While consumer applications have received the lion’s share of the buzz surrounding augmented reality, B2B organizations are quickly turning toward AR as a powerful sales enablement tool. 

As much of the sales enablement conversation focuses on developing data-driven content, implementing easy-to-use AR presentation tools is shaping up to be a really effective way to add value to the buyer’s journey.

Here, we’ll look at why AR is a game-changer for sales teams across verticals and highlight some augmented reality lessons learned based on real brands’ results.

Why augmented reality in sales?

Augmented reality goes beyond Snapchat filters and PokemonGo, blending virtual content like images, animations, 360 photography and video with real-life objects and places.

According to Demand Gen’s 2019 Content Preferences report, 58% of respondents say they’re willing to engage with interactive content for 5–20 minutes. 

The “augmented reality lesson” there is: AR tools let salespeople truly show instead of tell, allowing buyers to interact with lifelike 3D objects they can rotate and resize. Sellers can also bring in infographics, diagrams, flashcards, and other elements that reinforce key concepts and offer new perspectives throughout the purchasing journey. 

For field reps, Bigtincan‘s AR viewer allows them to access tutorials, catalogs, and presentations from a phone or tablet, making this a convenient way to add further value to the sales process. 

Benefits of using augmented reality in sales

Selling is hard enough as it is. But for reps selling complex products, heavy equipment, or thousands of SKUs at a time, additional challenges emerge. 

When presentation materials are digitized, sellers no longer need to worry about lugging around a bunch of demo products or forgetting their printouts. Instead, devices can be lifted to make a point, then lowered to continue the conversation. 

When AR joins forces with your sales enablement software, it unlocks a host of benefits for sellers, including the ability to: 

  • Present unlimited customization options. Nearly 70% of B2B buyers expect companies to provide content specific to their organization. AR tools give sales people the opportunity to share countless customization options without the costs associated with building multiple solutions simply to have more to share with buyers.
  • Prep sellers with a full catalog. There’s often a disconnect between what a buyer expects and what they receive. AR gives sellers the ability to show multiple solutions, educate buyers, and help them make the right purchase decision.
  • Run interactive demos from anywhere. No matter what devices your team is working with on the ground, AR can run effective interactive demos at critical moments. We’ve found that smartphones work well for training, making content accessible by any individual where and when it will be most relevant. Tablets are better for sales presentations, providing a larger screen and a better environment for group conversations.
  • Give sellers a clearer understanding of how products work. Salespeople can familiarize themselves with the device before they even walk into the office. When coupled with the right sales strategies, the seller is better equipped to close the deal.
  • Help buyers make more informed decisions. The flip side of helping sellers present products more effectively is that buyers develop a better understanding, which in turn, helps them make the right decision. Home design site Houzz reports that users of the platform’s AR tools were 11x more likely to make a purchase. Another report from Build.com found that people who purchased an item after using AR tools were 22x less likely to return it.
  • Annotate reality. Add virtual labels to real-world objects that can be linked to other interactive content that provides context, instructions, product features, entry fields for forms, real-time data, or even a human being who can answer questions. This makes sense for training employees, enlightening customers, and helping anyone understand what’s immediately in front of them. 

How can sellers use AR?

One of the best-known augmented reality lessons comes from IKEA. They released an augmented reality (AR) application that allows buyers to see how furniture will look in their home before visiting a store. 

This type of buyer-enablement allows potential customers to educate themselves before walking into a store or placing an order. 

While the use cases for AR are virtually endless, here are a few examples of how this tech can be used in a diverse range of verticals. 

  • Retail: Retailers specializing in home decor or furniture are an obvious use case, here, though AR applications stand to benefit just about any vertical you could think of.
  • Healthcare/Life Sciences: A medical device salesperson can walk into a doctor’s office and use AR to give demonstrations on different products from their tablet. This capability means the rep saves time and energy, eliminating the need to transport devices and set them up. The doctor, of course, benefits from better information. They’ll get to see how the device works, which brings more context to the table than the average sales sheet.
  • Manufacturing: For manufacturing companies, AR allows step-by-step guidance through complex tasks. This gives salespeople an alternative to spec sheets and manuals when showing prospects how a piece of machinery works or how it might look in its intended environment. Or, sellers might use VR to give buyers a look inside the equipment without actually dismantling it. 
  • Enterprise: AR also has the potential to enhance enterprise experiences. AR projections provide a projected image of participants and their visual materials in sales calls, creating a futuristic and much more interactive version of a screen share.  

There’s no limit to how augmented reality in sales can reshape business

Among the biggest augmented reality lessons? The endless potential it offers B2B sales teams across all sectors.

Pokémon Go showed the world how augmented reality could mesmerize audiences. Now that same magic is transforming business.

We now have the potential to embed interactive experiences into everyday scenarios, and as a result, we’re transforming the way we train, sell, and present. Customers and employees alike now have the chance to see behind walls, inside containers, and under the hood, providing more context for how things work, what makes them unique, and what to do if they need help. 

AR captivates our audiences, personalizing experiences so that a 5-year-old and a 50-year-old can see the same object or place differently, in a way that connects with their particular interests. We can deliver stories like never before, combining the things you see with the ideas and information you can’t, to help people understand. 

We can do all of this anywhere — in stores, in homes, at conferences, or wherever else an opportunity presents itself. And, it’s only a matter of time before AR becomes mainstream.

At Bigtincan, we look forward to helping more customers unlock the potential benefits of augmented reality. Get a demo of Bigtincan 3D to see those benefits yourself.