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How to use augmented reality as a sales tool

How to use augmented reality as a sales tool

By Matt Trubow, chief executive, Hidden Creative

Augmented reality is a powerful sales tool.  The technology can support every stage of the sales cycle.  In particular, augmented reality can provide sales people with an impressive aide to enhance selling, sales pitches, presentations and other collateral, providing businesses with a genuine way to improve lead generation, qualification, proposals and delivery.

Beyond being an impactful way to present data or a product, the technology can help sales people apply series of powerful techniques to further communication, persuasion and client affinity with a product or service.  Here are ten examples.

1.    Demand generation: increase engagement and dwell time online

A good website should be part of a digital strategy to acquire new customers or generate leads.  When AR is used on websites, it increases dwell time and there is a proven correlation between the dwell time on site and conversions (e.g. sales, visits to the contact us page).

2.    Demand generation: engaging advertising (print and digital out of home)
Advertising is changing and savvy advertising agencies are incorporating interactive elements into their artwork.  Brands are can incorporate an AR experience into an advert which then drives the user through to a website or provides then with a coupon or offer to drive footfall into store.

3.    Demand generation: events

The events' industry is in decline and old fashioned an exhibition is no longer as central to marketing budgets as it once was.  Successful events and exhibitors are increasing interactivity at events which can increase dwell time on stand and directly help with lead generation.  

Alternatively AR offers a high impact way to capture attention both at the event but also online, before during and after an exhibition, providing longevity to event presences which wasn’t once possible.

4.    Qualifying: sales and marketing collateral

Too many sales and marketing professionals under invest in sales and marketing collateral.  Some innovative companies are choosing to invest in the sales process and make a good first impression by using AR to bring a presentation to life.

Sales collateral can be static too but at the end of an AR experience it is possible to add data capture forms or refer people onto a website or contact page, thus supporting the sales process.

5.    Qualifying: AR used in credential presentations

The credentials’ meeting is the chance to impress and make an impression.  Clearly an interactive web experience will not only captivate attention but as research shows, AR gives businesses a chance to put products into the hands of customers helping increase the likelihood to buy.

6.    Qualifying: AR used to demonstrate products

Product demonstrations might not be as high pressure as a pitch situation but it is still a selling opportunity.  If it is impossible to demonstrate the real product then an AR experience can make an engaging alternative.

7.    Proposing: tender documents and proposals

Don’t under invest in the pitch stage.  Most sales professionals know it is better to do five great pitches than 100 average ones, so why not enhance a presentation with augmented reality?

8.    Proposing: modelling designs and products

There are some businesses that need to strip back costs from the sales process.  For example, engineering firms spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on 3D product models.  There are a number of leading engineering and construction firms who are investing in AR modeling instead which can be much more cost effective and take much less time to complete.

Again for some organisations modelling products for clients can be a major part of the job.  Make the process quick impactful with AR.

9.    Delivering: reporting and updating clients on projects

Selling doesn’t stop when a client has been acquired.  Most businesses are constantly trying to convince clients that their strategy is right or that their product design is the best solution.  An augmentation of a proposed solution can be a sophisticated and persuasive way to communicate its benefits.

10.    Delivering: global working practices

Truly global businesses come with their own challenges.  Sometimes it is not feasible to fly out clients to visit a project site in China or Australia, or perhaps a project is being coordinated with teams which are located in different time zones.  AR demonstrations can prove to be the death of distance and reduce the need for expensive international travel.

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