Unlike many conventional industries, ‘Immersive Tech’ in many ways is an emerging industry despite today’s pandemic struck world. Day by day pioneering leaders are investing resources to upgrade their technology, bringing richer remote experiences to more and more people across spectrums of employees and consumers. While it is quite impressive to see how far we have come in hardware upgrades, we are still at a very early stage of development of immersive experiences, which has a direct connection with the way technology is designed, used and applied to an industry. A lot of companies across the globe are tirelessly working on defining meaningful experiences, and as the XR industry gets explored more and more, there is a lot of creativity one will see in market-facing solutions using AR, VR or broadly, XR (Extended or Mixed Reality).
“The most successful digital reality applications will rely on carefully thought roadmaps based on upcoming technology advancements.” – Tim Stutts, Interaction Design Lead at Magic Leap
How is the Immersive Tech sales pitch different?
Seeing the immense advancement and upgrades happening year on year in emerging technologies like AR and VR, biz dev for the XR industry is one requiring a dual aptitude of knowing and match-making businesses with immersive tech. A market challenger is needed who can adapt to this fast-paced industry and also infuse new thinking to his or her pitch, on the go. To help comprehend this argument better let me take you through the mindset of a customer who is in search of an immersive solution for his business. A typical sales pitch (aka “solution pitch”) in this industry is very much unlike the typical sales pitch one sees in a service or product industry. Contrasted with most established industries, immersive tech in many ways requires a creative thinker to pitch the solution. Let’s look at why.
Mechanics of XR Sales
Preparation: Know your environment
- To start with, a lot of effort is even invested in making a prospective customer understand immersive technology itself and the ways in which AR, VR, or XR can be used in their business. Being in the market you do come across customers/clients who are not predisposed to know about Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality in detail, and so it becomes vitally important for the biz dev person to find different and creative ways of explaining the tech to them. The matchmaking to their business needs is next.
- Secondly, the XR industry is not bursting with case studies/ success stories of organizations implementing this tech, and even where there are uses, one still has to struggle with either of these two issues – the data for the successful solutions is not publicly available or success stories aren’t from the similar business segments. This requires the biz dev person to look at combining and retrofitting different examples and case studies to educate and convince the customer, adding certain uniqueness to what differentiates their solution.
Stage 1: Why before What with Immersive Tech
In answering the basic introductory business queries of the client, your discussion has passed the barrier of ‘why’, and you are now entering the phase of defining ‘what this technology can do for the client’s business’. At this stage, it becomes all and more important for the biz dev person to understand the client’s business limitations and define KPIs for an ideal solution. In the process of defining these performance indexes, one would come across many subjective KPIs making the sales harder and, in the future, limiting you from measuring the success criteria of the solution effectively. To overcome this, the person must define a minimum of 65-75% of the indexes for the solution’s end-users making it quantifiable. In return, this will help to limit your subjective KPIs related to design, development, user flow experience, etc. in the solution.
Stage 2: Business first, XR later
- Discussions during this phase demand a biz dev person to have a strong command of the company’s technical capabilities to guide and direct the customer to the right solution with the help of immersive tech. Knowing the uniqueness of a solution approach along with its limitation can really help the sales person navigate a conversation to the right path for closure. Effort invested during this phase of the conversation can really yield a faster and surer closure.
- While the prevalent approach is to push a certain technology to the client, a rational way in our opinion would be to enter this discussion with a use case based solution, and as the conversation goes, walk prospects through it, making it more relatable to their business.
- This stage also demands samples to be shown to clients. In most of the immersive technology solution companies, due to the obvious reason of being recent entrants in the market, the organizations are limited by availability of only a few samples, thus making it more important to use them accurately to define what the company has done in the past and what it intends to create for the customer.
Stage 3: Blueprint and KPIs with Immersive Tech
After the successful completion of the two stages, the discussion has now reached the last stage of the pitch where the customer is expecting a blueprint document of their own solution. A very important aspect during this document development is to define as many details of functionality and map it to the KPIs defined during stage 1. This will help the biz dev person differentiate between necessary and essential aspects of the solution and in turn would help your organization plan the project timeline much better.
Stage 4: Negotiation
Sales teams will also have concerns about the project negotiation phase. So long as the customer is satisfied in all aspects during the earlier two phases, the negotiation stage should not be too challenging.
Now go forth and conquer!
And of course, If you’re looking for a team to help you do something extraordinary in AR, VR, or XR, drop an email to email@example.com. If you’re an L&D company, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Creating meaningful immersive solutions has always been Xarpie Labs’ reason for existence. We’ll build you a roadmap to get there.