3 Common “Pain Points” That Drive B2B Sales



3 Common “Pain Points” That Drive B2B Sales

Many small business owners in the B2B sales space are constantly trying to sell their product or service based on the idea of what makes their solution better than the competition. While it’s good to know your solution’s unique value proposition and be up to speed on your product’s features and benefits, the truth is, many B2B sales are driven not by “positive” features of your solution, but by certain “negative” aspects of your competitor’s solution. Many B2B buyers are motivated primarily not by optimism, but by pain.

What do I mean by “pain?” Think about the last time your organization made a new purchase. Was it because you read about some exciting new product to make your life better, or was it because you had a more mundane problem that your existing system or solution was not adequately solving? Many B2B buyers get motivated to buy from you because they’re not happy — they’re in pain in some way — because their existing setup is not working for them.

By understanding these common “pain points,” you can better understand your buyers and make bigger sales.



Big Pain Points of B2B Sales

1. The Buyer’s Current Vendor has Bad Service 

Many B2B buyers are already doing business with an incumbent vendor. That means in order to get new business, you need to displace a competitor that already has that client’s account. One of the common causes of an incumbent vendor losing a client is when the vendor’s service is inadequate. Maybe the vendor isn’t paying enough attention to the client. Maybe they failed to solve a problem. One of the most important questions to ask when talking to a prospective client is, “How are things going with your current vendor?” Sometimes you can uncover some problems and pain points that can give your company a chance to move in and win that account.

2. The Buyer’s Current System is Patched Together 

Other B2B buyers — especially if you sell IT systems or software — might be receptive to hearing from you if you can deliver a solution that is more comprehensive and elegant than what they might already have. A surprisingly large percentage of businesses are still using manual methods like spreadsheets to keep track of key business data. If you can show them why your solution, software or system is a better way to do business, you can win their attention and earn their trust.

3. The Buyer is Managing Too Many Different Vendors or Solutions 

Sometimes B2B buyers get overwhelmed by having a piecemeal process of working with too many vendors or solutions at one time, each of which is responsible for supporting a small part of their overall operations or business processes. They might need to work with one vendor that can deliver everything that they need, or that can help them simplify their jumble of existing products and services. If your company can serve as a helpful consultant to show the buyer how to simplify their processes and create clarity, you will help them overcome this common pain point.



B2B sales is not just about price or data, it’s about human emotions. People buy B2B solutions because they have a problem that needs to be solved, they have an ongoing business situation that is causing them pain and distress, and they want someone to help relieve their stress. Pay attention to the mindset of your prospect — not just the positive aspects of your solution, but also the negative circumstances that motivate your prospect to consider buying from you in the first place.

Pain Photo via Shutterstock
5 Comments ▼


Al Davidson


Al Davidson Al Davidson founded Strategic Sales & Marketing, Inc. in 1989, where he helps deliver B2B lead generation and appointment setting solutions for clients around the world. Under his leadership, the company has generated over 7 million sales leads, resulting in millions of dollars to his clients.

5 Reactions

  1. In my experience the “too many vendors” argument is usually related very closely to the first issue of not getting adequate service. Rarely have I seen a company cancel multiple vendors that were doing good work and had a good relationship in order to get a single vendor that might do a good job and might provide similar or better service.

  2. Aira Bongco

    Yes. Sometimes you need to keep your options open. And you do this not just because the current vendor is not delivering but also because you need to keep your options open so that you have something even if something goes wrong.

  3. You’re spot on, Al! What I’ve also found is that each of the pain points require introducing some level of change to the potential customer’s business. In other words, salespeople are change agents! We need to understand and articulate the benefits of change, not just features of our products or services.

  4. “B2B sales is not just about price or data, it’s about human emotions. People buy B2B solutions because they have a problem that needs to be solved, they have an ongoing business situation that is causing them pain and distress, and they want someone to help relieve their stress.”

    In order to make B2B sales, it’s important to understand how your products and services can solve your prospects’ problems. Understanding this will give you an edge over your competition, especially if you are able to make your leads feel as if you are really listening to them. Although your main goal is to sell your product or service, they need to know that you are genuinely looking out for them.

  5. I agree, Al. I believe that these pain points should be taught by being introduced to Salespeople that struggle in this area. I was working at a Kia Dealership and I was witnessing this every single day so its easy for me to related to this post.

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