August 05, 2023
Discover how to streamline your sales, lead management and customer relations by identifying and addressing customer pain points more efficiently using CRM. Learn effective strategies that will help you get the most from your CRM system.

In sales and marketing, customer pain points are a familiar concept. But what are they exactly? According to Dan Shewan in his article for WordStream, a pain point is a specific problem experienced by prospective customers of your business.

This aligns with the Gartner Glossary definition, which terms pain points as particular problems that customers face in the marketplace, whether current or prospective. Pain points can be seen as problems, plain and simple.

As diverse as customers themselves, pain points may not always be recognized by customers, making marketing to these individuals a complex process. To address these points effectively, marketers have to help their prospects realize they have a problem and convince them that their product or service is the solution.

Customer pain points can be categorized into financial, productivity, process, and support, as Shewan described.

Financial pain points revolve around customers feeling that they are spending too much money on their current provider or solution and desire a way to reduce their expenditure. Productivity pain points represent customers feeling they are wasting too much time using their current provider or solution and would ideally like to use their time more efficiently. Process pain points spotlight customers' desire to improve internal processes within their companies. Support pain points are customers feeling they are not receiving the necessary support at critical stages in their journey.

As complex as the customers themselves, pain points often encapsulate more than one category. For instance, a customer might feel that the costly product they're currently using is also inefficient and lacks adequate support. Addressing these multilayered pain points requires holistic solutions that can solve various problems.

Strategies for Addressing and Alleviating Pain Points 

Once the pain points have been identified, the next step is to address and alleviate them. Of course, a fundamental part of this process is qualitative research, which relies on detailed, individualized responses to open-ended questions about customers' pain points. As Gartner asserts, customer pain points are highly subjective; the root cause of the pain point for one customer could be entirely different from another, even if the problem appears identical on the surface.

Sales and support teams form the primary sources of information needed to identify your customers' pain points. For instance, sales teams are on the front and therefore understand better the problems prospective customers face. Feedback from your sales team can be invaluable in identifying and accurately addressing the pain points of your prospective customers.

Shewan's article provides real-world instances of how customer pain points can be leveraged in marketing through online ads and landing pages. In the case of online ads, once you've conducted qualitative research into what pain points your prospects are experiencing, you can use this knowledge to your advantage.

For example, an ad for ADP payroll services promises two months of free services—immediately addressing a financial pain point—but then emphasis is placed on the ad copy. The ad tells customers, "Let ADP Take The Weight Off Your Business With Fast, Easy & Reliable Payroll," subtly addressing the payroll burden and implying relief.

On social media, many people post updates in an aspirational way, and a well-designed social ad that directly addresses a prospect's pain points can be a powerful persuader. The Facebook ad for Triplebyte is an excellent example of this strategy.

When it comes to landing pages, aligning them with the copy of the ads and addressing customer pain points to make the landing pages clearer and more appealing is essential. This can be demonstrated using the landing page for the social analytics platform SimplyMeasured. The page emphasizes time management—a major pain point for agencies—and suggests that making social marketing decisions faster is the solution. This is complemented with a bulleted list of what readers will learn from the download, with items like "Make quick stunning presentations for your stakeholders," emphasising perception as much as productivity.

How Pain Point Analysis Informs Product Development

Pain point analysis is essential in product development, as understanding customers’ problems can guide creating of solutions that meet their specific needs. Identifying pain points helps companies to develop and design products or services that directly address customers' needs and problems, providing them with significant value that distinguishes the company from its competitors.

An event described by WordStream, where they invited 11 customers to participate in an Ideation & Design workshop, provides insight into how the feedback gathered from customer pain points can influence product development. The event allowed participants to identify their most significant challenges as online advertisers, thus guiding the company on improving their product offerings to address these problems.

Product positioning is another critical aspect of product development influenced by pain point analysis. Identifying the dominant type of customer pain point may help a business position its products or services more effectively. For instance, if most customers' pain points are financial, emphasis could be placed on features within the company's products that offer a lower monthly subscription plan, increasing ROI, which would subsequently be more attractive to cost-conscious consumers.

Customer pain point analysis also informs how products should be marketed. Once pain points are determined, they can be addressed in promotional materials—such as ad copy and landing pages—to assure customers that the company’s product or service can provide the solution they need.

Conclusion: Tackling Pain Points through CRM

Pain point analysis plays a significant role in enhancing sales, lead, and customer management. It furnishes businesses with clarity on what their customers struggle with and informs the development of precise solutions. Pain point analysis is a critical guide in understanding better and serving customers. 

Whether it's the productivity, financial, process, or support pain point, every type requires its unique approach. Still, they all equally demand comprehensive solutions that recognize the multi-layered nature of most customer dilemmas. Qualitative research, feedback from sales and support teams, targeted online ads, and landing page optimization are crucial elements in pain point analysis and alleviating them.

Perhaps the most vital takeaway is that a solid understanding of customer pain points can significantly influence and enhance product development. By driving the creation of solutions that directly address customer needs, organizations get a competitive edge and generate significant customer value.

Implementing a CRM effectively helps to streamline this process. It serves as a tool for collecting, managing, and interpreting the essential data needed for pain point analysis. By enhancing the relationship between customers and the company, a CRM system also makes identifying and alleviating pain points a comprehensive and well-coordinated effort.

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