Points.
Qualitative research generates detailed and deep responses, typically by asking open-ended questions and quantitative research generates more hard data and numerical information by asking standardized questions.
Both your sales and marketing teams can generate these findings in different ways.
Sales Team: What are the most common Pain Points that come up in discovery calls with prospects?
Marketing Team: What are common difficulties identified in their research and surveys?
Example of Qualitative Research: Yesware's marketing team sent a survey asking salespeople what their biggest sales challenges are.
Asking participants to leave a detailed response helped generate comprehensive answers that gave a deeper understanding of the problems customers face.
This not only helps us write content based on these Pain Points but also informs our Marketing and Sales teams about the business problems our target audience currently faces.
How to conduct these investigations?
Personal phone calls
But the most effective way is to speak with them directly. Let's see how to do this next.
2. Ask Open-Ended Questions
When speaking with a potential client, it all comes down to asking the right questions. Chances are your prospects have begun their buying journey in the first place due to a business problem, and now they're looking for a solution.
The best way to uncover this business problem is to get the prospect to talk. And what's the best way to do this?
By asking open-ended questions.
Avoid yes or no answer questions: this will only give you a narrow and limited view of your potential client's problems.
The key is to ask open-ended qualitative questions that require a detailed explanation, giving you a broader view of the problem. This allows you to capture as much information as possible.
Questions you can ask to uncover your potential client's Pain Points:
What takes up most of your day?
Why doesn't your current solution and/or process work for you?
What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?
You mentioned frustration around X. Can you provide more details?
What's holding you back from reaching your goals?
What's the main thing you'd say is holding back your company's growth?
If you had an unlimited budget, what's the first improvement you'd make?
What's one thing you'd change about your business and/or team's current operations?
In the above questions, your job is to listen closely and identify problems that your solution can specifically solve. And when you present your solution, your response should adapt to what the prospect said.
By doing so, you 1) show that you were listening and 2) address the Pain Point head-on.
To clearly convey that you were actively listening, paraphrase what the prospect said. For example: "X will save you hours per day" vs "You mentioned you waste hours per day logging information, well, X will cut that down by Y".
3. Align Sales and Marketing Data
Sales and Marketing alignment is crucial for identifying customer Pain Points.
In your marketing activities, like ads and landing pages, use emotional triggers that address very specific Pain Points.
Capture the audience's attention by addressing these Pain Points head-on and reinforcing why your product or service can alleviate your prospects' pain.
In fact, 62% of customers want marketing content that speaks to Pain Points. So, these Pain Points will naturally come up in your sales conversations because that specific Pain Point was already addressed through marketing content.
How to Solve Customer Pain Points?
Show Customers That You Understand Their Pain Points
It's important to communicate how you are going to resolve your customer's pain points. But to do so, there's a crucial step that comes first. You must show your prospects that you understand their pain points. Consequently, they will trust your solution much more.
In fact, according to IBM, 78% of customers do not feel understood by brands. Pain Point: customers do not feel understood by brands. Hence, it's necessary to make sure your prospects feel that you understand the issues they are facing and genuinely want to help them solve these to achieve their goals.
By making it clear that they've been heard, it's much more likely they'll listen to the message you're trying to convey.
Here are some effective ways to do this:
1. Tailor the Solution to Their Business
Present your solution in a way that resolves specific problems. Address your name, the company's name, and any specific concept or phrase they used to describe the Pain Points.
By doing this, you not only show them that you were listening, but you add elements of personalization to your pitch (which will benefit the outcome of the conversation).
2. Use Your Customer's Language
Use the language and terminology of your potential customer. This is a common method for building a good relationship; it creates the feeling that you're on the same page and conveys feelings of trust and empathy.
Don't completely change your personality, but make minor adjustments to match your potential customer's behavior.
Here are other ways to do this:
Mimic their body posture
Adjust your tone and pace to match theirs
Match their emotions and energy level
These mirroring techniques will help portray mutual understanding.
3. Emphasize the Benefits of Resolving the Pain Point
By leveraging these Pain Points and emphasizing the ways in which their lives will be easier once these are resolved, you open a door and a new perspective that will only motivate them to act quickly on a solution.
4. Show How Your Solution Can Alleviate This Weakness
Make it clear how your solution will alleviate these current struggles. Emphasize how your customers have saved X amount of time by adopting your solution.
Remember: Humans are social by nature. We rely on social signals from others to identify how to act in certain situations (especially when making decisions). That's why social proof is so powerful and should be used to help guide and inform decision making.
CUSTOMIZED SOLUTIONS FOR EACH CLIENT
Overall, your ability to identify and resolve customers' Pain Points will put you ahead of the game.
Remember, even though customers' Pain Points can be very similar, there is no single tactic to address and offer the best solution.
The key is to listen and tailor your solution to each customer.
And always remember the importance of Sales and Marketing alignment: share research, data, and insights. By doing so, you'll only see progress in your ability to identify these Pain Points and help your customers confront them head-on.