B2B customer pain points are similar to the pain points that private customers have.
If you sell B2B – meaning that you sell to other businesses – always look for problems that are causing “pain” in the customer’s business.
Pain is something that people – and businesses – want to get rid of. It is an urgent issue that needs a solution. This creates business opportunities for you.
You are not looking for the kind of problems where the company feels that it would be so nice if they could solve them. You are looking for problems that customers feel that must-be-solved and they are willing to pay money to do so. They may even have budgeted money to achieve this.
In conversations, you may hear potential customers tell you things like:
- Our employees are dissatisfied and leaving the company. This is affecting our ability to deliver and it is affecting our profits.
- We have problems retaining customers. This is affecting our sales.
- We cannot get new customers. As a result, we cannot hit our revenue targets.
In short, you are looking for problems that affect the bottom line. You are looking for problems that must be solved for the business to be successful.
The most common B2B customer pain points
Financial pain points
A business that is dealing with a financial pain point is spending too much money on a product, service, or tax. Here are some examples of critical financial pain points that require solutions:
- My sales are too low and my buisness is struggling to survive.
- Profitability remains low even though our sales have increased.
- We are spending too much money on software solutions that do not bring good results.
- We attract many new customers but we cannot retain them.
- We are losing money, but we don’t know where to cut costs.
All businesses are interested in improving their financial position, whether that is getting more sales or increasing profitability. If you can position your product or service as a way to achieve this, there will be much interest.
If you are charging a higher price than your competitors, determine what makes your product worth it and advertise it to convince potential customers.
Support pain points
A busines that is dealing with a support pain point is struggling to find help at a critical stage of their customer journey or sales process. This type of pain point is always noticed because when you are not getting the support you need, it can be very hard – even impossible – to do what you want to do.
- When we ask our supplier a question, it can take up to one week before we get a response.
- Our vendor is not giving us good quality information about the product or service.
- When we contact the customer service number, we end up talking to three different people before we reach the person who can answer our question.
If you want to distinguish yourself from competitors, focus on personalising your support to customers and streamlining your own business processes. This means that you should study your customers and know what kind of questions they usually ask so that you can provide information and even answer questions before the customer asks you.
Productivity pain points
A business that is dealing with a productivity pain point is spending too much time on a task. Whether they realise it or not, it is possible to produce or accomplish as much as they are doing right now in less time.
Here are some examples of productivity pain points:
- We keep missing deadlines so we end up having to put in unpaid hours to retain the customer.
- We spend too much time in meetings and our productivity has dropped.
- My employees are wasting too much time writing reports and filling out forms instead of selling.
- Our customer service department cannot handle customer inquiries because they have too much work.
If your product or service can help save time, money, and frustration, it will be valuable to your customers.
Process pain points
Process pain points are very similar to productivity pain points.
A business that is dealing with a process pain point is trying to accomplish something in an outdated or inefficient way.
- Our recruiting process is not streamlined and we struggle to find qualified candidates.
- I don’t have a system in place to attract highly profitable customers.
- Our software solution is too complicated and requires too much training before employees can use it.
- My business is losing potential customers because I am too distracted by other things to do follow up.
- We use many different vendors but it is time-consuming to maintain all those relationships.
If you can position your product or service as a smarter way of getting things done, you will provide value to your customers.
Note: process and productivity pain points resemble each other. Here is how to distinguish between them:
- are the problems affecting business performance because employees have too much work to do?
This is a productivity pain point.
- is the business struggling to take the next step due to inefficiencies in collaboration or communication? This is a process pain point that requires strategic and systemic change.
Other business pain points
Businesses also have some specific pain points that private individuals do not have.
Positioning pain points
All businesses want more customers, but this goal is easier to set than to achieve.
Here are some examples of what you might hear from customers who have positioning pains:
- Customers don’t know what our company does.
- My competitors are doing well and I don’t know how to outsmart them.
- Up until now, we have not considered digital marketing and now we are falling behind.
- I don’t know how to distinguish myself from competitors.
If your product or service can help solve these problems, it will be of great value to customers because it helps them increase revenue and profitability.
People pain points
People are at the heart of every business, often constituting both the greatest expense and largest asset. If there are people problems such as the following, it can cause problems in other areas of the business:
- Things keep going wrong, but we don’t know how or why.
- We lack clarity regarding who is responsible for what.
- Employee morale is low.
- At any given time, it is not clear who is dealing with an issue.
- Our best employees keep leaving us to go and work elsewhere.
If your product or service helps businesses manage and incentivise employees, you can help business owners focus their attention on growing the business.
B2B customer pain points are important because they indicate business opportunities. But, to capitalise on these opportunities, you need to adjust your marketing as follows:
- Emphasise what your customers will be able to achieve after solving this pain point.
- Show them how your products or services can help them achieve this.
If you can clearly show this in your marketing and advertising, customers will come running to you.