In our third installment of the Crayon Customer Corner, we chatted with Geoffrey Gibson — Vice President of Sales at Mend and a three-time (!!) Crayon user. After successfully leveraging Crayon at his two previous companies, Geoff arrived at Mend and began making moves to implement a competitive intelligence process, choosing the best CI platform for the job was a no-brainer.
Read on to learn how the team at Mend seamlessly integrated Crayon into their workflows to gain a competitive advantage in the ultra-competitive digital healthcare market.
1. The telehealth market has all but exploded over the past few years as dependence on remote and virtual patient care has increased. How does your team use CI software to differentiate yourselves from competitors in such a crowded industry?
We have two distinct sets of competitors — which means we have more than your average digital health company — telemedicine and patient engagement. There are companies that do either, but Mend does both which brings a unique challenge. Competitive intelligence allows us to understand the ways in which we position ourselves against a telemedicine company vs our positioning against a patient engagement platform is very different.
One key way we use CI to differentiate Mend is by tracking ourselves in Crayon. As you evolve as a company you never know how you are being perceived in the market. What we found was there is a lot of literature online about us being a telemedicine company only or really speaking little to patient engagement.
The lack of information we were getting when we tracked ourselves on patient engagement gave us a really clear roadmap on what to push out to the marketplace — and our marketing team then knew what needed to be done to improve brand awareness in all areas of our platform.
We were then able to go out and do some webinars with Becker’s Hospital Review and Gartner Health, all which brought more visibility to us as a platform and allowed us to get our story out there so we weren't being pigeonholed as a telemedicine company. I don’t think we would have known to do that without seeing the overwhelming data that we collected by tracking ourselves on Crayon.
2. When implementing CI software at your company, what do you focus on from the get-go to ensure it has the biggest impact possible for your teams?
While there are many different ways of communicating information and creating competitive intel that can be ingested easily from sales or any team that uses CI, it has to start with addressing the need or challenge that the team is bringing on a daily or weekly basis.
For us, we’re scaling at a rapid rate. We were able to get by with an ad hoc process in the past. But as you grow a company like Mend, we were no longer able to manage a manual competitive intelligence process. We need to ensure we’re able to address the most common objections and questions from teams and do it in a systematic way. All the tools we supply our employees with should be able to scale along with our company.
Having a centralized platform in everything we do is key and competitive intelligence is no different.
3. Do you have any best practices or tips for those companies implementing a CI program across their sales and marketing departments?
Crayon’s ability to integrate with the systems we already have in place like Salesforce and Slack makes it a much more seamless transition for everyone.
Our sales, marketing, and client success teams all use Salesforce as a source of truth. The info we get from Crayon is so much more accessible through that integration and it allowed us to remove the friction to adoption when we introduced Crayon into their workflow. I’ve always been very appreciative of Crayon’s ability to seamlessly integrate with sales tools that organizations like Mend use.
Another tip is that you have to be invested in Crayon in order to make the most out of it. Competitive intelligence is always evolving, what we create for our initial go live is only useful if we update the information. A best practice is to make sure our teams know that this is one tool that enables them to sell better against our top competitors — as long as we are all willing to invest the time that is needed to ensure this info is up to date and to abide by those centralized best practices.
4. As you proceed with implementing Crayon at Mend, how will you measure the success of your CI program? Do you track any specific competitive intelligence KPIs?
As a sales leader, it’s my ability to sit on calls with my team and see how they handle objections. When our sales team members are all delivering the same message, knowing that they can quickly pull up that battlecard or other Crayon materials on their screen to support their objection handling, that’s a major sign that our program is working.
It’s a great testament to how Crayon was created that it enables any sales professional to really get ahead in those discussions, where a lot of time you do hem and haw about your competitor. You don't want to vendor bash, but you do want to get your message across. Crayon helps you do that.
And while we don’t have any dedicated competitive intelligence KPIs — if you look at any of the overarching KPIs we have as an organization, the ability to win against our competitors will really make or break whether we meet it or not.
For example, we pride ourselves on our 98% client retention rate. We wouldn't be able to achieve that — which ties to a larger KPI — if we weren’t able to defend and grow our base. We have competitors who are selling into us constantly, to boast a 98% client retention rate really speaks to our ability to successfully leverage CI to sell against our competitors.
5. As a third-time Crayon buyer and user, what is it about the platform that keeps you coming back for more?
I am the epitome of a brand loyalist. When I find something I've had success with in the past, that's the first call I'm going to make when there's a gap that needs to be filled. Crayon has served us very well and when you have that type of confidence in a company, you don’t need to go outside of that partnership because the moment we do, we are going to compare whoever we are doing business with to Crayon.
That’s why we didn't make a competitive decision in this instance, to us there was no reason to look outside of Crayon when it came to launching a best in class CI platform that is ultimately an investment in our employees. We want to be able to empower them to make really good decisions and enable them with the content and tools they need at their fingertips, and Crayon fits that need perfectly for us.
If you’re ready to compete like Mend, request a demo with Crayon today.
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