Stryker strengthens a Nationwide Sales Force with Maps and Visual Data
Stryker is a Fortune 500 medical technology company based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The company's expansive portfolio of products includes an array of medical devices, such as implants used in joint replacement and trauma surgeries, patient handling and emergency medical equipment, and neurosurgical and spinal devices. As the company and its sales force continue to grow, the analytics team recognized that there were opportunities for optimization of Stryker's sales coverage in key regions. With the help of ArcGIS for Power BI, the team now creates comprehensive maps that enable a best-in-class sales coverage process.
In 2017, Stryker acquired NOVADAQ Technologies, a developer of fluorescence imaging technology for surgeons. As a result of the acquisition, Stryker sought to evaluate NOVADAQ's domestic sales force and its coverage across the US. As such, the team needed an accurate method to visualize and display details regarding NOVADAQ's sales representatives. In order to align NOVADAQ's sales force with Stryker's, these details included the location of NOVADAQ's sales force in the US and where sales were actually taking place.
With the acquirement of the new sales force, Stryker's senior management also decided to change the way territories were set up to improve coverage. The team needed an efficient way to visualize the company's territories so that it could add and redraw regions and reassign the new workforce to those regions.
Typically, the sales teams would use a spreadsheet-based approach in which the managers would rely on their judgment about where to draw territory boundaries.
Nick Switzer, People and Performance Analytics manager at Stryker, says, "We needed a way to quickly and more accurately visualize where NOVADAQ's sales reps were, where their sales were taking place, and combine that with the locations of our own sales reps and sales data."
Improve sales force coverage
ArcGIS for Power BI
Stryker can visualize sales data on maps, identify locations with low coverage and allocate sales force more effectively
With the challenge of mapping its growing sales force, Stryker chose ArcGIS for Power BI to create visual representations of the company's territories. ArcGIS for Power BI is software that allows users to create striking map visualizations to reveal patterns and trends in data within Microsoft Power BI. Stryker chose to use the Plus subscription to access additional data for the country.
Switzer explains that ArcGIS for Power BI allows staff to show facilities for all client accounts as points on a map and then, to each, ascribe revenue and a market penetration estimate, or an estimate of the amount of share they have in a given area. The multi-select tool then helps the staff select points within a rectangular area and see how cumulative measures across all those points.
The team draws and selects different territories and sets of accounts to lead to the mapping of new regions. The final map serves as a visual to show senior leadership what the potential options and plans are for the newly formulated sales force.
"I could tell that the sales team was excited to be using the mapping tool rather than looking at a spreadsheet," Switzer says. "We were able to visualize everything and feel very comfortable about the decisions we were making in terms of the new territory layout, and we did not have to map it and come back. We could do it live."
ArcGIS for Power BI allows Stryker to map and visualize data for evaluating coverage of the company's sales team. Stryker combined its internal data on revenue with third-party data to identify regional market penetration rates and then compared them to others across the country. In one instance, the team used the map to quickly identify a lack of coverage in a region.
Switzer says it is difficult to assess the lack of success in a market and what accounts fit together best. However, with the map and visual data, the team was able to determine where to designate the next territory.
The use of ArcGIS for Power BI to restructure territories increased efficiency for senior leadership and the sales operations team. Switzer says, "The alternative they'd been used to is just looking at a spreadsheet and just having to imagine, 'Okay, I know what that territory generally is and what that territory looks like.'" Now, the team was able to see the sales regions and visualize changes immediately, allowing for more informed, accurate decisions.
The use of ArcGIS for Power BI to track and analyze trends helps the team balance revenue across areas and improve sales rep coverage. The map allows staff to focus on the state and then the smaller region that may not be successful, to calculate revenue and explore the factors that may be impacting an account.
"We determined that our customers in one state weren't getting great coverage. It's not the fault of the rep who lives in the nearby state—he's just doing a good job where he's assigned," explains Switzer. "But [as a result of the analysis] somebody got a new job. There's an opening in that state. That was an aha moment for everybody. When we looked in a spreadsheet, we knew that this region was weak, but we didn't know why. I think that overall, that's what we still use ArcGIS for Power BI for—to identify account placement."
A key component of Switzer and his team's work is laying out territories, but when a territory is split, potential revenue sources are taken away from the sales representative, which can be difficult, he says. However, showing the territory with the visual data helps the sales reps understand why territory changes have been made and how they can make a positive impact. In some cases, it can also help the sales reps understand that they will get to spend less time on the road servicing faraway accounts.
"We're no longer asking this rep to drive down through one area every single day from a nearby state to serve customers when he already has plenty of customers to serve. We're actually improving this person's quality of life," Switzer says.
With the visualization of important sales data, the use of ArcGIS for Power BI also saves Stryker's regional managers time. "For the managers who are making the decision, there's definitely a time saving. They don't have to go from an Excel worksheet and then go find out where those different accounts are," says Switzer, "or even discuss with the reps which accounts should go to a new territory and which accounts should stay. They can just see that it makes sense."
"We are able to visualize performance and where to place new reps. We can also visualize our metrics across the country. There are a lot of different instances where we get tremendous value from using this visual data."