ATL builds hybrid force to back high-end scanner

September 25, 1991

ATL is revamping its U.S. sales organization to boost supportfor its upgraded Ultramark 9 high-end radiology ultrasound system.ATL introduced the high-definition-imaging (HDI) UM 9 in April(SCAN 4/24/91). Shipments to clinical sites began this

ATL is revamping its U.S. sales organization to boost supportfor its upgraded Ultramark 9 high-end radiology ultrasound system.ATL introduced the high-definition-imaging (HDI) UM 9 in April(SCAN 4/24/91). Shipments to clinical sites began this summer,said Allen W. Guisinger, executive vice president.

The Bothell, WA, ultrasound vendor had divided its domesticsales according to clinical specialty, but will shift to a hybridsystem tailored to multifunctional radiology requirements. Representativestrained in the wide spectrum of radiology applications are qualifiedto sell to specialists as well, he said.

ATL's U.S. sales organization was previously divided into fourseparate business units: radiology, obstetrics, cardiology andvascular. Each unit had a top sales director. The vendor has unifiedthis organization, but will continue to work with specialist aswell as hybrid sales representatives in some circumstances, Guisingersaid.

"While we are still focused on all those markets, we areeliminating the high-level (division) and consolidating all ofthe sales organization under a zone structure," he told SCAN.

Victor Reddick, former U.S. radiology sales director, was namedvice president for U.S. sales at ATL last month (SCAN 9/11/91).

ATL will continue to provide applications specialists to supportUM 9 sales representatives in their specialty sales calls. Applicationspersonnel will offer clinical expertise to customers while thehybrid sales staff sells the product's capabilities, Guisingersaid.

The unified sales organization reflects ATL's increased concentrationon high-end radiology sales as it exploits clinical interest inthe improved UM 9. A cardiology package for HDI is planned butnot expected soon. The hybrid sales representatives will alsosell ATL's UM 7 cardiology scanner, he said.

"This (restructuring) allowed us to take a number of resourcesfocused on cardiology, where they would be less productive, andput them into the radiology side of the business, which is verystrong," Guisinger said.

Demand for the HDI UM 9 is robust in vascular and peripheralvascular applications. ATL will retain some dedicated vascularrepresentatives and cardiac sales specialists, he said.

A separate sales force will continue to sell ATL's UM 4 scannerinto the private-office ob/gyn market, but the vendor's main salesgroup will target the emerging perinatology high end of the ob/gynmarket with the UM 9, he said.

The concept of a hybrid sales force is not new to ATL. Thevendor was already structured in that fashion internationallyand its sales focus in the U.S. has also been more cross-functionalin the past, he said.

ATL expects to reap benefits from organizing its worldwidesales groups along the same lines, he said.

"This will allow us to focus on the task of training,staffing and supplying a multispecialty sales force," Guisingersaid.