When I started as a project manager, I had no idea what an eDetail aid was or how it benefited businesses. It is safe to say I’ve had my eyes opened and am genuinely impressed by the power of this sales tool.
For those reading this in a similar position, I will give you my overview of what these clever sales assets are. In summary, an eDetail aid is an electronic version of a product information brochure. Instead of sitting down with your customer and walking through a printed brochure, you present to them a polished interactive electronic sales brochure, usually on an iPad or similar tablet device.
There are of course several benefits to this approach:
- Ensuring your sales team have the latest and best materials to hand at all times. Unlike printed assets, you can update and push new content to the Sales team’s tablet devices.
- Easily tailoring materials for specific customers. There is nothing like making your customer feel you have taken the time and effort to develop material specific to their needs, avoiding wasting their time with generic information, which can cause frustration
- Embedding pathways into your eDetail aid, allowing the sales team and customer to choose the route to follow through the brochure based on the conversation at the time. No more searching for pages of content, the eDetail aid routes you to the material you want to see, when you want to see it
- Giving the customer an option to walk through the material independently, without a rep present. Some customers just prefer the space and feel pressured when a sales rep is present. Using an eDetail aid with some clever logic can empower them to find the information they need on their own. Making it possible to customise your approach to suit each individual’s needs.
- Interactivity! This is the best part, amazing creative concepts can be implemented in eDetail aids, from embedded product cost calculators, to embedded videos demonstrating a product in 3d Animation and even the option to print a leave behind as a close out to the session.
I am sure a sales expert would be able to share many more, I cannot confess to fall into this category, but hope my experience sets out some real benefits these assets bring.
What are the steps involved in making an e-detail aid?
The Sales story
The most important step is developing your sales story. It is vital to get the foundations right before attempting to build any of the interactive elements, no matter how tempting it may be to get to the fun stuff! The best way is to start with a presentation deck. If your not a sales expert by trade don’t panic, this is where Freelancers come into play. You can partner with various sales and marketing Freelance subject matter experts (SMEs) and even bring in a copywriter to build the best virtual team to support you. Alternatively, if you have the skills in-house, you could develop this with your brand team.
eDetail aid Navigation
From the compelling sales deck, you can start to think about navigation. Consider the journey your customer will take (based on their persona) and build in some elements to allow custom routes through the material. For example, you may want to present 5 product options, allow your customer to click on the one they are interested in and then view specific details about it only.
Add notes to your deck to indicate what slide you jump to, for example when you click on an image, this will help the technical specialists to work their magic later.
Take the time to ensure there is a simple method to jump back to the slide you came from too, there is nothing worse than reaching a dead end in your eDetail aid and having to restart. A great tip is to have a Freelancer test the navigation logic to ensure it is robust. Having a fresh pair of eyes take a look usually spots a few issues that would have otherwise been missed.
Also at the end of each pathway ensure you are happy with the call to action (CTA). If you don’t give your customer a “what next” you may have just wasted all your hard work!
Now the fun part, adding interactivity. Let your creative juices flow and add in notes for various interactive elements you would like to include. Think about videos, email links, animation, calculators and print options for example. The more captivating your deck the better the customers’ experience is likely to be. This does not mean your ideas will be feasible or within budget but by laying them out your technical Freelancer experts will be able to advise on the complexity, timeline and cost, empowering you to chose what stays in and what has to be left out.
Also don’t be put off if you have a lack of assets to embed, such as videos. It is great fun to deliver a video through Freelancer talent, if budget allows, why not deliver this in parallel. Check out our previous post on Freelancer Video production to find out more.
Now we need to polish the deck. We want this thing to look visually stunning, so grab yourself a rock star Graphic designer. Your designer will ensure colour and font consistency and also be able to help procure image assets, where needed, to enhance your deck.
Development / Coding
The next step is the development of the eDetail aid. You want a great team on this, good code and thorough testing is critical. We don’t want issues reaching our customer, it could potentially damage the brand image.
My secret is to pair up my coder with an independent system tester. This way the tester catches any issues that the developer misses, ensuring you get a highly polished end result.
It is key to clearly specify any technical requirements up front. You need to ensure you get the right team with the right skills for your specific setup. For example, if you use Salesforce to host and deploy your eDetail aid apps, you need a proven development team with experience on this platform. Don’t be afraid to request a call to talk through these details with the team, it will give you peace of mind up front.
Now the final step, user testing (UAT)! This may seem dull, but never skip it! Document and test every pathway through your deck to ensure you are 100% happy. Test deploy it to a few Sales team members tablets and get their feedback. Only then should you roll it out for customer use. It just isn’t worth skipping this step after all your hard work up to this point. You can of course save time and engage some amazing talent to handle this for you too, it can save a lot of effort in-house. Due to this several of our previous clients have opted for this route.
I know the above can seem daunting, especially if you are new to eDetail aids but you don’t have to go it alone. A great project manager is a worthwhile investment on these projects, where a distributed, multi-skilled team is required. The time you save due to their experience and expertise will easily cover any additional cost.
Your project manager will have a source of trusted talent and know who matches your specific project needs. Working with someone proven like this greatly reduces the chance of any major issues and ensures a smooth, stress-free delivery for you.
If you are new to eDetail aids, jump in and have a go but get some help! Working with a managed Freelance team will get you amazing results, at a fraction of agency costs while delivering exceptional quality. The key is knowing the right people to work with and coordinating the activities. Arming your sales team with interactive tools will drive results and help your business grow, without breaking the bank.
If you use eDetail aids today, get in touch. We are confident our Freelancer teams can deliver faster, better results at lower cost than your current model and supplier. Time and time again we have saved clients Thousands and it is wonderful to help their business grow efficiently.
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