Sharing an interesting conversation with a dear friend, Jerry. Jerry is a senior sales rep at an industrial equipment company. Their equipment helps customers upgrade old machinery in their factories with improved power efficiency & much higher throughput. The upgrade costs typically pay off within 6 months to 2 years, depending on various factors.
Jerry & his presales teams have come up with the following process:
- Site Inspection: Jerry makes it a point to visit the prospect’s site to understand their requirements in detail. On validating the client’s requirements, he promises to come back within a week or two with a suitable solution to their challenges.
- Data Capture: In order to communicate the site conditions to his presales teams, Jerry takes pictures of the site. He then scans the complete facility using his iPad with a software tool like Canvas. The scanning takes him about 15 minutes to an hour depending upon the site. Due to security reasons, some clients don’t allow him to do this. Oh well…
- Presales Analysis: The presales team extracts the 3D model created by Canvas and analyzes it. Since the scanned model is typically noisy and unimpressive, they create a 3D CAD model of the facility from the scanned model using their favorite modeling tool. Depending on the size of the facility and how busy they are, it takes them anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks for the model creation.
- Proposal Creation: Once the model is ready, they can now take measurements of the location where new equipment is proposed to be installed. To help the client understand this better, they go ahead and “insert” a 3D model of their own machinery into the facility model they just created. Since the CAD tool used by their internal engineering team is different, they need to do some model conversions to be able to import their model. They hand over the integrated model to Jerry using a cloud file sharing service.
- Presentation: Jerry now has the 3D models to make a “Before” and “After” presentation to his client. He schedules a meeting where he makes an impressive presentation showing the “original” facility and how the “upgraded” factory will look. To appreciate this better, most of the time his clients take a walk with Jerry to the factory floor where he helps them understand how the equipment will look inside the facility. Any potential integration & fitment-related issues can be sorted out during the actual commissioning stage.
Jerry & his teams have worked hard to create the above workflow and make it as smooth as possible.
The question is: does it need to be this way? Won’t it make sense to replace all this effort with an augmented reality solution? Instead of waiting for 2 weeks and spending $2K or more, he can make an impressive presentation during his first site visit itself!
Jerry can carry 3D models of their equipment on his iPad. Using an app like Exxar, his engineering team can share models directly without any data conversion effort. Jerry simply augments the site digitally with the equipment model. The client can visualize the “before” and “after” scenarios right on the factory floor! He/she can even walk around the digital equipment even before the project is commissioned. Jerry can address any objections then & there while validating any fitment & integration-related issues.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Are you involved in selling industrial equipment? Do you also use a similar sales process? Will this technology help you fast-track your sales efforts & beat your sales quota? I will be happy to chat with you.