But the company's efforts weren't as effective as it would have liked. The problem: TransMotion's telemarketing team had no idea when busy doctors and nurses were actually at their desks, opening their e-mails and clicking through to the TransMotion Web site. Knowing this in real time would provide the sales staff the opportunity to place a call and suggest a free product trial.
“It's extremely challenging to catch a doctor or nurse on the phone,” said Michael Maske, VP-sales at TransMotion. “They're likely to be with patients, and my ability to get through is very poor. We were lucky if we were making one connection per hour,” he said.
But Maske also knew that when medical professionals actually got the time to research medical specialty chairs on the Web—ideally as a result of one of the company's e-mail blasts—it was essential that the small TransMotion inside sales team and its independent reps know about it. This small window of opportunity, he said, shouldn't be missed in allowing sales to make an almost immediate phone call.
TransMotion turned to Genius.com Inc., whose e-mail marketing and Web site-tracking capabilities help determine which prospective customers were showing an active interest in the company's high-end medical products.
“They had no visibility into what their e-mail campaigns were doing in driving traffic and what people were looking for when specifically they did visit their Web site,” said Sam Weber, VP-client services and customer success at Genius.com. “And when they did finally get that data, it was often weeks later and too late to take action on.”
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK
Weber said interest in TransMotion's medical chairs seemed high. A recent campaign that distributed 900 e-mails to key prospects had 200 click-throughs, plus 20 multipage visits. It was timely follow up that was lacking.
Beginning in early 2009, Genius.com helped the company assemble a more robust database of high-quality prospects using such suppliers as Jigsaw, NetProspects and ReachForce Data Solutions, and integrating the new names with an existing in-house Salesforce.com list. Genius also helped the company develop powerful subject lines and tested e-mail templates.
For an initial e-mail effort, TransMotion was able to send out a targeted e-mail campaign to hospital emergency departments highlighting its new triage chair. Each e-mail included three or four links to the TransMotion Web site; whenever a prospect clicked through on a link, the Genius.com tool displayed the Web site visit information to the TransMotion sales team and reps.
Alerted to the prospects' online behaviors, sales was able to follow up quickly by phone, often, Maske said, while the doctors and nurses were still online viewing TransMotion products. The results are more connections and appointments, leading to more product trials.
“Trial placements are key to our success and, when this occurs, it's a huge foot in the door and often leads to a sale,” Maske said.
Relying on automation wasn't Maske's only approach. He was very specific about e-mail subject lines as well, hitting on the need for proper chairs to protect patients from spills and nurses from strained backs.
Noting the legal and ethical problems in not having adequate medical chairs, Maske said, TransMotion subject line were along the lines of “How can you allow this to happen at your health care facility!”
“We were very aggressive with subject lines, almost to the point of offending people,” Maske said.
The results of TransMotion's newly automated approach to e-mail campaign tracking and follow up were encouraging. From his previous one connection per hour, Maske said, Transmotion is now able to make five connections per hour. In addition, there was a 20% to 30% gain in evaluations with prospects very close to buying.
One connection using the new approach led to quick success.
“It took us just minutes to reach a Florida-based emergency department that was visiting our Web site,” Maske said. “They are now looking at buying six chairs at $11,000 each.”
Maske added that the increased connections and sales are catching the attention of his field reps, leading to greater loyalty from these independent salespeople and improved results.