10 Ways to Use CAD Integration to Increase Sales for Industrial B2B E-Commerce Suppliers

1. INCREASE SALES - The industrial buying process has changed - your customers are designing products using 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) and searching online for the parts and components they need. As an Industrial supplier you need an integrated marketing approach to achieve three things:Increasing Sales with CAD Integration

  • Get your products found - via digital parts catalogs and SEO
  • Get those parts designed in - via CAD model downloads from your website
  • Then purchased - buyers rarely challenge what the designer has specified in the design and according to this 2014 survey of CAD designers nearly 50% of downloaded 3D CAD models result in at least one order for that product.

“Overall this online marketing strategy has been so successful in increasing product sales that we have largely stopped attending trade shows” Herb Arum, Marketing Manager, Stock Drive Products/Sterling Instrument

2. INFLUENCE THE PURCHASE PROCESS - By reaching and being selected by the design engineer at design time. Why? The designer is the key decision maker regarding components in the design. One study indicates that more than 97% of designers think the availability 3D CAD models for download is important when selecting a supplier. Online CAD Models Influence Purchase ProcessWhy do they think that? Because suppliers' 3D CAD models save them design time (download rather than draw from scratch), automatically provide bill of materials (BOM) info, eliminate opportunity for error and increase productivity. Many designers today rely on suppliers online catalogs and CAD models to complete their design projects on time and on budget.

“Online CAD models sometimes dictate which vendor I choose. If I am looking at two vendors, and one has online CAD models it makes it much, much easier for me to implement their part into my assembly” Chris Viray, StrataLight

3. GENERATE LOW-COST, HIGH-QUALITY SALES LEADS - Obtain sales leads in return for online CAD model downloads is a key purpose but the fact that these sales leads tend to close faster, convert at higher rates and cost a small fraction <10% as much as traditional sales leads is a marketing dream come true!

Wondering how this is possible? This occurs for three reasons:

  • The extremely high relevance for the customer (product selected and a CAD model included in their design)
  • The high value to the customer (saves time, increases productivity)
  • Enable customers to self serve by downloading CAD models directly from your website (lowers your costs)

“In less than a year, already 60% of our sales leads are from CAD models. CAD downloads sales leads convert to sales at a higher rate and even more importantly they convert faster!” John M Winkler, CEO, Office of the President, J.W. Winco Inc.

4. SELF SERVICE - Automatically present your products as CAD models online on your website with your 'sales drawings' working 24*7 (even while your sales people are asleep). More than 90% of engineers already use the internet to locate technical product information - make sure they can self help themselves at whatever time suits them.

"The customers that are doing business with us since we added 3D-CAD and our Storefront are customers that we would not be doing business with today had we not added these important tools! If there ever was such a thing called a 'silent salesperson', it truly is 3D-CAD!” John M Winkler, CEO, Office of the President, J.W. Winco Inc.

5. REACH NEW CUSTOMERS- Say you've implemented this strategy; your parts are being found, the models of them downloaded and included in their designs and Bill of Material (BOM). Reach New Customers With CAD IntegrationAs a result the buyers' jobs are easier because the part detail information is all presented to them within the design and BOM. Now what? A potential sales trigger event occurs when a user registers and downloads one of your part CAD models. You have just been informed that one of your products may just have been included in a new customer design. Ensure that trigger alert is passed to your sales team for astute followup to understand why and develop the opportunity.

"We changed our sales process to adapt to and effectively take advantage of the new buying process and our customers use of CAD. We now have a more efficient sales process in which time and number of contacts to close the sale are respectively shorter and less. CAD downloads are now a primary driver for our sales lead generation, providing tons of ‘sales ready’ leads on a daily basis for our sales team and distributors. National Sales Manager, a US Manufacturer

6. INCREASE EXISTING CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND LOYALTY - through better meeting your customers' needs, saving them time and boosting their productivity. Ensure it's easy to find the 'right' product in your Website digital parts catalog and, if necessary, configure it with your Website Configurator then and easily download and include the CAD model of it into their designs. Collectively you will even accelerate their time to market.

“We understand that today’s design engineer is being asked to do more with fewer resources at their disposal which is why our focus is on making their job easier where possible. We are delighted at the continued increase in use of our online CAD models, with downloads and views exceeding 106,000 over the last year. We continue to receive favorable feedback from our customers on the usability of the CDS solution integrated into our website and the ability it provides them to reduce design time.” Jeff Schnabel, VP Marketing at CUI

7. OBTAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OVER YOUR COMPETITORS - By providing models of your products, especially if your competitor do not, you save design engineers time so gain a competitive advantage! Research into design engineers’ opinions shows that 97% rate online CAD models important when selecting a supplier.

“With the addition of 3D CAD downloads to our website we are delighted to have immediately seen an increase in sales and new customers” Brant Pelton, General Manager, International Gas Springs

8. LOWER YOUR COSTS - By integrating CDS's CAD as a Service™ into your website and digital part catalog you reduce technical sales queries on your engineers so they can focus on designing new products instead of creating and e-mailing CAD models or helping customers select or configure products.

"We’ve seen an increase of at least 25% in online lead generation and an 80% increase in order automation as online orders automatically get put into our ERP system. We have also seen about an 80% reduction in processing time for orders containing items requiring prices to be updated in the ERP system." Shannon Winkler, Product Manager, ITT Compact Automation

9. ENHANCE AND EXTEND YOUR DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS - Enable all these benefits within your distribution and OEM channel partners – encourage them to offer your CAD models online too. CDS can help you achieve this for multiple websites from one master set of CAD data. CDS will also protect your intellectual property (IP) by making your downloadable CAD models 'outer envelope only' and exclude the inner details.

"As a designer I’m the person selecting and specifying your product. If I have a chance to download a professionally made model, I take advantage of it to save time. For this reason I prefer to source from suppliers offering downloadable CAD models, over suppliers that don’t offer them. Psychologically, being offered a CAD model communicates to me that a supplier understands the needs of and takes care of the design engineer.” - Michael Giterman, Engineer Designer, Weatherford

10. CAD DOWNLOADS DO NOT REPLACE TRADITIONAL MARKETING, THEY AUGMENT IT - Traditional marketing vehicles, as well as online keywords search engine marketing (SEM), are the means to inform potential customers about online 3D CAD downloads available from your web site. In addition make sure your CAD models are found online by syndicating your part CAD models to CAD search engines like 3DModelSpace.com.

“3DModelSpace puts my CAD models at the fingertips of over 2 million CAD users every day, 3DModelSpace.com is already the 3rd highest contributor of traffic to our website and easily the highest contributor among ‘engineering’ sites” Brian Dengel, Product Manager aMsp and QTC

Now you know why you probably need CAD Model downloads - if you'd like to discuss your situation, request a demo today!