To begin building a relationship, you agreed to sell some AI consulting to help a customer add bespoke features, or do some data integration. Intentions were good.
However, this can quickly spiral out of control. Before you know it, you often end up hiring more and more consultants, and selling more AI consulting than actual software licenses.
So many AI businesses share the same major challenge. They want to sell software, SaaS licenses, and continue growth – but end up becoming a professional services company.
This results in gross margins that are much lower than they were targeting as a SaaS company, and a lower ratio of recurring revenue.
So, how do you avoid this trap? How do you sell licenses and limit the number of professional services for maximum profit generation? The truth is that sales and marketing are your key tools for effective targeting and messaging.
Know Your Market
Who are you targeting and what pain points are you addressing? No doubt, your target buyers have many challenges, but you need to narrow in on one specific pain point rather than trying to fix everything.
Build a clear buyer persona, including demographic information and psychographic information. You need to know what drives your buyers, where their priorities lie, and what problems they face day-to-day. Knowing your buyer ensures that your message truly resonates with them.
Sell Your Vision & AI Solution to That Problem
Now that you know who you’re selling to, and what their problems are, you need to sell your solution as the answer to their problem.
Avoid describing your technology to the potential buyer. Focusing on your technology will encourage your buyer to create their own personal roadmap, and generate a list of bespoke features that would make your product perfect for them and only them. Your solution is already exactly what they need, so focus on that message.
Sell Repeatable Projects Not AI Consulting Projects
You might be thinking, this is great but every project is slightly different, so we do need to customize the software.
The truth is that if you know who you’re marketing to, and what problem you solve for them, then you can specialize your offer as narrowly as possible. This will mean that every project is similar enough to avoid consulting and adaptations.
Your tech should be your buyer’s solution – if your lead needs further changes, then they’re not the right buyer for your solution.
Self Service is King
Too often, AI companies focus on building software that is too complicated for self-service. After all, complicated tech proves just how smart your developers are, and why your tech is the best. This is a by-product of the “just one more feature” syndrome. Ultimately, the only people who can configure your tool will be those that built it.
This is a surefire way to make sure your company becomes a consultancy. Self-service, whether you’re targeting business users or technical, allows you to limit your consulting. You let the customer, or service provider partners, do the work.
The more focused you are on one problem, the fewer features you need to secure a sale. This ensures that you build a self-service tool.
For B2B AI companies, it’s all too easy to fall into the professional services trap. If you find that your AI consulting costs are growing, or that you’re securing more consulting projects than licenses, then you need to make a change.
At Nituno, we work with B2B tech companies to build marketing and sales strategies based on the market’s needs. Position your company with the right messaging, and focus on securing the sales that you really want. Get in touch with us today to discuss your B2B marketing.