How to Sell Solutions that contain AI on the German Market

How to Sell Solutions that contain AI on the German Market

I have been hearing of dozens of new products and new startups being created to take advantage of the latest generation LLM artificial intelligence like ChatGPT. For those people, we have some insight if the target audience is in Germany:

In the past few years, we have had quite a number of clients with AI as a major component in the offering. We have always asked ourselves the question: Is this a differentiator, a distinguishing feature? How do we communicate the benefits of an AI based solution? How do you describe an AI based solution in a short cold email?

There is of course the classic crossing-the-chasm technology adoption curve with the Early Adopters and the Early Majority. An overt AI message is clearly focusing on early adopters. While instead, an aluminum casting software that can reduce 10% of scrap after 4 weeks in a pilot, is for Early Majority and the AI is only used to explain how this breakthrough is achieved.

Here is some of the more concrete learning from actually testing audiences through outbound lead generation campaigns that involve AI products and services:

  1. “Innovation Officers” are definitely interested to talk and maybe do a pilot. Later, converting that into profitable business takes great sales skills.
  2. “Data Maturity” is often the barrier to starting projects– even pilots. Companies with lots of clean data often already have systems it place that are good enough already. Those without are not eager to first invest in data collection or cleaning before evaluating if you solution will actually work.
  3. Business managers are indifferent to AI messaging. We believe they are mostly AI neutral. They instead respond mostly to the description of the problem and the pain that the solution fixes (with or without AI).
  4. IT, Engineering, and other technical decision makers are still very difficult to reach via email even if your story has trendy AI in it.
  5. AI is not unique, nor rare (especially now),  nor automatically valuable. Value comes from the problem it fixes. AI is how it fixes it.  See point 3.
  6. AI is “your language” but it is not the language of your target audience. No one wakes up at 3 am and says: “I need AI to reduce the complexity in my accounts receivable accounting!”

 

Value Proposition Toolbox
Use the same tools we use to boost your value proposition for non-organic outbound lead generation.

Germany is one of the most conservative countries when it comes to procurement of new technologies. Remember the “Sorry, we have an anti cloud strategy” 7 years ago… Selling new technology to the “German Mittelstand” you need to bridge the gap between their pains and your solution. For Germans new technology is not the solution per se.

 

 

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