Kelly Londy, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, Accuray
Keynote Topic: Sales Transformation: From Selling Technology to Building Customer Loyalty
Gary Tubridy: I am here with Kelly Londy, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer at Accuray. Kelly, welcome to the Forum.
GT: Thank you for joining us.
KL: Thank you for inviting me. It is my pleasure.
GT: Well, it is great to have you here and I think perhaps to start, why don’t we talk a little bit about Accuray and your role at Accuray. Give us a little background.
KL: Sure. I am the Chief Commercial Officer and my job really has anything to do with what touches a customer. Anybody that actually interacts with a customer, falls within my purview of the company. Accuray is the company. We develop, manufacture and distribute radiation oncology equipment. Our main customers are hospitals and physician groups that treat radiation oncology patients of one kind or another.
GT: Tell me about who the customer is at the customer?
KL: That sounds like an easy question and it is actually very complex. It is a wide variety of people at our customers. They are the radiation oncologists, the surgeons, the neurosurgeons, the dosimetrists, the hospital executives, the CEO and CFO. It is the marketing teams at a hospital, as they are trying to make their brand established. It is the insurance companies, so the payers actually become our customers and eventually it is the patient. We do a lot of direct to patient outreach as well as patients are getting more and more informed in this digital age, they can look up anything on the internet. Really the patients become the end decider of what kind of care they will get.
GT: That sounds like an ecosystem that has become a lot more complex over the recent years.
KL: It has, especially in a global company. We are very global and different cancer rates are different in different countries. Different cultures look at how patient treatment happens differently and at different economic spheres, whether you are in Europe or you are in Russia or you are in Hong Kong, patient care still needs to get delivered. A very different look at how it goes to market now.
GT: Tell me a little bit about the value you deliver to these customers in an ecosystem that had us change in recent years.
KL: Sure. Our value proposition is around delivering the maximum treatment options to a patient that really allows for quality of life and quantity of life. The throughput, the look of how to make it easier for the end users, as well, has really been important as we are a changing the model on how we go to market. It used to be that we really focused on the academic, key opinion leader, industry. Over the last few years, we have really been driving to solutions that make it much more main stream which is great for hospitals to be able to provide that kind of equipment to patients everywhere.
GT: The role of the sales force has probably changed in delivering that kind of value. Can you speak to that a little bit?
KL: Sure and we are right in the middle still of a sales transformation. As we have moved from a technology driven sales force to a customer loyalty and customer focused sales force, it really has changed everything in our organization. Moving everybody from finance and legal and supply chain and the sales force and the field engineers, everybody being focused around what is best for the customer really makes it that you have to set up tools, thought process, communication internally and externally that really allows you to have profitable growth and be customer focused at the same time.
GT: When you took the reins at Accuray, you had some challenges. Tell us a little bit about that turnaround and the way the numbers are today.
KL: Well, it is a process. I have been with Accuray now three years and we had just completed an acquisition of a competitive product and so we completed the acquisition, but had not gone through the integration yet. We are now through that, we have integrated the sales teams, the engineering teams. We have payroll coming out of one paycheck system now, which really says you are through the integration. Now it is really more about how do we drive making sure that we have a good value proposition for our customers? That the products are complimentary to each other, that a lot of customers now are actually buying bulk products which really shows that they are complimentary to each other as you are going through the integration. Figuring out how do you actually now go from here with the integration completed being one company, two great products, rather than two great companies competing to really being able to maximize how customers utilize the equipment and that is the real next challenge that we are working on.
GT: What is in store for 2015?
KL: Well, it is a pretty exciting year at Accuray right now. We publicly have disclosed that we will be profitable this year which after the acquisition, this is a pretty good turnaround financially for us. We have got the processes in place that are really stabilizing the growth and underpinnings so that we can continue to grow and have the underpinning in place to make it happen. Our key opinion leaders, our install base globally, is really growing. We are looking at how do we maximize that for our customers to continue to stay on a platform of evolution, rather than having to buy a new system every time they want to grow their clinical capabilities.
GT: Wow. It is a great story Kelly. Congratulations.
KL: Thank you. It has been a fun ride.
GT: Well, thank you and thanks for joining us here.
KL: It is my pleasure. Thanks for inviting me.