[Industry Spotlight] Why this Medical Sales Team Replaced the Binder with a Mobile Solution

The dreaded binder. It’s hundreds of pages, heavy to lug around, probably stained from coffee on a few pages … and chock full of vital information for your sales team.  There is a better way: this two part series focuses on how Inkling helped two customers create and distribute much more effective content to their employees. 


Spotlight for this week: Learn how Inkling helped a multi-billion dollar medical device company upgrade their sales training and performance support materials for their distributed sales teams. 

For most learning and training teams, the binder has become a necessary evil. Printing and shipping materials to a global sales team may not be ideal, but it appears to be the only format that can be read by a sales team literally anywhere. For this particular company, the sales team is responsible for selling medical equipment that costs thousands of dollars per device. The sales team is on-the-move all day in a variety of settings: on the morning train, on a plane, in the car on the way to visit a prospect, and visiting hospitals and clinics in-person.

The Problem:

Printing out binders of sales materials had two fundamental flaws for this medical device company:

1) Binders weren’t good reference tools.
Despite rigorous training, the sales team was quick to forget the material that they had learned—sometimes up to 80% of it. They wanted to be able carry that information with them on their phones, and wanted it to be highly searchable, just like Google.

2) Paper became outdated. Fast. 
Not only were these paper binders hard to use on the job, but the information they carried could quickly become outdated. By the time that this company had produced, printed, and shipped their printed material, new clinical research might have shed light on  an important topic and rendered their old information useless. In order to stay relevant, these sales members needed a solution that would allow them to be kept abreast with the most cutting-edge research.

The Solution:

With ineffective content and no path to easily make updates, the learning team realized that it was time to shop for a digital performance support solution. They weren’t going to replace their traditional learning program altogether, but rather strike a balance between the two. Adopting a mobile performance support solution allowed this company to give their employees the right information, where they wanted it most.

However, instead of digging deeper into their pockets for more budget (which they didn’t have), this medical sales company simply reallocated their money. All of the dollars that had previously been spent on printing and shipping thousands of pages were now invested in a digital platform: Inkling.

The Implementation:

The implementation with Inkling got off the ground right away. The medical device company imported hundreds of pages of legacy PDF material into Inkling Habitat, our cloud-based authoring environment. After some basic styling and proofing, the learning team was able to add interactive components to the content without any help from an engineering or IT team. In just four weeks before a big sales conference, they published eight eBooks, which was an incredible feat. Better yet? Those eBooks looked good.

With Inkling-authored content, a sales rep can now guide a prospect through a detailed piece of equipment by showing them a clickable guided tour of all of the key elements, while a sales rep on-the-go can even listen to an “example pitch” for a given product! Their content is better looking, and more engaging than ever.

The Result:

With mobile performance support, this medical sales team is more confident than ever to walk into a sales meeting. Instead of getting a batch of PDFs regularly shipped to them, new content appears instantly in their apps, and any errors are  immediately fixed and pushed out as an update. Instead of worrying about whether the information they have is accurate, or if they’ll have enough time to search through a binder for the right fact, reps are only focused on one thing: selling.

And, behind the scenes, training managers have a better sense of what’s working, and what’s not. With content analytics, they can tell which pages are most helpful based upon the number of pages read and unique visitors. Making adjustments based on that information is easy, which means that their sales content can continuously be improved. Now, their content is more accountable than ever to help make the sale.

[eBook] The Secret Weapon for Your Sales Team

Learn how mobile performance support helps reps close deals faster.