Jeff Wessinger, President & Chris Skura, CEOTwo avid golfers – Jeff Wessinger and Chris Skura, believe that “the passion for golf is the passion of mind.” Their farsightedness and enthusiasm in golfing is a reflection of SKURA’s successful journey in the pharmaceutical industry. Started in 1996, Oakville, ON-based SKURA provides a sales enablement system that leverages relevant and engaging content to transform even the sales representatives into trusted advisors. This system helps to completely eliminate the linear pitch, and instead drives a problem solving conversation—that ensure effectiveness, optimization of sales cycles, reduced ramp up time for new employees and boosting efficiency by eliminating manual call reporting.
The Meandering Journey
Starting as a services business, SKURA gained significant experience and a reputation as one of the premier integration partners for market leading CRM technology. The company was not only able to develop organizational IP, but also created a dedicated R&D team to specifically look at customer opportunities. With Wessinger and Skura’s dedication and determination, the company has remarkably innovated since its inception. In 2006, SKURA introduced a system and method for predicting outcomes to sales presentations. “We realized the gap between what sales people needed and what CRM provided. This lead us to create a technology that could go beyond what CRM could provide,” narrates Wessinger, President, SKURA. This helped sales representatives at critical point in the selling process. Two years later, the company initiated the first digital content viewer with multiple CRM connections. In 2010, SKURA instigated the first sales based cloud enablement tool, in addition to the hybrid mobile and web viewer capable of running the same code on any mobile device. This milestone was only a beginning of the company’s success story.
The company’s latest release is the first in-line presentation co-browser with zero install. The initial version of the company’s software was a Windows based application enabled though flash. “The introduction of the iPad in 2010 changed our market and made that product instantly obsolete. That forced us to think longer term, and as a result, everything that we build today is based on HTML, allowing us to be multi-device and multi-channel,” Wessinger recollects. Today, the company has built a browser and device agnostic solution where every supporting digital resource is not only instantly available—but is also recommended and personalized based on the audience. SKURA’s innovative system is one where nothing needs to be entered into the CRM system— every detail discussed is already being analyzed to help with the next customer engagement.
An Averse Marshmallow Company
Wessinger refers to SKURA as being completely averse to being a ‘Marshmallow company’—a reference to the classic ‘Marshmallow Test’ by the influential psychologist Walter Mischel. Wessinger explains that SKURA is reluctant to take a dollar off the table since the company is looking forward to a long term relationship with the customers. “We do not want to be a company focused on the short term, we are looking for long term relationship with our customers,” he adds.
In this world of digital technology, the last major component that we have patented is the ability to run predictive models against the data that is captured and make intelligent recommendations to customers
Striving towards customer satisfaction in a highly regulated industry, the company has a very sophisticated content management system (CMS), where the material is approved and enrolled to the process before they get published in the field. In addition to CMS and document management, the company also has a mobile application for storing presentations, for later use. The application is user friendly and can run on iOS, Android or on Windows devices. Another functionality of SKURA is the ability to follow up with the customer, even after the phone call has ended. This feature enables the staff to share the content with the consumer offline—ensuring better customer satisfaction rates . “In this world of digital technology, the last major component that we have patented is the ability to run predictive models against the data that is captured in real-time to help make intelligent recommendations to customers,” expounds Wessinger.
Boosting Sales and Market Share
SKURA not only works with companies in the pharmaceutical industry, but also shares a close relationship with customers in the healthcare, manufacturing, retail and automotive sector. For instance, the company worked with Urgo Medical Group—a French company specializing in wound care products. Using advanced CRM integration, SKURA helped the client to boost their sales and market share, while significantly reducing administrative costs. “We were able to increase their brand recall and reduce their medical administration time, on an average of two and three hours per day by eliminating all data entry into the CRM,” says Wessinger. “By incorporating a tablet technology used in every digitally recorded call, the system reported even minute details of the caller thereby automatically updating the information in the CRM system,” he adds.
Moving forward, “we are striving to help our customer change their perception of the sales reps—enabling them to have fruitful conversations,” says Wessinger. The company is also keen on introducing a feature that has the ability to enable participants in a board room setting, to not just follow the presentation on the projector but also view the same on their mobile devices. “They can also move ahead in the presentation, and truly have their own unique experience. We can also get the tracking and understanding of what each participant has done,” explains Wessinger. “Celebrating our success with new HTML5 constructs like WebRTC, we are also laser-focused on the face to face selling,” he concludes.