“In February of 2020, we were working on redeveloping our physical sample case that our sales people would carry around to show customers. And, three weeks later, the entire world closed, and suddenly we didn’t need a physical sample kit, because we weren’t seeing customers in person. Our sales people needed some kind of tool to interact with on customer calls that gave them the same interactive feel as demonstrating products in person,” explains E-T-A Circuit Breakers Marketing and Communications Director Ellen Albright.
E-T-A, a manufacturer of circuit breakers and a single-source supplier for most circuit protection technologies, hadn’t considered a virtual sample kit before, but the need was suddenly obvious. Albright says that, previously, engineers would pick up products, press buttons, and spin them around. Her colleagues wondered how they might transition that experience online, and collectively decided that an online sample kit with 3D spin technology was as close as they could get.
In the past, Albright had talked with Big Zeta about configurators and search, and she saw this as a needs-based opportunity to see what they could do–and to prove it to the rest of the company. Using the same configurator technology, Big Zeta helped E-T-A clarify their vision and begin work on a sample kit for changing times.
E-T-A is the first company in this space to offer a virtual sample kit, and they turned to Big Zeta specifically for their technical capabilities and flexibility, which allowed E-T-A to offer the tool in English and German, giving it a global reach. While the vision for the tool changed throughout the process, Albright says Big Zeta patiently guided the plan so that it fell within their budget.
Albright worked with Big Zeta project managers, designers, and a variety of developers, including one based in Germany. As a German company, she says E-T-A team members appreciated the opportunity to work with someone on a similar schedule with a familiar approach. “Big Zeta kept us on track, and was very good at pushing us along with clear expectations and deadlines,” Albright said.
And, like many companies in high-tech spaces, E-T-A was focused on finding a technical solution to meet their complex needs. “Where Big Zeta stands apart and above is its in-house technology capabilities. Their technical aptitude is much higher than others we’ve worked with, and they’re willing to come to us with the best solutions they have,” says Albright.
The E-T-A sales team reports that they appreciate that they can go in and build a custom kit, sending a specific link to potential customers. If, for example, someone only wants to look at a particular type of product, a salesperson could assemble a kit with only that product for the customer to view.
“Our Director of Sales in Germany was excited about the 3D CAD spinning, which he thought was a neat way to demonstrate our products,” Albright says. To accomplish this, E-T-A worked with Big Zeta to supply photos that would transition products into realistic renderings. For ease of use, Big Zeta’s system accepted different file types that made the process easy.
Albright says that, even as things begin to return to normal, the sample kit isn’t going away. “We’re not going completely back to in-person meetings all the time, and this is so useful for digital meetings. It’s also located in our Resources section on the website, which makes it a lead gen tool too,” she explains. She also says that this isn’t the end of the kits, but a starting point–people are already offering up ideas about what else they’d like to see, which Albright says may lead to future iterations.
Parametric Search Tailored Solutions for the B2B Buyer
Like finding a needle in a haystack. Enable your customers to quickly and easily find the exact right part with Big Zeta parametric search.