What Problem Is Your B2B Buyer Trying to Solve

November 24, 2021

When looking to qualify leads, a big part of this task is determining what problem(s) your buyer is facing and if your solution will be able to solve them. Without this information, you won’t be able to truly understand their needs and, particularly, their need for your offering. 

What We Mean By “Buyer’s Need” 

Essentially when we think about this concept of need, we’re thinking about the following questions: Does your buyer need your solution now? If they don’t buy it, what will they lose? 

If your buyer doesn’t recognize a need for your solution, they’ll never buy it. Thus, defining their need specifically is an important step towards closing each deal. A big part of identifying their need starts with determining the buyer’s pain point(s). 

What Are Pain Points?

According to Hubspot, pain points are persistent problems with a product or service that can inconvenience customers and their businesses. Being able to identify these pain points is a vital task because pain is generally what starts buyers on their buying journey in the first place -- it’s the driving factor behind the initial search for a solution. 

B2B companies will all tend to have very diverse pain points and challenges they’re facing because of that pain. Each will be slightly different and require the unique positioning of your solution to be able to show that your offering lessens or even resolves that pain. 

You need to first understand their pain points to be in the best position and pitch your solution in a way that shows your buyers exactly how moving forward with your company will benefit them. To do this, you have to hone in on issues your buyer mentions, even in passing, to your salespeople.

Types of Pain Point and What to Listen for to Determine Them 

While all companies face their own unique challenges, most pain points fall into one of five common categories. Throughout your conversations with buyers, you’ll begin to recognize the key comments relating to each category and know how to best approach their sources of pain thereafter.

These are some of the most common B2B pain points that your prospect might face, along with some examples you may hear for each:

  1. Positioning: The company is having issues acquiring more or better business. 

Here are some comments that’ll cue you to know they’re having positioning pain: 

  • “Nobody knows who our company is.”
  • “The market is changing, and we’re being left behind.”
  • “We haven’t really thought about digital marketing, so now we’re behind.”
  • “Our competitor has more green space than we do.”

Customer acquisition is closely related to higher revenue. You can show your value by identifying this pain point and positioning your solution to solve these acquisition pain points. 

  1. Financial: The buyer may have too high of costs or may be having cash flow management issues. 

Here are some comments that’ll cue you to know they’re having financial pain: 

  • “We’re not making enough to keep the lights on.”
  • “Revenue is up, but profitability is low.”
  • “We might be overpaying for our overheads, but we don’t know what to cut.”

Money is always a huge issue in business, so knowing your buyer is facing financial issues tells you to show how your solution can help them better manage their cash flows.

  1. People: They’re having problems with increasing employee retention, morale, and/or productivity. 

Here are some comments that’ll cue you to know they’re having people pain: 

  • "Employee morale is low."
  • "We’re losing our best employees to our competitors."
  • "Our lack of diversity is hindering innovation."
  • "We can't trust our managers to train and motivate their employees."
  • “Our actual company culture doesn’t align with our original culture statement.”

People are at the heart of the business. If your solution can offer a way to resolve any people pain points, you can be of great value to your buyer.

  1. Process: Operationally, they lack solid workflows and processes that increase efficiency.

Here are some comments that’ll cue you to know they’re having process pain: 

  • “Our hiring process is scattered so we struggle to find high-quality candidates.”
  • “Customer retention is low because our customer service department is inundated and can’t keep up with demand.”
  • “Employees’ workflows are inconsistent which leads to disorganization and varied performance.”

If you’re able to identify that your buyer needs better processes or workflows to run their company more smoothly, you can position your offering to show them what a positive difference it’ll make in their day-to-day operations. 

  1. Productivity: They want to be better with their time management to get more done and gain more business.

Here are some comments that’ll cue you to know they’re having productivity pain: 

  • "We keep missing important deadlines, costing us a lot of money and churn."
  • "We spend too much time in long meetings."
  • “Our employees don’t have the proper support needed to complete their assigned day-to-day tasks on time.”

Identifying roadblocks and costly inefficiencies can allow you to position your solution as a time and money saver.  

How to Understand B2B Pain Points at a Deeper Level

Once you’re able to identify the source of their pain, you can use this to dig deeper and begin to develop a pitch that best aligns with solving their unique pain points. Once you’re able to switch from generic product-seller pitches to solution-oriented pitches, you’ll find great success. 

Here are some ways to gain a deeper understanding of your B2B buyer’s pain points:

Start by just asking them! Surveys, interviews, or conversations with your main point of contact are great ways to gain insight into what challenges they’re facing and what kind of solutions they’re looking for.

Here are a few examples of open-ended questions to better understand pain points:

  • “What is the main thing holding your business back from growth?”
  • “What is preventing you from hitting your goals?”
  • “Why isn’t your current solution working for you? What do you wish it was doing better?”
  • “What is the biggest challenge you’re currently facing?”

Be sure to use your prospect's language when talking about pain. You want to show your buyer that you’re listening and understanding their needs. Using the language that relates to their business -- not some technical jargon only you know -- will build trust. It relays to them that you’re taking their needs and potential business very seriously. 

Listen to different perspectives from the various decision-makers. There will usually be many people involved in the buying process -- called the buying committee -- or even multiple teams. You want to make sure that you’re hearing a variety of perspectives from the buying committee on what they each feel are their main pain points. This will be important to know who you’ll be pitching to later down the road, making sure your offering is framed in a way that matters to those buyers who are involved. 

Use intent signals to track how your buyer was initially looking to fix their pain points. When buyers encounter a pain point, they tend to do some initial research on how to resolve the issue. They visit websites, read blogs, download ebooks, racking up digital footprints you can then track using intent signals. Intent signals are points of data that indicate that a prospect is showing interest or interacting with a brand digitally. Leveraging this data can allow you to reach your buyer sooner and with more accuracy rather than going in blind and engaging in cold-calling. 

By first listening to and understanding your buyer’s pain points, you’ll be able to tailor your pitch to them later on down the road. Taking their sources of pain into account and showing how your offering can provide a resolution will make your business all the more valuable.

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