Having had just one shot on target in an insipid first half, Serie A champion Juve fell behind on the hour-mark when Verona's Andrea Favilli slotted home from 15 yards.
Juve – winless in two consecutive Serie A games against Verona for the first time since 1989 – stormed back through substitute Dejan Kulusevski's equaliser 13 minutes from time and created a number of excellent opportunities in the closing stages without converting.
Pirlo's Juve ended the game having had 22 shots but the Italian boss was not impressed that the hosts needed a "slap in the face" to start carving out chances.
"Our first half wasn't aggressive enough. We waited for them and yet we created the best chances," he told Sky Sport Italia.
"We reacted well after they took the lead, but we shouldn't need a slap in the face to wake up and play with intensity. When you play against Verona or Atalanta, it's difficult because they take you one-on-one all over the field and create many duels.
"We worked to avoid their high press and that worked better in the second half. It's tough against them, but we could've done better."
The result moves Juve up to fifth – three points behind leader Milan, which has played a game fewer – while Verona remains in eighth position.
Juve hosts LaLiga giant Barcelona in a mouth-watering Champions League clash on Thursday before travelling to Spezia in Serie A on Monday (AEDT).