As machine learning continues to mature, and the supporting technologies needed improve, we are seeing more and more products and services built on an algorithmic foundation. These offerings make claims of order of magnitude improvements in performance that sound almost too good to be true. And that is the challenge. Remember, buyers are skeptical.
To start to overcome this, providers must provide context for the claims. I often see providers underplaying the algorithms or the new technologies that enable the algorithmic approach. These are still new things for many buyers, so they need some context to understand that it is a fundamentally different approach that enables such big improvements.
And that plays to the second thing that providers need to do. The approach must be explained, in detail, in the context of how the customer works. They really need to understand how this works. I’m not saying you have to explain machine learning in detail, but you have to give them an operational understanding of how it changes work processes. Compare the implementation approach for traditional solutions to that for the new. Compare the work activities of impacted users with how they work today. This even deeper context will help customers visualize how their work environment changes.
Finally, most of these algorithmic solutions attack inefficient processes. Processes that rely on people to, in addition to their regular work, look for patterns, uncover anomalies, and take action. And while there are a lot of inefficient processes, they are also largely accepted as the way things work. There needs to be a buying trigger to drive a willingness to change. It could be a cost cutting initiative. It could be a major breach, audit failure, or quality issue that drives the need to change now.
The value of algorithmic business is often eye-popping. But if the customer has not prioritized the change (or you can not cause them to) and/or does not understand how (or believe) they can achieve the results, then it will be a long time before they buy. If your selling solutions that are powered by algorithms and approaches that are new and different, keep these issues in mind to maximize your sales and marketing effectiveness.
Read Complimentary Relevant Research
Predicts 2017: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is changing the way in which organizations innovate and communicate their processes, products and services. Practical...
View Relevant Webinars
How to Protect Mobile Apps
Securely enabling applications on corporate- or employee-owned devices is key to protecting enterprise data from misuse. From containers...
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.