Do you know your buyer’s pain points?
Reader, I am a buyer. This is not a confession about my online shopping habits (those are published on a different website) but an insight into one of the elements of my role. My most recent pain point had nothing to do with my porridge being too hot or too cold (cf. Goldilocks) but was related to the launch of our educational webinar series for sales leaders – check out our first webinar for banking and financial professionals here – where I needed to purchase a webinar platform system that suited our needs.
My process? I looked at a system I’d used before and compared it with two others I was aware of through my network. I looked at reviews, checked out prices, features, number of attendees allowed and made my decision. Easy.
But if you are the type of sales person that waits for an RFP or a monthly catch-up to find out what issues your customers and prospects are facing, or what’s next on their agenda, then you’re probably too late. In my case, I’d already sent back my purchase order to someone else.
If you have read any sales blogs recently then you will be aware that 60% of the B2B buyer’s journey is already complete before reaching out to you. And in that time they are probably talking to your competitors too. Rather than curse the fickle nature of the customer, take a look at how you can engage them earlier in the process.
Smart sellers that are proactively investigating buyer pain points well in advance have an immediate edge over the competition.
We buyers are effectively sending out the bat signal – tweeting our frustration, asking for product recommendations on LinkedIn, announcing new activities on our websites – which will let you know we are in the market.
How can you tell when a customer or prospect needs your help?
- Organisational changes
This could be anything from recruitment, redundancy, or mergers and acquisitions, to new product development and targeting new markets.
Track company news, blogs and social media platforms to see what the organisation is putting out there, and what their people have to say about changes within their business.
The best way to know what’s going on in a business is simply to ask, so if you have an existing relationship then take the opportunity to give them a call.
Likewise, encourage them to open up through discussions on groups and forums, create engaging content, and craft relevant and timely messages that tap into their pain points.
In this way you’ll be positioning yourself as a solution provider early on.
- Market developments
Markets evolve, and new markets emerge faster than you can say ‘that’ll never take off’. No matter what industry your buyers are in, there will always be external market forces that they must contend with. This could be a new entrant to market, a shift in customer dynamic affecting supply and demand, or new legislation/regulatory changes that could potentially impact their business.
Track market commentators, competitors and end-customers, look for relevant market forums and join the debate, and analyse wider industry data. You never know, you may even uncover a pain point before the buyer themselves notice it. That would be very much appreciated!
- External influences
Don’t just look directly at your customer or prospect. Look up and down their supply chain, and monitor what’s happening within their customer base.
Use social tools to determine if their suppliers or end-users have a need that your customer or prospect has yet to fill, and use the insight gathered to help them deliver a solution before their competitors jump in.
Help your customers remain relevant. By helping them grow and develop their business you will grow yours at the same time.
- Ready to gain first mover advantage?
The problem, of course, is the sheer volume of information and the challenge of filtering this into actionable insights. Use the right tools and you will cut through the white noise and uncover valuable signals and triggers, to ensure you feel your buyer’s pain before your competitors do.
Artesian, the world’s most powerful selling tool, gathers and tracks intelligence on your customers and prospects from millions of online resources, and uses clever technology to filter out the commercially valuable insights you need to solve buyer problems and ease their pain.