Augmented Reality in B2B Sales – Forbes
Forbes recently ran an article outlining three use cases in B2B sales for Augmented Reality. Article author is Denis Kostusev, VP of Business Development at Itransition, a software development company.
When you deal with business to business (B2B) sales, all properties of your product or service must persuade the potential client that it will increase their company’s profit. There should also be something impressive in your offer that makes it stand out. This is where AR can enter the stage and become a handy sales and client engagement tool that you can create with the help of your company’s developers.
Kostusev explores three potential AR use cases he has noticed for B2B sales in his role.
By enhancing your presentation with AR, you can visualize and highlight the aspects of your offer that require special attention in the most realistic and immersive way. It can be especially useful when displaying real property, like Realtor.com does, or large products such as industrial machines (think CAT). But the most well-known example is probably IKEA, who used augmented reality to allow clients (both consumers and businesses) to try furniture in their offices and apartments by superimposing it on the surroundings with the IKEA Place app.
There are two key advantages to this approach. First, it can make interacting with the client remotely easier and more enjoyable. Second, the clients can see all the perks of the product without physically interacting with it.
When you talk to your client in private, you’ve already gained an advantage — the client is talking to you instead of your competitors. Exhibitions are a completely different environment. You need to stand out among dozens of other companies. And this is another marketing application of AR — you can use it to attract visitors to your stand.
Considering the hype around AR, which still won’t cease, just mentioning it in your flyers or on the banner can be a hook for exhibition visitors. Take the example of Ford. The company used AR to attract visitors during the 2017 North American International Auto Show. The visitor could sit inside the car and at the same time see what was happening under the hood on a big screen. The exhibit not only impressed visitors but also made headlines and increased the company’s visibility.
Another example is Motorex — an oil company that amazed guests using an AR-powered interactive factory tour. The tour video shows AR stopping points where visitors could enjoy hidden content using their smartphones.
When you’re presenting something more abstract than an excavator or a next-gen Ford Focus, it may be hard to convey the value of your offer, especially when it involves complex data that’s hard to visualize. Here, AR can come into play in the form of an interactive three-dimensional visualization.
This use case for AR is only emerging in B2B sales, but there’s already a solid technical background for it. According to a project participant’s description, IBM Immersive Insights is a visualization tool that presents data in 3D space, making it easier to explore data and grasp the insights it provides. In an experiment detailed by an IBM representative, IBM engineers used the tool to visualize Instacart’s data grocery purchases and thus better understand user purchasing patterns. Although it’s not related directly to B2B sales, I believe this case shows the potential AR has in complex data visualization both for internal use and for presenting your value proposition.
Next the author looks at AR Challenges To Overcome, such as considering hardware that is specifically designed for AR support and with high image processing speed. He warns against the pitfall of too-high anticipations often associated with this technology.
The article concludes by the author looking at what is next for AR Solutions For B2B Sales.
You can read the article in full here.