CAD for sales people? Sounds like PLM for sales!

A recent blog post from Onshape caught my eye: "How to Use Cloud CAD to Accelerate Sales Results." What was really interesting is that instead of talking about engineers using CAD, Darren Garnick of Onshape explains how the simplicity and collaborative aspects of Onshape's cloud CAD allows sales people to have much deeper conversations with customers - resulting in more closed deals.

> Read more from the Onshape blog post below...

With sales, presentation is everything. And it’s showing, not telling, that makes the most memorable impressions about your products. With Onshape, engineers teamed with sales reps can make requested design changes on the spot as impressed prospects follow along on their phones.

As the only mobile CAD system that fully runs on phones and tablets (Android and iOS), Onshape is not just a viewer. So when you are sharing your product model with potential investors or customers, you can spin it around, zoom closer into areas of interest and make edits or design changes on the fly.

If there’s not a large screen in the conference room, everyone at the table can follow along on their phones or laptops – by signing up for their own free Onshape accounts in minutes.

When a design is on paper or static on a screen, it’s much tougher to generate excitement in the room. When you take notes on a customer’s needs and have to go back to the office and make requested changes, you lose momentum. Instead, why not explore what the customer wants – and give them what they want onsite – and just close the deal? You can quickly show them how two or three different versions look and let them compare the pros and cons right there.

You could have an engineer and a salesperson team up for a presentation in person. Or a salesperson could call the office and have a lead designer make requested changes remotely, in real time, as everyone in the room watches the product evolve. There’s no better way to communicate that you’re listening to your clients. Delivering on-demand modifications provides your company with a huge customer service advantage over the competition.


Engineers appreciate 3D CAD because it is an unambiguous visual tool. You can look at a model from every angle and if desired, dive in and examine every level of detail. Unfortunately, salespeople have no immediate access to this design information that could help them cultivate more business.

In a recent webinar, Onshape co-founder John McEleney shared an example of a company that wants to “extricate” CAD from their engineering team. The company has several users of SOLIDWORKS and an enormous amount of legacy CAD data. The sales team wants to integrate this data as well as some sales engineers’ notes with their customer database to create – in their words – a “single package of design and customer information for collaboration.”

The company has boxes of physical files – paper drawings and notes taken by mechanical engineers, sales reps and tech support reps who’ve interacted with customers over the years. And they’re wondering what is the best way to organize it all. How can they merge these scattered mounds of information in a way that gives the sales team a comprehensive customer history at their fingertips?

That’s where Onshape Documents shine. Onshape Documents are project-level containers where you can store an unlimited amount of supporting materials along with a design. It’s similar to a spreadsheet where you can organize information in different tabs, but unlike a spreadsheet, you can store multimedia files, PDFs, analysis data, scanned handwritten notes and much more.

Now that the company has freed all this information from captivity, and can quickly find it when it’s most relevant, they can better leverage it throughout their organization. Sales reps and sales engineers are doing less guessing and are able to better anticipate future customer needs.

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Miguel Tam

Miguel Tam

Oct 05, 2017