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Identifying & Addressing Major B2B Pain Points

Most B2B clients face obstacles and problems that may considerably slow down development of their business. So in B2B sales addressing challenges over the course of negotiations is paramount. Let’s consider what problems B2B customers may have and how to solve them.

What is a pain point?

It may seem that a paint point and a need are synonymous. However, that’s not the case. A client’s need is when they want a product. And a pain point is when there are obstacles that prevent the client from satisfying the need. In sales and marketing context pain points are inconveniences that accompany the process of purchase.
  • Finance Pain Point. A client doesn’t have enough money to satisfy their needs. EG: A food production firm doesn’t have enough money to buy expensive machinery.
  • Usage Pain Point. A client experiences problems and inconvenience when using a product in their operations. EG: An IT company implemented a new project management software which doesn’t easily integrate with the existing services. This conflict of technology ultimately leads to missed deadlines and decreased work efficiency.
  • Choice Pain Point. There are options, but only one can be chosen. EG: A leading retailer needs a new stock management system. There are too many options on the market, yet no product is 100% perfect for the client.
  • Psychological/Social Pain Point. It can be phrased like: "What will others think of me if they know I use X?' EG: An organization is looking for a marketing research partner but they are worried that the partner may not be able to represent the company adequately for their audience.
  • Confidentiality Paint Point. A client is worried that their data may be resold or shared with outside parties. EG: A financial company is looking for a new provider to carry out payments. But they need to make sure the highly sensitive personal data is safe with the provider.

Normally, companies exhibit their pains through objections and reservations. It is these comments that help sellers understand what their client’s pain point is and how it should be addressed.
In B2B a need is when a company needs a solution for a pain point - EasyStaff

What is a need?

Now that a paint point has been defined, it is important to understand what a need is as well.
  • Individual need. This is personal gain that a decision maker is going to get after they make a purchase. It may be anything from promotion to gratitude. EG: A senior sales manager is looking for a go-to-market software to help them engage in more meaningful communication with their audience.
  • Department-level need. These are digitized expectations that a team is faced with like KPIs. EG: A marketing team wants to increase brand awareness for the company.
  • Company-level need.This type of need is recognized by every unit in the company. Achieving (or failing to achieve) it will directly affect everyone in the firm. EG: A business is looking for an innovation provider to help them significantly cut costs in HR.

Another way to look at needs is to classify them into categories of Product and Service.

Product-level needs

  • Price. "I need a product that costs $ 1000." This doesn’t mean that the client is not ready to spend more. You need to defend your product and build your communications off of why your solution, albeit more expensive, is the right one.
  • Functionality & Convenience. "I need a product that does A, B, and C." No product is ever perfect as it is. Some level of customization is always required.
  • Design. "It needs to be intuitive." Clients want a solution that is easily implementable and doesn’t require any serious onboarding.
  • Reliability & Efficiency. "I want a product that will never fail." In other words, clients expect the product to do what it is supposed to do at all times.
  • Compatibility."A new product must fit in the existing tool range." The company develops its operations around a set of instruments it uses. Although it may be reasonable to rebuild operations for a new product, not everyone is ready for global changes.

Service-level needs

  • Accessible information. “What are you?” Your client needs to receive all information they request from you: what you do, how much you cost, your advantages, etc.
  • Availability & Empathy.“I need the vendor to be within my reach.” Users want to feel they are cared for and heard. As a vendor, you need to be around to provide answers.
Addressing B2B pain points is paramount for business developers - EasyStaff

How to address B2B pain points?

In B2B product development, client needs are analyzed first. Once pain points are identified and needs are highlighted, what’s next? The good news is that a paint point can be anticipated and discussed.

Financial Paint Point. “Why is it so expensive? Can you give us a discount?”
Today it is nearly impossible to see a product that doesn’t offer ‘rates’ or ‘plans’. Chances are you already have enough options. But it is good to have a custom plan as Plan B.

Usage Pan Point. “Everything works like a clock already and implementing a new solution may be difficult and time-consuming.” The most general recommendation is that your product needs to be compatible with the existing solutions. There simply won’t be any sales unless the sales manager understands how this particular business works. The product presentation must include compatibility characteristics of your product.

Choice Pain Point. “There are so many providers! Which one do I choose?” Many people mistakenly believe that B2B sales are emotion-free or preference-proof. In the end, a sales manager of the best solution on the market may be a difficult individual, and clients will simply like someone else for their openness and kindness and choose their product.

Social & Confidentiality Pain Point. “What if everybody knows I work with you? How safe is my data with you?” To any B2B client, data is a form of capital. Information like where their product is sold most must be extremely protected. So security and protected data management should be highlighted in the presentation.

It will be wrong to say that all clients have the same pain points. However, it is also misleading to think there are no similar cases. You can equip your sales team with case scenarios and scripts, but manages must be able to adapt to their clients and listen to them.

B2B Sales Mistakes

It is impossible to give a complete and adequate by-segment classification of pain points since each industry comes with its unique context. It is possible though to identify the most common mistakes in B2B sales. These mistakes lead to inaccurate and uninteresting product presentations.

  1. Your product’s value and functionality are not clearly described. The importance of simple explanations has been written about in books such as Rob Fitzpatrick’s "Ask Your Mom". It is often obscure and vague descriptions that lead clients to believe your product is not what they need.
  2. Your claims are based on words rather than actual numbers. In business, any action is aimed at profit and efficiency. If your product does not affect these indicators or does not affect them obviously, then it will be considered uninteresting. So giving actual numbers is fundamental to sales.
  3. Your representative fails to fulfill agreements. In B2B you are obliged to follow agreements and plans. Sending presentations, follow-up emails and responding to questions on time is what makes you a responsible and promising provider in the eyes of your clients.

Selling in the B2B segment is nonetheless selling to a person, so the emotional component is important. You need to appeal to the customer and appear reliable and solid. At the same time, pain points and needs must be taken into consideration as business means efficiency, profit and solving problems.
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