Localizing Sales Demos (Choose Your Own Adventure)
When it comes to sales demos, every choice you make affects the success of your product or company. Selling to an international market adds another layer of complexity. How can you anticipate problem spots down the road while ensuring that your demo is strong enough to get you in the door?
We’ve continued our choose-your-own-adventure series to show you some of the best practices in translating and localizing sales demos.
Situation 1: International Conference
Human Capital Partners has developed a new employee interface that they think is going to disrupt the HR software industry. They plan to take it to a major international human resources conference, so they can show it off to companies from around the world. They prepare for the conference by:
Scenario A) A prototype of the software interface that users can click through. It has sample text in English, and HCP will pitch to prospects that they can alter the text to suit a clients’ needs
Scenario B) A click-through prototype of the software, with the homepage translated into 16 languages they think might be spoken at the conference and the remainder of the website in English
Scenario C) Several click-through prototypes of the software, each one completely localized into major languages spoken at the conference that correspond with HCP’s priority markets
HCP gets a lot of interest from companies who operate in English, and some interest from companies who operate in multiple languages. The offer to alter the text to suit a company’s needs was a good decision, but HCP realizes they haven’t gone far enough. Having an English-only version alienated a number of their potential clients in China and Japan, since the clients couldn’t see how the software adjusted to suit their language.
HCP’s software attracts companies from across the world to check out the software’s homepage. However, they start to lose clients when buyers who don’t speak very much English try to use the platform in their native language. Since the website and its data haven’t been localized, the clients aren’t able to successfully click through the platform. Some feel let down because they had been very interested when they saw the first page in their own language.
HCP’s multiple, localized prototypes are very appealing to global companies. Clients can interact with the platform in real-time, in their own language, and test out data that their employees might use. Even if the UI was not in their native language, they were able to see the full application localized in a language close to theirs and get an idea of how it would look. Because HCP followed best practices and chose to localize its software and demo data, they were able to show the value of their software while making vital connections with international clients. (They’re also that much closer to preparing it for an international market!)
Situation 2: Pilot Project
A training software startup, Learning Tower, has been tasked with creating onboarding and safety training modules for a global bank’s branches in Japan. This will be a pilot project for a larger contract of localizing the training for an additional 13 international markets. They want to assemble a localization team that will help them localize their training modules quickly and efficiently. Their team includes:
Choice A) A localization partner who can translate the English module into Japanese
Choice B) A localization partner, an HR representative from Learning Tower assigned to oversee new employees’ onboarding, a small software and design team, and a team from the Japanese branch to advise on cultural context
Choice C) A localization partner and a team from the Japanese branch of Learning Tower to advise on cultural context
Learning Tower starts off well by working with a localization partner, and are quickly able to get the instructions in and software text localized. However, they run into trouble when they realize that the onboarding module relies heavily on screenshots of the company’s CMS. Those graphics need to be localized and re-designed. When their localization partner asks if they would like to include an internal review from the Japan office, they realize that they have not actually talked with the Japan office about their needs and arranged a contact person ahead of time. The back and forth of setting up the review extends their timeline by a few weeks.
When Learning Tower extends their team to include in-country assistance, software designers, and people who will use the software, they’re able to test out all parts of the process. Their extended team represents the best practice for their situation. Learning Tower designers and their localization partner translate the text and the graphics easily, and with in-country assistance are able to produce training that exactly fits the need. With the HR representatives and a sampling of Japanese employees, they conduct a test run of the modules to work out any final glitches.
By combining their localization agency with the expertise of in-country employees, Learning Tower’s new modules strike the right tone and avoid cultural missteps. However, Learning Tower doesn’t do a run-through with HR representatives and misses a crucial user interface error.
We hope these scenarios have been helpful and give you an idea of some of the best practices for localizing your demos. One final tip is to talk to your localization partner early on. They can take the guesswork and complexity out of the process and consult with you to find the best solutions for your unique situation, timeline, and budget.
For more tips on localizing demo data, see Venga’s eBook, International Application Demos. To find out how Venga’s experts can help you take your next demo to an international market, contact us or request a free quote.
Also check out part 1, Localizing Multimedia (Choose Your Own Adventure) or part 3 Localizing Web Content (Choose your own adventure).