Show and tell: Showpad brings AR features to B2B sales
The company says the technology changes the dynamic of the sales conversation by going 'beyond the Powerpoint.'
With all the hubbub about augmented reality (AR) as an emerging technology, it was just a matter of time before it took its place as a sales tool.
Sales enablement platform Showpad rolled out AR features for sales teams on Wednesday. The features are available only to iOS users to use through Apple’s ARKit at this point.
The company says it’s the first sales enablement platform to offer AR. With this rollout, sales teams will be able to show prospects a 3D, 360-degree view of physical products, as well as an AR view of the product within the buyer’s environment.
I spoke to Louis Jonckheere, Showpad’s co-founder and chief product officer, who told me that the company introduced the features to give teams a way to “go beyond the Powerpoint and deliver more impactful conversations.”
“I think the great thing about AR is that it’s extremely immersive,” Jonckheere said. “If you think about a salesperson just walking a prospect through a few slides explaining, for example, the specifications of a product — it’s boring, it’s not really immersive.”
But by actually immersing yourself in AR, you’re talking about product, pointing at it, walking around it and maybe even highlighting specific areas. AR has definitely changed the dynamic of the sales conversation. It feels like it’s real, it’s happening in real time, it’s more vivid. It’s more engaging. It will definitely grab the attention of the prospect. I think AR has that magic touch, and we’re still in the early days of the technology.
AR applications for marketing is on the rise. In June, Apple introduced the next generation of its ARKit platform, which allows multiple players to interact in real time with the same objects in a single space. Also this summer, Snapchat introduced a variety of new applications, including AR Lenses, an ad product connected to the platform’s Snappables games.
Just this week, Facebook announced that it was giving some advertisers the ability to run AR ads.
Jonckheere told me that he expects sales teams that use AR to have better results than those who don’t.
“Everybody sees the potential opportunity, but now that we have the solution, we’ll want to see, what’s the ROI? What are customers going to do with it? And that’s something we’ll find out very quickly,” Jonckheere said.