HO Sports is the largest manufacturer of pulled water sports equipment, selling products in more than 70 countries worldwide. Combined with the world’s most recognized brands in wakeboarding, Hyperlite Wakeboards, HO Sports has a lot riding on its sales team.
Simplifying and Transforming the Sales Process
Every year HO Sports releases a new product line of the hottest wakeboards and water skis in the industry. Getting that product information to reseller partners that range from Costco and Dick Sporting Goods to family owned marina, surf and specialty shops is a very big challenge. Developing an ongoing relationship with the global network of partners is difficult but imperative for CJ Vlahovich – VP of Sales, whose goal it is to expand distribution and build the HO Sports and Hyperlite brands. Vlahovich was looking for a sales communication tool that would allow him to better connect, understand and build his partner community.
“I needed a tool that allowed us to send our sales and marketing assets directly to our national account retailers in a timely, professional manner,” said Vlahovich. “When you’re talking about a wide product range and hundreds of associated assets, it makes every communication that much more important.”
HO Sports turned to Tellwise to overcome these all too common challenges and completely transformed the sales process. Thanks to Smart Messages, everyone can stay up to speed on product launches and specifications. Smart Messages allow the HO Sports sales team to send richer content like product videos, demos, and specifications in a way that allows them to understand partner engagement but also to communicate with those partners in a real time collaboration to get them up to speed faster.
“Our products are technical. From the physical specifications, to how they’re used by the end customer,” said Vlahovich. “It’s crucial to our business that retailers understand our products and how the end customer uses them. They’re a reflection of our brand.”
Ready to Launch Products and Education
Using the Tellwise platform, HO Sports launched their “Shreducation” education series to retailers across the country, including The Sports Authority and Dick’s Sporting Goods, providing education on their products. C.J.’s team was able to combine traditional email with a more interactive and data driven experience.
“Smart Messages allowed us to utilize our extensive library of hi-res photography and videos to send personalized Shreducation invites to retailers,” said Vlahovich. “They were blown away when it arrived in their inbox, and that was just the tip of the iceberg. We included a quiz at the end of the series and rewarded them with merchandise. Tellwise gave us the ability to see which assets they viewed, what modules they watched and how they interacted with the content. The type of data and the amount it provided was incredibly useful.”
Stronger Customer Relationships
In the past, salespeople had to travel to each state to provide the product information and secure orders.
“Our salespeople can’t be everywhere. We needed a tool that allowed us to reach the retail employees and get them up to speed on product information, quickly and easily” said Vlahovich. “Tellwise helped us do that.”
Smooth Transition Brings Speedy Results
For Vlahovich, the last piece of the puzzle was user adoption. “We’ve got a very diverse group of salespeople, so trying to implement a new tool usually isn’t very easy,” said Vlahovich. “But user adoption was very smooth because of how simple it is to use. Now our sales staff can see what types of content their customers are interacting with the most and tailor their sales pitch accordingly – which allows us to distribute a broader skew base because they’re properly educated.”
“Tellwise has really taken care of us,” Vlahovich said. “The platform is just excellent and so is the customer service from Tellwise. Our sales team felt comfortable touching base with the Tellwise staff for questions and they happily handled it.”
Fast forward 18-months and the HO Sports sales team is running as smooth as glass.
“Customers have confidence in us to deliver – it’ why we’ve won so many awards over the years. We have state-of-the-art equipment and now our sales staff is equipped with the most advanced way to communicate with their customers.”
Product Features and Benefits
To reach their channel partners, Tellwise Smart Message solved some of their most complex sales challenges
- Connect and collaborate with customers in real-time using SmartChat
- Measure and track what content customers are viewing
- Nurture relationships by pushing content with just a few clicks, keeping the conversation going
- Provide a great customer experience that’s consistent across devices, especially on mobile