A ‘Pain Chain’ is a powerful visual map first introduced by Keith M. Eades in his book, The New Solution Selling: The Revolutionary Process That is Changing the Way People Sell. Software and technology providers can use the Pain Chain to help determine the source of pain for customers and discuss, with the right people, how to eliminate or mitigate its effects.
How to Use a 'Pain Chain' to Add Customer and Business Value Click To Tweet
As you go through this process with your customer, you’re likely to find that undesired results are simply a symptom of a larger problem a quick surface analysis won’t uncover. You have to dig deep beneath the symptomatic problem to uncover the root problem. Taking the time and energy to construct Pain Chains with your customers differentiates you from your competition since you’ll develop a full understanding of your customers’ business and the challenges of their environment.
When you invest in understanding customer needs and objectives during the sales cycle, a natural outcome will be an enhanced and trusted relationship with your customer.
By following the chain of pain throughout an organization, you:
For most of your customers, you probably have a relationship with one or two of the people who use your solution. By building a Pain Chain, you are naturally forced to look at all potential touchpoints of your solution. You may realize you don’t have a complete picture or a good understanding of how your software or service solution resolves pain points of users upstream or downstream of your solution.
By exposing the pain points upstream and downstream of the Controller/AP Clerk, you may realize additional opportunities to provide value-added/custom services to the CFO (or even the CEO), field workers and the IT Department. What’s even more important is that as people move to other companies, you mitigate the risk of being replaced by another technology company if you forge relationships throughout your client’s organization.
Once you construct Pain Chains for several clients, you will start to:
Pain Chains play an important role in gaining a deeper understanding of your customers and how you can identify and solve their pains. Make it a part of your sales and service processes to build sustainable and meaningful relationships.
Written by: Cheryl Salazar, The Partner Marketing Group
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