If you’re in manufacturing, you already know how important lead generation is. Your business most likely puts a considerable amount of time and money into hunting for prospective sales, from your demand gen teams to your sales departments. Plus, you might be publishing digital or printed catalogs, running a website with possibly thousands of SKUs, and creating untold numbers of marketing pieces.

Did you know that one of the simplest and most effective ways to attract sales leads might be with something that you already have – and don’t need to put any extra effort into creating? We’re talking, of course, about your CAD and other engineering files. These hidden gems could help you turn your website into a lean, mean, lead-generating machine. Research has shown that at least half of engineers will offer up contact information in exchange for downloadable assets – and the large majority of engineers rely on vendor website for technical info. Ready to tap into this powerful sales opportunity? In this blog post we will show you how visual configuration solutions can help.

Why Do Prospects Download CAD Drawings?

Modern technology has changed the way we consume data – and since almost everyone is walking around with the equivalent of a supercomputer in their pocket, it’s also changed consumer and business expectations. In the information age, digital artifacts like CAD files, 3D drawings and other engineering assets can make sourcing and manufacturing simpler and far more efficient. Today, your clients increasingly expect that information to be readily available to them – and engineers, in particular, expect to easily access the information that they need to get their jobs done.

Manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers and distributors are now offering their product data as CAD files and other configurable assets. Even better, they are able to do that without adding much expense or efforts, since much of the process can be automated with visual configuration tools.

By implementing a visual configuration tool to your website or digital catalog, you can make it easy for engineers to configure products in real time. This helps potential customers ensure that your product meets their specifications, creating a faster sales process, higher brand loyalty and increased satisfaction. Depending on which configurator you choose, you can offer engineers the ability to view your products in 3D or augmented reality.

But more importantly, with visual configurators you will be able to offer engineers the option to download CAD files, of either standard or configured products and parts. This makes it simple for engineers to find or create build the part they need on your website, download the engineering schematics that they need, and then immediately being using it in their prototypes, designs or quotes. The benefits are impressive: allowing for rapid quotes, faster sales processes and fewer mistaken orders. Also, since engineers are preemptively using your parts in their proposals, your goods will be included in their BOM (bill of materials).

As a lead-generation asset, your CAD files are an incredibly powerful prospecting tool. Simply gate the downloadable asset behind a registration from on your website or catalog, ensure that your products are searchable on the web– and you will quickly see that new customers from all over the world will enter their names and contact information. Since those leads are highly qualified, actioning them quickly will lead to new opportunities.

Syndication Is Simple…

Visual configurators like CPQ visualizers and 3D product configurators also offer the option of downloading 3D files, augmented reality files, 2D drawings, BOMs and beyond. They can generate bespoke photorealistic images for use in sales presentation or pitches. Potential customers need these assets to complete their projects, and they will be actively searching for it in many cases.

Syndicating your product data helps them find it. And the good news is that visual configurators make your CAD and other engineering files simple to syndicate, since they seamlessly integrate into most ERP, CRM, marketing automation and other eCommerce platforms. At CDS Visual, we routinely integrate into SAP, Salesforce, Intershop, Marketo and other leading platforms to make data syndication simple. Ready to find out how we can help you use visual configurators, CAD files and other engineering assets to generate leads? Request your free consultation today.

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About the Author: CDS Visual

CDS Visual is helping lead the digital business revolution for industries all over the world. Whether you’re an OEM or parts distributor, we will help you convert prospects into buyers – while reducing engineering costs.

Turn ordinary CAD drawings into dynamic 3D product experiences that captivate and engage your audience.


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