In 1999, Intuitive Surgical introduced the da Vinci Surgical System, one of the first robot-assisted surgical platforms. The groundbreaking innovation allows surgeons to perform more procedures in a minimally invasive way, which helps patients recover more quickly and reduces infection risks.

The da Vinci product became successful so rapidly that its manufacturer, Intuitive Surgical, grew quickly. That growth prompted an upgrade of the company’s customer management systems.

“We have grown to be a $2.4 billion company, so running our business on antiquated spreadsheets and CRM tools just didn’t make sense anymore,” said Christopher Hoster, Head of the Center of Excellence. “More than managing sales activities, we also needed a CRM platform that would help guide us to where our business needs to be in five years.”

Intuitive Surgical leaders wanted to expand the company’s use of Salesforce to help its 700 salespeople scale their sales efforts and share compelling information with customers and prospects. The company’s 4,100 robots already in the marketplace deliver data back to the company, which then analyzes that data to track trends and develop guidelines for healthcare providers.

Intuitive Surgical’s leaders saw an opportunity to gain increased visibility into their sales cycle by sharing rich, compelling data with hospitals and surgery centers to improve their sales and support processes. This data provides insights and real-time information to Intuitive Surgical, allowing the company to monitor sales reps’ daily activities and better align those activities with sales goals. Intuitive Surgical could also adjust the sales process more quickly when needed.

 

Thanks to the one-on-one coaching sessions and training resources, our teams are now getting so much more out of Salesforce.”

Christopher Hoster, Head of Center of Excellence

To step up the company’s use of Salesforce, Hoster and his team engaged with Success Cloud, which gives Salesforce customers access to resources and experts to help them achieve their goals.

Intuitive Surgical completed a Center of Excellence Accelerator, which is a feature of Premier Success Plans. This personalized training session focused on improving business and IT alignment, mapping out process requirements, and developing a governance strategy and plan for implementing new processes to better leverage Sales Cloud.

“Thanks to the one-on-one coaching sessions and training resources, our teams are now getting so much more out of Salesforce,” said Hoster. “They’re uncovering impactful customer and business information that is driving our evolution as a business today and for the years to come.”

The Center of Excellence Accelerator also helped Hoster’s team develop strategies to drive adoption and use of Chatter and other collaborative tools to better connect and share information. As more salespeople and company leaders began to use Sales Cloud to capture and combine information about surgeons, patients, healthcare settings, and procedures, Intuitive Surgical could more quickly aggregate data, share insights with healthcare customers, and increase overall productivity.

“We've been able to raise our productivity up to about 350 procedures per clinical sales rep per quarter, almost a 50% increase,” Hoster said.

The Intuitive Surgical team used the Center of Excellence Accelerator to learn about the best products for the company and develop new programs to increase the availability of information for customers and the entire healthcare community.

To ensure the company gets the most from Salesforce, Intuitive Surgical is working with an expert from Salesforce. The Salesforce success manager shares best practices and recommendations based on insights from working with other successful companies.

“I do not have the bandwidth to solve everything,” Hoster said. “By leveraging the success manager, we're able to find out how does Salesforce tackle this problem? What are other customers doing in a similar realm?”

Hoster’s advice for other Trailblazers? Leverage Salesforce experts, participate in webinars, and join community groups.

“You’re really going to build relationships, and you're going to get lots of ideas,” said Hoster. “We couldn't have made the successes we've had so far without these relationships.”

 
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