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At Base, we are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest trends and thinking about how they can be applied to sales. Lately, we’ve been thinking a lot about augmented reality.

Augmented reality (AR), not to be confused with its sister technology virtual reality (VR), refers to the insertion of virtual elements into real-world scenarios through mobile devices, screens and even eyeglasses.

Who’s Using It

AR is quickly finding its way beyond Snapchat filters and into business. Retailers have already been using AR for quite some time to create more convenient and personalized shopping experiences for consumers. And now, B2B companies are catching on:

Google: Simply point your phone at text using the Google Translate app to receive a real-time translation into one of 29 (yes, 29!) available languages.
Oracle: At its Modern Customer Experience Conference, Oracle demonstrated how AR could be used in field service management to repair a slot machine.
Boeing: By superimposing parts over actual products, Boeing is making manufacturing and maintenance easier for airplane technicians.

Why It Matters

According to Beechum Research, the AR market, minus consumer components, could reach $800 million by 2020. This forecast is made more likely by the recent release of Apple’s ARKit, a solution to help developers more easily create AR apps for iOS.

When applied to door-to-door sales specifically, AR has the potential to drive unprecedented productivity by allowing reps to interact in real-time with their territories. Of course, let’s not forget that AR is just plain awesome – and there’s a lot to be said for making work fun.

Even Apple’s CEO Tim Cook could hardly contain himself when chatting with Bloomberg about AR: “I am so excited about it, I just want to yell and scream!” See what we mean?

How It Could Work

Field sales teams, picture this: no more plotting out your route before leaving the office. No more digging through your CRM to find your next hot lead from the car, or fumbling with your smartphone to enter visit outcomes between knocks.

Instead, imagine standing in the middle of the street, holding up your phone and knowing that “green” buildings contain hot leads that you should visit ASAP, while “red” buildings should be left for another day. As you approach your “green” building, the company’s name, contact title, last touch and other key data points appear before your very eyes.

Are you in the solar industry? Take your prospect outside, point your tablet or phone at their home or business and show them what it would look like with solar panels, along with a breakdown of monthly cost savings. In the medical device space? Show customers the inner-workings of prototypes and how they differ from competitive offerings.

When you leave (after closing the sale, of course), simply give your phone a thumbs up to be provided with a touch screen list of positive visit outcomes to choose from.

What Do You Think?

While examples like the above are not yet an actuality, door-to-door sales is getting closer every day with solutions like geolocation. Do you think augmented reality is the next big thing in mobile CRM technology? Would you use AR as a field sales rep? Join the conversation and let us know what you think in the comments below.