Industrial manufacturers have historically focused on sales teams and trade shows to win customers. Today, however, those same customers do much of their product research online before contacting sales reps, and they use supplier websites as a critical resource to find the exact part they need.
This means manufacturers must help customers research and learn about products BEFORE talking to sales.
By presenting CAD models online for download, manufacturers can provide the product info engineers and designers need while simultaneously turning their CAD models into online marketing content and strategic sales drivers. When delivered properly, CAD models can become a form of deliverable content that takes marketing campaigns to the next level.
Making CAD a “Part” of the Sales Process
Since industrial and architectural component parts are complex, sales teams have historically provided customers with physical copies of technical specifications, dimensions, and details to help close a sale.
With modern technology, customers can now find this information online and configure parts themselves without a sales rep. When they’re finished configuring and ready to contact the manufacturer, the manufacturer’s sales team can use CAD models to show the customer different design variations of that specific component part. This makes the conversation between the customer and sales more productive at the onset because the customer can better visualize the component within their design.
Sales teams know that making sales is about having the right data at the right time and place. Using digitized catalogs, they can have that data exactly where and when they need it. They can also use 3D previews, CAD files, diagrams, performance details, configurations, and more to interactively demonstrate the product value to customers,
Additionally, 3D CAD software provides a single source to share information about complex industrial products when creating engaging conversations with prospects.
Using CAD in Content Marketing Campaigns
Content marketing is a big piece of any digital marketing strategy. Since 94 percent of B2B customers research online before buying a product, engineers and designers are likely to research answers to their questions online before talking to any sales rep. Therefore, it’s essential that manufacturers make their website content robust by including helpful product information. Typically, blog posts, white papers, and e-books fall within this type of marketing. While marketing teams can create these deliverables, it’s equally essential to utilize the knowledge of a company’s subject matter experts, aka “SMEs”.
82 percent of CAD/BIM downloads turn into physical product sales. Since these web leads fall between marketing and sales, they represent the trust you’ve gained from prospects through your content.
But for marketing to gather those leads for sales, they need to make sure they use CAD models appropriately within their content marketing campaigns.
- Use the CAD drawing as a downloadable resource on blog posts to keep the web visitor’s attention while bringing them further down the sales funnel.
- Use the CAD drawing to support content in white papers.
- Use the CAD drawing within product demonstration videos to show design variations.
- Use the CAD drawing in case studies to show how a product drove results for a customer.
When marketing teams add CAD models to their content marketing campaigns, lead quality for model downloads increases. By using CAD in e-books, product guides, white papers, etc., manufacturers help prospects discover the information they need to make an educated purchase.
Think about it. If your lead was willing to provide their name, email, and company to receive this information, they must be interested enough for sales to start nurturing them. Adding viewable and downloadable CAD models to any product-related piece of content will only make it more useful and relevant to your audience.
Engineers want more than your word that a product will fulfill their needs; they want proof. CAD models enable marketing and sales to provide that.