When your industrial customers shop around for built-to-order equipment, there’s a certain amount of self-education and research that must happen before they build up enough confidence to make a purchase. They need to determine what their specific product requirements are, how your product will meet them—and understand any hidden features, workflows, or processes that could potentially impact production. Product descriptions and images in a brochure don’t always tell the full story, and customizations add another layer onto what’s already a lengthy buying process.
Augmented reality introduces a new way for your prospective customers to see and experience complex built-to-order products using an immersive, full-scale digital representation overlaid onto a physical space. Interactive animations with in-depth detail help customers quickly understand the product and how it meets their needs so they can make faster purchase decisions. As a virtual tool for physical product demonstrations, AR can dramatically shorten the sales cycle in several ways.
One of the main reasons industrial sales cycles get drawn out is the back and forth that happens between customers and the equipment manufacturer. Traditionally, the manufacturer ships a physical product demo to a customer for review, and they come back with additional requirements for the product before they’re willing to buy it. The manufacturer then reconfigures the product, as many times as needed, until they can deliver exactly what the customer wants. It’s a slow-moving process that risks neglected customers sometimes backing away from the deal altogether.
AR-based product demos allow manufacturers to quickly reconfigure products on-the-fly and collaborate with customers earlier in the purchase journey to deliver the product they want in a fraction of the time. AR authoring solutions like Vuforia Studio minimize the need for any coding experience; instead sales engineers and product managers can use existing 3D models with AR applications to rapidly build, customize, and update game-changing AR experiences. AR is proving its value by reducing costs, enlightening customers, and accelerating the sales cycle.
Additional reconfigurations can also affect the price of industrial equipment and further impact customers' willingness to buy. In the traditional sales process for built-to-order products, equipment makers provide the customer with a quote before they begin any customization, and the buyer will take some time to decide whether or not they want to proceed.
AR-based product demos can speed up this process by better aligning products with customer expectations and reducing extra requotes during this back and forth period. This cuts down on the time buyers spend going over the numbers—bringing both sides to an agreement faster and accelerating the sales cycle.
Built-to-order industrial equipment can be large, complex, and difficult to transport and assemble. Product demos that get sent to prospective customers are no different and can be a logistical headache on both the shipping and receiving end. On top of that, these kinds of demos often require a trained expert on-hand to provide a walkthrough of product features, who likely has a busy travel schedule that can delay a sale.
Product demos via cloud-based, digital AR experiences eliminate unnecessary travel and shipping times by providing a faster, scalable alternative that customers can activate with only a mobile or wearable device. AR makes having an on-site product expert redundant and eliminates the need for equipment to be shipped back and forth for reconfigurations.
With AR-based product demos, manufacturers can shorten the sales cycle for industrial equipment by minimizing the back and forth with customers through on-the-fly customization, fewer requotes, and virtual product demos that don’t require shipping.
Discover how industrial sales and marketing organizations can benefit from using augmented reality in this complementary infographic. If you’d like to read more about AR uses cases for sales and marketing, check out the previous blog on using AR for sales and marketing.