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Asa Butcher May 2021 13 min read

Add the wow factor to sales with 3D and AR

Terms explained

3D object
3D computer graphics are often referred to as 3D models and have been rendered in two dimensions for use on monitors and screens, for example. With CAD and 3D modeling software, characters and objects that rotate in any direction can be created.

AR – Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) is a computer technology that imposes 3D models on top of the current real world. For example, it can show a digital dining table on top of a kitchen floor. It is different from virtual reality (VR), which makes a person feel they are somewhere else.

AR with iPad_transparent

“The time is now. There has been talk about 3D content for a long time, but too many companies are still failing to fully utilize its possibilities. The technology is ready, so why not jump ahead of your competitors by moving away from traditional sales content and embracing something much more effective… something with a wow factor?” suggests Sami Suni, CEO and co-founder of Showell.

Through a combination of 3D content and augmented reality (AR), sales teams can effortlessly upgrade presentations into a 21st century format that will make a lasting impression on prospective clients during virtual sales calls and face-to-face meetings. The technology may sound complicated to implement and understand, but Showell has found a way to simplify the process.

There has been a lot of hype surrounding AR, but customers are starting to realize just how they can leverage its possibilities, as well as capitalize on the options 3D content offers. Threekit, a leader in 3D and augmented reality technology, notes that the AR market is a rapidly growing industry with an estimated market value of $50 billion (€41 billion) by 2024.

 

From imagination to reality

Imagine showing a potential client a photorealistic 3D model of agricultural or factory machinery to scale and on-site before they have even decided to make the purchase. Imagine if they could walk around it, view it from every angle, go inside, zoom in and out, change its color or examine every button, lever and hinge. It would certainly beat any glossy sales brochure.

Our platform doesn’t require any technical expertise to present 3D models

“This is the experience we already provide with the Showell. It is capable of displaying 3D content, including some 3D animated models, and we already have several examples of how it is being used,” states Sami Suni, listing heavy industry players Sandvik, Valtra and Habasit among their satisfied customers.

His brother, Juha Suni, who is CTO and co-founder at Showell, says businesses leading in this area often already have the content. “Their engineers have the CAD software that creates the 3D models. What’s exciting now is that we are able to provide a platform that doesn’t require any technical expertise to start presenting 3D models, meaning salespeople can easily use them too.”

 

No beginning or end

Showell’s 3D content capabilities have proven to be a great vehicle for businesses selling complex products over the past year. “If your physical products are large and complicated, then sharable 3D content is invaluable, especially when most meetings are now virtual. You might not have the actual physical product to hand, but you can still present it to your customer,” notes Sami.

Project your content into a real-world environment

While he concedes that videos are good, they do face the problem of advancing at their own speed. “Too often you have to pause and go back and forward to see something again. 3D content doesn't have a beginning or end, so you can show it at your own pace and explore it yourself. In many situations, it brings the product closer to the customer and helps to close the deal.”

Juha adds that aside from videos, most Showell customers use static content like documents, PowerPoints and images and videos. “When you bring in 3D, it’s more interactive. There is also the augmented reality possibility, which means you can project your content into a live, real-world environment.”

See the video how Sandvik benefits from AR in their sales.

 

Keep up with the times

With AR not necessarily being the most appropriate option at present because it requires being face to face with a client, the world is returning to normal and in-person meetings will eventually resume. When that day comes, having a new tool in the box to dazzle prospective customers will be invaluable.

Scott Davis, Digital Development Manager at Sandvik, told Showell that the AR feature is his personal favourite. “Anybody within our network can beam a 30-tonne mobile crusher directly onto site without having to haul it to site. You can then […] do a full product walkaround. It is pretty cool. When you can do that, it really makes a statement: ‘Hey, we are keeping up with the times.’”

Hey, we are keeping up with the times

Using the device’s rear-facing camera, Showell's AR support automatically projects your 3D model into a live view of the space in front of you. Because the features rely on hardware more than software, it is currently only available for iOS devices, but Android compatibility is on the way. However, 3D content is compatible with all platforms and devices.

 

Easy to use, easy to view

The current situation means it can be difficult for sales reps, let alone their customers, to be able to view 3D content because it requires specific software to be installed on their computers. “We want to deliver a platform that can be used easily to view the 3D models. When the sales rep shares the file from our app, the recipient of the share can view it in our Share Center,” explains Juha.

Working with 3D content is now much cheaper, more effective and takes less time

It won’t require any software, just a modern web browser, and a conversion engine will ensure that the content is always in the right format. Sami adds that the change will make it much easier and cost efficient for customers to start using 3D content. “We cut out the third party. Uploading and adding 3D content is going to be much cheaper, more effective and take less time.”

“We also provide a small editor where you can adjust some aspects. The idea is that it is really simple for the customer. They just drop in a single file and that is pretty much it,” emphasizes Juha, who encourages anybody interested to book a demo with Showell to find out more.

AR with iPad

 

The best way forward

While the creation of the 3D object itself requires skills, expertise and time, the work required isn’t too different from producing a video. Moreover, Sami highlights the fact you can utilize it on your website, as well as in marketing and sales content. “Be creative when it comes to 3D. Don’t assume it’s unsuitable because it could really be a good way to go forward.”

“Simply try it out,” urges Juha, who adds that you can start by investigating whether your organization has 3D models or files. Showell is one of the very few sales enablement platforms that offer advanced 3D and AR capabilities, along with all your traditional sales content on one platform.

“You don't need multiple software and systems to deliver the content that you are presenting or sharing. You simply have one system, Showell, and that’s where we have the advantage over many of our competitors. We offer the full suite,” concludes Sami.

 

Join Showell’s webinar on LinkedIn Live
“Beyond Reality! How AR, VR and 3D can skyrocket your sales?”
May 26, 2021, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (GMT)
Here's the recording of the event