Marketing and selling industrial equipment has a unique set of challenges. Traditional sales cycles can be lengthy, due to the complexity of the products and the “see-before-you-buy” expectations of customers. Equipment manufacturers often spend a significant amount of time and resources reconfiguring products to meet their customers’ needs, with each iteration costing more and more. Field marketing teams face their own set of challenges, having to generate interest at trade shows and industry events for industrial products that are large, heavy, and expensive to produce and transport.
Interactive digital product experiences can help accelerate sales cycles and reduce costs. Fortunately for manufacturers of industrial equipment, advances in augmented reality (AR) technology have made providing such an experience significantly easier. Here are three ways that AR can provide sales and marketing value to industrial equipment manufacturers.
It can be hard to stand out and make a lasting impression at a crowded trade show. It’s even harder when you don’t have your newest, shiniest products to show off to potential customers due to space restrictions and the cost of transporting the equipment.
AR gives equipment manufacturers the powerful ability to exhibit their latest innovations, anytime and anywhere, with interactive full-scale digital models. AR experiences can provide incredible value in this context, resulting in more leads and better engagement at events for a fraction of the cost.
Equipment manufacturers like GSI are already seeing benefits. “The HoloLens Mixed Reality experience drove curiosity and booth traffic resulting in additional sales opportunities—considering the average project size around one million dollars and a win ratio of 20%,” said Nate Reznechek, Sales Director, Fertilizer.
For global equipment manufacturers with regional salespeople spread across geographies, it’s important to be able to successfully communicate how rapid updates impact particular engineering designs. A lack of understanding can lead to sales ambiguity resulting in additional requotes or reconfigurations that slow the sales cycle—or worse, derail it altogether.
Using an interactive AR experience, equipment manufacturers can convey the impact of those design updates to sales teams in real-time, in far greater detail than what was previously possible. This level of AR-driven sales enablement increases collaboration and accelerates response rates to customers.
Another way that AR can help industrial equipment sales teams accelerate the buying process is by letting customers experience the product in the context of the setting it was intended for. Much like someone may want to visualize what a new sofa might look like in their living room (switching between different shapes, sizes, and colors), industrial companies will feel more confident purchasing equipment if they can visualize and interact with it within the physical setting of the factory, farm, or other location that it will eventually live.
With AR, equipment manufacturers are now able to bring interactive life-size digital models of their products on-site, ensuring that the customer’s vision accurately reflects what the product will deliver. This visualization not only increases customer confidence, but it speeds up the quoting process and sales cycle.
AR technology can bring value to industrial organizations outside of the aforementioned sales and marketing use cases. GSI discussed this in an on-demand webinar—watch it now to learn more about the value that AR can bring across business areas.