Hello B2B Marketers.
We hear it all the time. B2B sales cycles are long and some are longer than most due to the industry, product fit, seasonality and selling notions. Some sales cycles last a few months, some last years until an agreement is reached and an SOW/PO is cut.
At LG B2B, our success is based on sales relationships. Though our brand carries equity in the marketplace, a lot of our solutions are complex, technical in nature and setup, and require patience in the process. Our goal is to ensure that our customers get the right products that serve their needs both now and in the future to drive TCO savings, and that can take time.
But time in sales can be a double edged sword. Finding that right balance is a perplexing task that every company that sells in the B2B space is challenged with. Depending on the solutions, meetings and presentations often turn to hands on product demos and in environment pilots below a full scale buy. This is true at LG where most of our solutions are extremely hard to travel with and require time from the potential customer and sales teams to bring them onsite to walk them through our products. That’s the process of today. This stretches our sales cycles significantly.
A few smart heads came together and decided that something had to change.
Enter AR or Augmented Reality. Through AR itself is nothing new and the tech has existed for years, it has primarily been a consumer play. However, recently within the last year, a handful of companies has started to explore AR in a B2B space. We are proud to be one of them.
As head of digital, my job is to do the best I can to help my sales teams. From branding, awareness, education, lead gen, demand gen, tools etc, I need to ensure that I am arming my sales teams to go close deals faster. I have long been a fan of AR and our marketing team quickly understood the value of introducing AR into the sales cycle. The solution we came up with and plan to roll out this year is very exciting:
- Our products are too big to travel but are needed in potential customer environments for size and specs before a “buy” commitment is made. It made complete sense to arm our sales team with an AR app with “visualizes” our products in a customer’s native environment in real time.
- Our sales teams will be able to confidently walk into a customer meeting, pitch our solutions in a meeting, walk with the customer to the actual environment, fire up our AR app, “visualize” the right product within that environment, measure and then lock in a visual blueprint ready to be shared with the customer via email. All in the same meeting.
- Will this replace the need for product demos or actual units? Not completely. But our goal is to accelerate those sales conversations wherever possible to get to a closed opportunity.
Slated to launch on Android and IOS phones and tablets in the latter half of 2017, I am super excited to integrate AR into my selling stack. A mentor once told me “find the path of least resistance to the first dollar”. This program certainly amplifies that.
If you have questions about AR or process flow, feel free to ping me.