How DJO Orthopedics’ Training Team Uses Allego as a Force Multiplier
Even in the best of times, Anne Lindley is stretched thin. Until recently, DJO Orthopedics’ director of bracing and supports sales training was a “one-woman show,” tasked with enabling a 300-member sales force, many of whom are hired and managed by outside distributors.
DJO, a subsidiary of Colfax Corporation (NYSE: CFX), is a leading developer and distributor of high-quality medical devices that provide proven solutions for musculoskeletal health, joint reconstruction, vascular health, and pain management.
But as 2019 began, it was not the best of times for the world’s seventh-largest orthopedics company. Sales were down 7% in DJO’s cold therapy category, and 21% in its cold therapy unit. Morale was shaky, and product messaging was inconsistent. And despite her limited budget and bandwidth, Lindley was being asked to do more with less.
“Allego has been a great solution to meet the needs that we had, with the challenges we faced.” – Anne Lindley, DJO Orthopedics’ director of bracing and supports sales training
On top of that, “I didn’t feel that our LMS [Learning Management System] was being impactful,” said Lindley. “It wasn’t meeting the reps’ need for more just-in-time learning. We’ve got reps coming on board that are right out of college, and we have reps who have been with us for 25-plus years and are in their 60s. Trying to find a learning tool that can help all of these people is not easy.”
An Impressive Turnaround
In less than a year, Allego’s all-in-one sales enablement solution has contributed to an impressive turnaround at DJO. Among the reps, the Allego adoption rate is near 100% and to date, there have been over 75,000 views of Allego content—a significant level of engagement for a sales force of just 300. Most important, sales are up by 24% in the cold therapy category, and up by 12% in the overall product category.
“Allego really allowed us to transform how we go to market, reinvigorate our sales force, drive this higher ASP product in a commodity market, take market share from a competitor, and then ultimately grow the business,” said Lindley. “Launching products has been a lot quicker. We’re selling the new products, and really maximizing best practices. I think our sales team is becoming more competent and feeling more comfortable in closing deals, not just servicing. The challenge I face now is that everybody and everyone in our company wants access to Allego.
A Single Solution for a Single-Person Team
Before implementing Allego, DJO used so many different learning platforms that “half the emails and requests coming in were: ‘What’s my password for this?’ ‘How do I get into that?’ ‘How do I use this?’” said Lindley. But once Allego was adopted, Lindley’s one-woman team finally had a single training solution that could tackle multiple issues—a learning tool that extended the reach and impact of her initiatives.
“Time is money for our sales reps, and enhancing their selling time is what they want. But we can also enhance their product competencies, which is good for us. In addition, we’ve got some strategic initiatives for which we now have consistent messaging. We’re using Allego to really drive those initiatives and ultimately grow revenue.
Allego’s mobile platform has also boosted sales productivity. “With just-in-time learning, the reps can … learn about what they want, when they need to learn it. And they don’t have to be connected to a VPN. They can do it right on their phone. Allego is very simple and very easy for them to use.”
Allego also helped the company drive efficiencies in its onboarding program. For example, DJO now has a channel devoted to new hire introductions. To get to know their bosses and colleagues, new hires watch short videos instead of waiting to meet these employees in person. In turn, each new hire makes their own intro video before joining the team.
“So now they have a network relationship with each other before they ever come here,” says Lindley. “That probably saves us five hours alone, because every marketer that comes into a new hire training will say, ‘Let me know who you are and where you’re from.’ As a trainer, you’re thinking, ‘Hey! You just took up 30 minutes doing the same thing again and again.’ This is just another small piece of Allego that has a really big impact in the long run.”
In addition, the introduction videos immediately expose new hires to the Allego platform, immersing them in the technology from the very start of their employment. Unlike some veteran sales reps, who may be reluctant to record themselves, new reps “jump in the water” right away, and get comfortable making videos.
A Safe Environment to Practice Sales Skills
To obtain buy-in for Allego from sales leadership, Lindley initially focused on the benefit of giving reps a safe environment in which to practice their selling skills—instead of practicing on customers. Even before Allego was adopted, she recognized the utility of having reps practice their elevator pitches via mobile video.
“I would ask new hires to send me their elevator pitches on X, Y and Z. A few were okay. Maybe one or two were good. But the majority were completely cringe worthy. I would then send [leadership] the videos and say, ‘This is what our reps are saying to our customers right now. We need a platform so we can help develop them and make a few little tweaks or polish it up.’ There was definitely a need for coaching so our reps would not be practicing on our customers. Today, they have a safe environment to do that.”
A second area of focus was improving the efficiency and efficacy of national sales meetings. In addition to helping reps prepare for the meetings by sending them pre-work and pre-courses in advance, Lindley placed a new emphasis on reinforcing the content presented during the events.
“The studies out there are mind blowing: 80% of the information an individual learns is lost within 30 days. So I’m thinking, ‘Do we just spend all this money on our national sales meeting without a process to reinforce? They’re going to lose all of this information.’
“Now, with Allego, we have the ability to deploy flash drills. We ping our reps three times a week with three questions and they’re getting reinforced. And it’s not just answering a question, but getting the reinforcement answer.
“Initially, I was concerned about how our sales reps were going to react. But they love it. If they have to sit for a few extra minutes because a customer isn’t ready to see them yet, they can go through and answer some of these questions. There’s also a competitive factor to it.”
Sharing Best Practices
At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company created a resources channel for customers, sharing videos and documents related to telemedicine and remote patient fittings of its medical devices.
Lindley shared, “We’re seeing reps, unsolicited, sharing heartfelt stories about how they were able to help someone who was in a lot of pain and their surgery was put on hold … but we could give them a knee brace or cold therapy to help with the pain.”
Today, it’s not unusual for reps to create best-practice videos, giving their colleagues an opportunity to see and hear how to sell against the competition. This boosts reps’ confidence that the products they represent are superior to their competitors’.
“Allego has been a great solution to meet the needs that we had, with the challenges we faced,” said Lindley.
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