At Straumann, a Sales Support Representative primarily supports the Sales Force by handling calls, orders, promotional programs, price agreements, and other order-related tasks efficiently and effectively. A Sales Support Representative also develops an ongoing and helpful relationship with the Sales Force to enable them to manage their assigned territories and meet or exceed the customer expectations.
Customer Operations is comprised of several teams, including Customer Service, Sales Support, Technical Support and Telesales. Pat began her career here as a Customer Service Representative and she recently moved to the Sales Support team.
Pat explained that as a Customer Service Representative, her work involved working more directly with our external customers. In Customer Service, Pat’s main responsibilities included taking care of order entry to invoices, payments, and tracking product. Leaving the good friends Pat made on the Customer Service team was one of her biggest challenges when moving on to Sales Support. Luckily, they don’t sit too far away and she has found her new team to be another great group to work with.
Now that she has transitioned to the Sales Support team, Pat works more closely with our outside sales force. Each Sales Support Representative is aligned with specific regions to provide service and support. Pat currently supports our Allegheny and Southeast sales regions. Field sales representatives in these regions are her main responsibility, as she works to support programs, process orders, pricing discounts, and manage consignment orders. The role of a Sales Support Representative is to “support the sales reps so they can get their jobs done effectively,” noted Pat. It is a project oriented role that requires a high attention to detail.
Pat’s first training began when she attended “Phase 1” Product training for 2 weeks when she first started her career at Straumann. This product training gave Pat a foundation to grow from and get to know our products, especially since she did not have a dental background. This is the same training that our sales representatives attend, which Pat found very helpful. From the start she was immersed with her future internal customers, getting to know our sales team, training alongside them at “Phase 1.”
Training did not stop at Phase 1. Pat noted that she received constant training on our systems along the way. Continuous training on product updates and many one-on-one meetings with her manager helped Pat acclimate into the role, build confidence and be successful. “The team pulls for you and gets you over the hurdles,” noted Pat. “We are provided with tools we need to handle new product introductions, ways of entering the products into the system and how to best service the customers that call in.”
Moving on to Sales Support, which is a highly administrative role was a big step for Pat. However, to help her transition, she notes that she was assigned 3 trainers within the department to act as mentors and help her train to learn the role. Pat commented that her trainers were “very patient with helping others. It feels good to be part of a team that does a great job. They help me do my job better.”
Pat commented that there is a great sense of team in Customer Operations. What she likes best is “having a great group of people to work with. It is a great place to work, we have good people here, and the work ethic is strong. We work hard and have fun too!” Pat was very humble when interviewed for this piece. She made a point several times to note that it is with the help of her team that she is able to be successful and accomplish what she needs to do. Pat is certainly a team player to the core, like the rest of our Customer Operations group.
|Before work:||Pat laces up her sneakers to take a walk and enjoy the quiet in morning. She is refreshed and ready for the day.|
|9:00 am||Sign on and go in and check to make sure all work from yesterday is completed and transactions are complete. Check the Pricing Line and review university orders and any pricing issues.|
|10:00 am||Pat sets up price agreements and sends to her outside reps. She helps manage and organize the price agreement process for the regions she supports.|
||Consignment time. Pat reviews university orders, and checks on some lot numbers and quantities. She needs to manage the billing and fill consignment today.|
|1:30 pm||Lunch! Pat heads down to the cafeteria in the office. There is always someone from the team sit and socialize with.|
|2:45 pm||The Customer Service team needs help with an overflow of calls in the queue. Pat takes a call for a specific promotion and enters orders. She investigates what the customer’s previous purchases were to check if they may be eligible for special deal. During calls like this Pat finds her previous Customer Service Rep experience to be extremely helpful.|
|3:30 pm||Back to the Sales Support call queue. Pat speaks with some of her reps in the Allegheny region and provides some assistance on credits and rebills.|
|4:00 pm||The day goes by very quickly!|
|Close of business day||Time to review that day’s work. Pat moves any open projects and schedules them for the next day. Any pending work is turned over to the Customer Service Administrator. Organization and administrative skills are key in this role!|
At Straumann, Regional Sales Directors (RSDs) are responsible for all aspects of the sales function in an assigned region. This includes achieving sales targets, training and coaching territory managers (TMs), implementing the sales systems and metrics provided by management, and providing market information to senior management.
Before I came to work at Straumann I was a sales representative with Johnson and Johnson, and prior to that I worked in sales for InterCall, which was a telecommunications company selling Webex Conference Calling (if anyone wants to know how to group mute, give me a call!).
For me the best part of being an RSD is that you get to wear so many different hats; you are a strategic partner to territory managers and contribute to our internal partners at Straumann, while still having face-to-face interaction with our customers. I would say the biggest, and my favorite, part of what I do is being a strategic partner to the territory managers of the Pacific Northwest region. As an RSD I have the luxury of getting to see how each of the TMs in the Pacific Northwest approach different opportunities and challenges, and I share those great ideas with the other TMs on the team. Being an RSD is challenging, but nothing is more rewarding than when you get to celebrate someone’s success with them.
My time at Straumann has shaped my professional development on many levels, as a Territory Manager I learned what it was like to work with many different personalities and how to be a consultant to different customers. Those experiences helped with the transition into my role as an RSD. As an RSD I have grown in my ability to think strategically and on a more macro level. This summer I was fortunate to participate in the ITP development program in Basel, Switzerland. The program is designed to challenge the participants to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and formulate a plan for personal and professional development. In my tenure as RSD, I have had the reward of being a part of a region that has seen success as “Region of the Year” multiple times, as well as many members of the team being named to the President’s Club rankings.
Hands-down the part I enjoy most about my job and working at Straumann are the people. From the team members of the Pacific Northwest region to our internal partners that support us, I know that I am fortunate to work with such an amazingly talented group of people. As I like to tell the TMs of the Pacific Northwest, they continue to amaze me week after week.
|7:00 am||Have been up responding to e-mail but at 7 get to listen to the first two minutes of the Today Show (my favorite two minutes of the day), sending out the Daily Sales Report to my team highlighting their success and what’s to come! Early morning is when I get my best work done.|
|10:00 am||I am in the field co- traveling with one of the TMs, usually by now we have discussed the business plan for the territory and have seen a couple customers, whether they are surgical, restorative, regenerative or lab based. We focus primarily on how to use our technology as an advantage over the competitors and what that means to the customer and the patients.|
||Continuation of visiting with customers, generally at lunch time we are having a meeting with a surgical customer since it is a great time to see them undistracted. Our goal is to have the surgeon share the value of why they use our products to their referrals and patients.
|3:30 pm||At this point I am usually asking if we can stop to grab a bite to eat, or frantically looking for a protein bar in my computer bag because the TMs seem to run on a food store that I don’t have. We are on our way to catch a surgeon before their day ends to discuss potential educational and marketing activities related to the technology of our products.|
|Close of Business Day||By now we have seen between 4-8 customers depending on the day and our focus. Close to 5:00 pm, I am catching up with Scott (the West Area Vice President), discussing any issues we need to wrap up as well as updating him on what the team has in the pipeline. There are often evening CE courses I will be attending with the TMs, which are great because of the synergy I generally will see the Surgical, CARES, and/or Regenerative sales representatives at the course.|
|Evening||My husband and I are catching up on our DVR while I secretly check my work e-mail on my iPhone hoping my husband doesn’t catch me!|