In order to support the growing global launch of its IRRAflow and Hummingbird ICP Monitoring product lines, IRRAS continues to improve its sales and training capabilities by adding key talent to fill important positions within its commercial organization. In Europe, the new Sales Directors are now in place to direct the company’s sales efforts in both Germany and the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark, while, in the United States, the company has added its first two Neurocritical Nurse Educators to accelerate its ability to train new customers on its product portfolio.
These changes to IRRAS’ commercial structure were made to enhance the company’s sales and education capabilities in critical geographies, while also controlling cash expenditure during the covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.
Increased focus on facilitating evaluations and training in the US
In the US, at the beginning of 2020, IRRAS’ direct sales force consisted of one Regional Sales Manager supported by six Territory Managers. During the first half of the year, covid-19 restrictions severely impacted the team’s field activities, including travel, hospital access, and customer interaction, and, during this period, steps were taken to optimize the team’s structure and focus moving forward.
Two sales territories were combined, resulting in a current US sales team structure of one Regional Sales Manager supported by five Territory Managers. In addition, two Neurocritical Nurse Educators joined the company to support the sales team’s ongoing product launches. These changes decreased the monthly operational costs for the company’s US commercial team by approximately 25% while actually increasing the team’s size by one role since the beginning of this year.
“The addition of these experienced nurse educators to our commercial team significantly improves the ability of our team to navigate the needed training process during a new hospital’s evaluation period, said Will Martin, President and Chief Commercial Officer of IRRAS. “Their firsthand experience with patient treatment carries immediate credibility with neurocritical nursing staff and enhances our training efficiency at an overall lower cost to the organization.”
“Our challenge historically has not been generating demand for our products but efficiently completing the training and evaluation processes,” continued Martin. “These recent changes to our US team help to address that challenge. By adding education resources, we can more effectively train, while also freeing up the Territory Managers to continue to identify new sales targets. We expect to see continued positive impact as our next wave of evaluations begin.”
Since the beginning of the 3rd quarter, commercial activities in the US for the company have started to return to normal. While some parts of the US remain impacted by covid-related restrictions, many regions have resumed normal hospital operation. As a result, 4 new hospitals have approved the evaluation of the IRRAflow system, and the company’s new Nurse Education Specialists have played an integral role as training has begun at these new customers. In addition, a 2nd hospital has become a recurring customer since the start of the Hummingbird ICP Monitoring launch.
Newly appointed Director of Sales for DACH and the Nordic markets
In the European Union (EU), the company’s remains focused on launching its IRRAflow system after receiving its CE Mark recertification in December 2019. During Q1 2020, inventory was restocked in the company’s European distribution center, and initial customer engagement was underway when covid-19 also impacted European activities.
The European sales team, headed by Coenraad Tamse, Vice President, International Sales, began to engage direct customers in a digital manner, and the team’s focus shifted to preparing the company’s distribution markets for activity once the impact of covid-19 lessened. In the key direct market of Germany, Martin Mertens recently joined as the company’s Director of Sales, DACH, and he will manage sales activities for Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Mr. Mertens joins IRRAS from his previous role as Global Director of Sales and Marketing for Spiegelberg, a well-established German company focused on neurocritical care.
“We are extremely excited to have Martin Mertens join IRRAS to lead our sales efforts in Germany and the surrounding areas,” said Coenraad Tamse, Vice President, International Sales, of IRRAS. “Martin’s experience in the neurocritical care space and his deep relationships with German neurosurgeons will have a unique impact on our future success, and we are already seeing his immediate impact after a short time.”
In addition, Edmond Malek has assumed the role of Director of Sales, Nordics, after serving in a key sales role with Mentice, a leading provider of medical device simulation tools, which included a focus on the neurovascular community. Finally, the European sales organization also consists of a Director of Global Distributor Management, who manages our distribution partners in markets around the world, and a Training Manager that serves a key role in launching new customers and educating them on both IRRAflow and Hummingbird.
Expect continued investments in personnel
After the completion of the company’s recent financing during Q2 of this year, additional headcount to support commercial growth is budgeted for both the US and the EU as business conditions warrant. IRRAS plans to continue to invest in necessary personnel to meet demand and fuel growth and will do so only as momentum increases.
In the US, Territory Manager positions in some regions where IRRAS currently has limited geographic coverage will be filled as demand warrants. In addition, the company will continue to invest in nurse education specialists.
In the EU, IRRAS expects that short-term demand will necessitate additional direct sales training resources in Germany, and an additional distribution manager will also be required to identify, train, and support IRRAS’ growing network of global distribution partners.
IRRAS is a global medical care company focused on delivering innovative medical solutions to improve the lives of critically ill patients. IRRAS designs, develops, and commercializes neurocritical care products that transform patient outcomes and decrease the overall cost of care by addressing complications associated with current treatment methodologies. IRRAS markets and sells its comprehensive, innovative IRRAflow and Hummingbird ICP Monitoring product lines to hospitals worldwide through its direct sales organization in the United States and select European countries as well as an international network of distribution partners.
IRRAS maintains its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, with corporate offices in Munich, Germany, and San Diego, California, USA. For more information, please visit www.irras.com.
IRRAS AB (publ) is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (ticker: IRRAS).
For more information, please contact:
Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D.
+46 73 951 95 02
The information was released for public disclosure, through the agency of the contact person above, on September 22, 2020 at 11:00 (CET).