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How AR Can Help Equipment Sales Reps Close Deals

While some aspects of pre-pandemic business models are returning, sales teams will likely have smaller travel budgets as more organizations continue the shift toward remote or hybrid work. Having fewer opportunities to visit prospects on-site or have them come to you will change the way sales representatives build relationships with prospects, assess their needs, offer consultations and demonstrate products. 

The vital elements of sales aren’t changing, but sales leaders now face the challenge of equipping their teams with tools and software that will help them maintain, pitch and deliver exceptional service. By emphasizing a selling and support solution that includes augmented reality capabilities, sales reps — especially those selling equipment — can use a tool like remote visual assistance software to have meaningful, productive interactions with prospects even when they’re not in the same room. The software lets users merge multiple video streams to allow collaboration in real time. This offers a powerful alternative to expensive and difficult to schedule on-site visits while still prioritizing a positive prospect experience. And letting the sales rep virtually inhabit a prospective customer’s facility allows them to gain crucial insight into the company’s needs, ultimately helping to close a deal.  

Several industries, including medical & scientific equipment and telecommunications, have seen significant improvements in customer experience and satisfaction after implementing remote visual assistance software. Just as the video collaboration software offers a customer a “hands-on” service experience, it can also provide an immersive interaction for prospective customers, helping sales reps make connections and complete sales from far away.

A Proven and Easy to Use Software Solution

Because remote visual assistance software is easy to use and implement, sales teams can get started quickly. The software suits prospective customers with all levels of technological ability, letting them connect to a session using a variety of devices without needing to download an app. Sales reps can send an invitation to join a remote visual assistance session by email or text. Because the technology works on current equipment including smart phones, tablets, desktop computers and even smart glasses, there’s no added cost for hardware.

Recommended: New Report: Misaligned Sales Enablement Tools Negatively Affect Sales Outcomes

In addition, sales teams can record sessions and revisit them to capture important details or reflect on a particularly effective pitch. That kind of review isn’t possible with a conventional, in-person visit. And by making the recording available to the prospect as well, they’ll have the ability to share the information with other stakeholders or give further consideration to the product. 

Getting More Out of Remote Sales Calls 

One way to incorporate remote visual assistance software into your sales team’s work is by using it as an introductory visit to establish a relationship and get a feel for the customer’s needs as part of discovery before conducting an in-person visit. Not only will it save time and money for your team, but the immersive technology also supports the needs of both the prospect and the sales rep as they get to know each other from a distance.

Consider this example: A prospect at a medical facility on the East Coast reaches out to a sales rep at a medical equipment manufacturer in the Midwest, showing interest in a piece of equipment. The sales rep researches the facility to get an idea of how the equipment would solve a problem for the company. Then they schedule a remote visual assistance session.

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During the call, the prospect provides a tour of the facility, and the rep can see exactly where the piece of equipment could be placed. Because both the prospect and the sales rep can virtually reach into the field of view, the rep can point out how the facility could accommodate the new equipment, and use gestures or even bring in tools to make a point. They can also ask questions, get additional details and explain the compatibility of the other equipment in the room. In the same way, the sales rep can demonstrate aspects of the product and give the prospect a hands-on experience. The level of engagement offered by the software makes it feel as if the rep and prospect are in the same room together, fostering a positive relationship ahead of their next interaction. 

When the sales rep makes an in-person visit with hopes of closing the sale, both parties will be familiar with each other, the company’s needs and the product’s value proposition. Integrating remote visual assistance software into your sales process saves potential customers and sales teams time without sacrificing the personal experience. 

In some cases, the remote visual assistance experience isn’t just a way to sell — it’s also a selling point. When discussing product service and maintenance, reps can explain the speed and ease of AR capabilities in the customer service process. You’re selling them a solution that needs to work, and offering access to experts and faster fixes with fewer on-site calls will reassure them. Lab equipment customers, for instance, aren’t just looking for quality and reliability in their products. They want exceptional service and fast repairs that minimize downtime. Showing a prospect how the AR-enabled capabilities of the software promise a fast, effective service experience can help alleviate concerns about the risk of lost lab time stemming from equipment malfunctions. 

It’s also helpful for those selling equipment that might have a steep learning curve for some customers. In the dental industry, sales reps often face reluctance from customers hesitant to move from traditional labs to chair-side, digital milling systems. Their fear of inconsistent results compounds concerns over their own ability to use the new technology to serve their patients successfully. By using AR-enabled technology to allay those apprehensions, sales reps ensure the promise of immediate help from an expert who doesn’t just tell you what to do — they show you what to do. And they’re there for you as you put the instructions into action. It’s one thing to offer customer support in your sales pitch — it’s another to immerse prospects in a remarkable support experience. 

AR helps foster the connections essential to sales  

Conducting remote sales calls using remote visual assistance software lets equipment sales reps nurture vital relationships with prospects, effectively demonstrate products and services and accurately assess needs. Companies that implemented the software have seen a positive impact on several key performance indicators, including: 

  • Higher close rate
  • Faster sales cycle
  • Efficient use of time for the sales rep and the prospect

The skills sales reps have honed throughout their careers are still essential in teams that embrace remote visual assistance software. Nothing can replace a sales rep familiarizing themselves with a prospect’s company, its needs and pain points, and identification of the high-impact use cases. Equipment sales teams will still develop relationships and build loyalty by keeping a pulse on their customers and offering a value proposition that solves their problems. Remote visual assistance software offers a seamless way to put those skills to work when a sales visit isn’t an option. Not only that — it gives sales teams the flexibility to reach out to prospects as often as needed to close a deal because a virtual visit doesn’t require travel planning. 

As sales leaders consider how to augment their tech stacks to maintain success in a changing business environment, they can rely on AR’s capabilities to power their teams, cultivate prospects and enable winning connections.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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