Experts predict that augmented reality (AR) investments will reach $60 billion by 2020. And B2B businesses are likely to represent a large piece of this pie.
After all, the B2B industry is ripe for AR innovation. More than half of B2B buyers use the buying experience to determine their purchasing decisions, and B2B businesses are seeking out digital offerings that can differentiate their sales cycles from their competitors.
AR has the potential to be that differentiator. By superimposing virtual images onto a user’s view of the world, AR can help B2B businesses enhance the buying experience for customers and ultimately drive more sales and loyalty.
Increase Buyer Confidence
As a B2B buyer, it’s easy to view AR as a trendy tool that’s more of a nice-to-have than an actual necessity. But as business buyers raise their expectations for buying experiences, companies that embrace emerging technology to offer more seamless processes will win big.
AR has the potential to help you increase buyer confidence by allowing you to demonstrate value early, easily upsell, and speed up sales cycles.
● Demonstrate value early: One-dimensional marketing materials—such as sales decks and brochures—do little to differentiate your products and influence buyer decisions. AR can help you three-dimensionally demonstrate product value at the earliest touch points. Buyers have the chance to see how your product will actually interact in their space and fit into their organization right off the bat, which gives you an early advantage.
● Easily upsell: Since B2B products are usually large or complicated, there’s no easy way for sellers to physically bring their entire product lines to buyers. With AR, you can virtually showcase entire product portfolios at once in sales meetings, which creates opportunities to upsell and cross-sell. When a prospect hints at a need for more or different products, you can easily show them their options on the spot.
● Speed up sales cycles: According to a recent study, 38% of business buyers reported that AR would accelerate the buying cycle. Along with showcasing products virtually within meetings, AR allows buyers to actually interact with them. When buyers can visualize the features and benefits of a tool, they are left with fewer questions about how it will benefit their organizations. This degree of interaction speeds up the sales cycle by allowing buyers to make decisions with more confidence and consensus.
Drive Greater Organizational Alignment
AR offers a number of benefits for B2B sales teams: It accelerates the sales cycle, demonstrates product value early and often, and gives prospects the confidence they need to reach decisions faster. But as an added bonus, AR can also help your organization achieve alignment internally. Marketers can collect data from sales teams using AR to uncover insights into the prospects you interact with and care about most. Armed with this information, businesses can optimize and structure future marketing collateral around real buyer behaviors and see exactly how much ROI new AR features actually bring in.
B2B decision-makers have an opportunity to use AR to drastically improve the buying processes. And as businesses demand better buying experiences, companies will win big when they invest in the necessary emerging technologies to create those experiences.