AI Coach: find and fix deal issues before they result in closed-lost using AI


Identify Pain

15 min
Average Score

Matt Doyon

Chief Executive Officer @ Triple Session

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Did you know that the "I" in the MEDDICC sales methodology is the linchpin of your customer's buying decision? Understanding the pain points of your potential clients is not just essential; it's the single most crucial piece of information. In this session, we'll delve deep into the world of identifying business pain, its types, and how sales reps can leverage this knowledge to drive action.

The Essence of Business Pain

At the heart of any buying decision lies Business Pain – the issue, problem, or missed opportunity causing discomfort in an organization. But what makes pain truly impactful? It's the discomfort and the need for immediate action. Regardless of your sales process – be it BANT, SPIN, or GPCT – addressing pain is non-negotiable.

Types of Business Pain

Now, let's break down the four distinct types of Business Pain commonly encountered in consultative selling:

  1. Process Driven Problems: Businesses are intricate systems with various teams, steps, and processes. Identifying pain in this realm involves understanding how these components work together. For instance, in sales, it could be unraveling the effectiveness of your marketing team's content production.
  2. Production Problems: Situated between processes, production problems focus on the collaboration and efficacy of teams. Consider conversion rates in marketing, collaboration between sales teams, or the steps in HR's talent acquisition process.
  3. People Problems: At every step of a process, people play a crucial role. Are they sufficient in number, effective, and content? Are they happy, skilled, and contributing positively to the organization?
  4. Finance Pain: The ultimate pain – making money or saving money. How is the entire system contributing to revenue, profit, and productivity? This is where the economic buyer resides.

The 4 I's: Your Roadmap to Success

1. Identify (I) the Pain: What's Going On?

The journey begins with understanding the status quo. Sales reps should ask questions like, "What are commonly discussed in meetings?" or "What is the team investing its energy in?" Locating the pain involves identifying where to direct your efforts – process, production, people, or finance.

2. Investigate (I): Unearthing the Root Cause

Once the pain is identified, the next step is to investigate deeply. Ask the "why" questions repeatedly. Who is involved, what actions have been taken, and what is the client's own language describing the problem? The goal is to understand the depth and detail behind the pain.

3. Implicate (I): Understanding the Consequences

Now, it's time to implicate – what happens if nothing changes? What's the cost of doing nothing? This step is crucial for instilling a sense of immediate action. Understand the opportunity cost and get the buyer to articulate, in their words, why the status quo is untenable.

4. Interconnect (I): Tying the Story Together

Finally, bring it all together. Interconnect the pain points with specific solutions. Make the buyer the protagonist in a story, navigating from the problem world to the solution. The key is to raise discomfort with the status quo and lower the friction of making a change.

Applying the 4 I's: A Real-Life Example

In a startup consulting scenario, the identification of pain related to customer acquisition. Through investigation, the pain involved sales, marketing, conversion rates, and training. Implicating the consequences revealed the imminent closure of the business without hitting the required numbers. Finally, interconnecting the story centered around avoiding the close, addressing emotional pain, and ultimately winning the deal.

Mastering the art of identifying pain is not just about recognizing problems; it's about telling a compelling story. By localizing the problem, employing the 4 I's – Identify, Investigate, Implicate, Interconnect – and becoming a skilled storyteller, sales reps can maximize their chances of success. So, dive into the Strength Training on Identifying Pain, and remember, practice makes progress. Watch this session to learn more about the nuances of identifying and leveraging pain in the sales journey.

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