Secrets of Success: Integra LifeSciences


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Selling to surgeons: Medical device manufacturers need SFA too. Photograph by Spirit-Fire.

How should organizations that rely on manual sales processes manage the transition to using CRM and sales force automation (SFA)?

At medical device manufacturer Integra LifeSciences, an Innoveer client, for example, the sales team formerly relied on paper records and spreadsheets for tracking details. But whenever salespeople left the company, crucial information departed with them, because it had never been captured.

Now, Integra is addressing information capture, as well as streamlining sales and marketing activities, by implementing

To learn more, as well as best practices from Integra’s evolution from manual to SFA-based sales and marketing processes, I spoke with Drew Edinger, Integra’s CRM systems manager.

What pain point drove Integra LifeSciences to adopt CRM?

Edinger: Whenever a salesperson left, and there’s a fair amount of turnover in the sales force, we lost their contacts, the visibility of consignments, where things were in the sales cycle, and who their customers were. The only thing we could do is to try and pull something out of Oracle E-Business Suite. As in, “Here’s all of the new customers in the territory, new salesperson — good luck.”

Why did Integra select

The flexibility that offered seemed to fit where we wanted to go, at least until we decide what our longer-term CRM plan and platform will be. We haven’t answered that question yet, so we continue to enhance our core environment.

How did Integra implement

When I first came in here, our CIO had said we’d deploy accounting contacts — only — using CRM … which solved the “losing contact information when you lose your rep” problem. But it provided no actual value to a sales person. And why would you do that — and spend the money on — when the price point for Oracle CRM On Demand was roughly half?

If you’re going to do accountant contacts, you want to do opportunities, and if you want to do opportunities, you want to capture leads. So we started bringing in more value not just to sales, but the marketing through to sales aspect.

Was adopting CRM a big cultural shift for the marketing group?

For sales, we were coming from a really paper-based process, using spreadsheets, Outlook, and in many cases, pen and paper. We had the same thing on the marketing side. We’d do trade shows and get spreadsheets of leads that someone put together, and they’d try to figure out who’s the right contact person, email them. Maybe they’d email back.

Three months after our SFA deployment, however, I was thrilled to bring in limited campaign management. And about two weeks in, [marketing] saw their first lead converted into a sale. They saw a metric for the first time ever, booking a deal from a trade show.

Do you have a full, closed-loop system — from marketing and lead management through to sales and booking deals — now up and running?

We’re just beginning the marketing piece; leads are just starting to flow in. We don’t have a high volume of leads; the majority of our process is tracking our high-value pipeline. Because as we always say, “We’re a med device company, we’re not big pharma.” It’s a mantra which is silly, and not. In the pharma model, you have people tracking every visit, every click, every call, all day.

But our focus is on the value add: you went out, did an evaluation and inspection of a device on premise, you did in-service training — those are the things we want people to track, and they’re actually required to. So our softer benefit was: “We said that if you want to track your calls, manage your time better, guess what? can help you do that better.”

Now, we have success stories that we’re starting to accumulate: salespeople are improving efficiency, tracking their efforts, improving reporting, and getting more time back in their day.

What’s your 2011 CRM plan?

Two things that we want to see are more robust marketing — and the ability to bring product marketing specialists in — and also providing more value to the sales reps, and saving them more time. So for example, we’re talking about how to automate quoting for the sales force.

Any CRM implementation pain points you wish you’d avoided?

No, because I think we did this right. We started small and then expanded the functionality, and as you expand the functionality, we listened to our users. For things that didn’t make sense for them, we improved on the process.

What advice would you offer to other organizations implementing CRM?

Make sure you keep CRM relevant: listen to users, start small, add value over time, and make sure you have your executive support. The big bang doesn’t work — that’s a surefire way to fail on any CRM implementation.

Learn More

When implementing SaaS or cloud-based CRM, help avoid SFA failure by starting small, having a good plan, and executing quickly. Also ensure that users embrace CRM, using our best practices for CRM adoption.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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