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Corporate profile: Vennli

Oct. 22, 2015
Through a unique cloud software platform, a new entrant to the dental industry, Vennli, helps dental companies "win customer choice."

Through a unique cloud software platform, a new entrant to the dental industry, Vennli, helps dental companies "win customer choice."

When it comes to selling to dental professionals, it's all about "winning customer choice." That's the aim of Vennli, a new entrant into the dental industry that helps companies sell to dentists, develop growth strategies, improve marketing, and drive sales.

Vennli was founded in 2013 by Joe Urbany, PhD, a marketing professor at the University of Notre Dame, and Gary Gigot, a former Microsoft executive with an extensive background in marketing, technology, and venture capital. Urbany developed a model for growing businesses that was grounded in the Venn diagram (yes, the one you learned about in grade school with the overlapping circles). Urbany realized Venn diagrams were powerful tools that could easily depict key selling and marketing concepts and help businesses succeed. Since its development, Urbany's trademark three-circle model has received numerous awards and has been featured in many publications, including the Harvard Business Review. Today, Vennli offers a comprehensive software platform and strategy model to its clients, which include hundreds of market-leading organizations, such as BMW, Nucor, Dunkin' Donuts, Whirlpool, the YMCA, Master Lock, The Leading Hotels of the World, Burkhart, and Zimmer.

Now Vennli has expanded into the dental industry, and it's already making an impact. Vennli is working with dental marketing firms, manufacturers, dealers, practice management consulting firms, dental support organizations, insurance providers, and dental organizations at both the state and national levels.

At the core of Vennli's business is a cloud-based software platform that combines a proven strategy model, ongoing customer conversation, and data visualization. The end result is this: Vennli's companies are able to differentiate themselves from competitors in ways that are important to dental customers, thereby helping them "win their choices" (i.e., make the sale).

As the dental industry is a competitive market with dynamic customer needs, Vennli believes it is an ideal market for the application of its software.

Earlier this year, Vennli hired Rachel Mele-a dental executive, author, and speaker-as the general manager of the company's dental division. Mele was charged to drive targeted growth and an ideal leadership choice. Mele grew up in the dental profession. Her mom ran a lab out of Mele's childhood home and went on to become a well-known orthodontic practice management consultant. Mele's professional dental career started when she worked as an inventory consultant to dentists across the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. She transitioned to Sesame Communications, where she spent 10 years as a vice president in both sales and business development. Mele was part of the team that led to Sesame's growth and subsequent acquisition by a one-billion-dollar company.

"The dental industry is transforming, and dental companies need to work harder than ever to differentiate themselves from the competition," says Mele. "It's no longer OK to make decisions based on gut reactions or what the loudest person in the room thinks, but rather [it's important] to drive continuous growth by truly understanding what's important to dentists and dental patients."

Vennli's dedication to the dental industry is further evidenced by its commitment to supporting Oral Cancer Cause. Oral Cancer Cause is a nonprofit foundation, and its mission is to improve the quality of life for oral cancer patients through financial support so that they may face the world with peace and dignity during and after medical treatment. Vennli made its first donation to Oral Cancer Cause in the amount of $1,650 to help support oral cancer patients and their families who are experiencing financial strain because they may be unable to work.

If you drill deeper into Vennli's expertise, you'll find an attractive platform for sales executives and marketing leaders alike. Apex360 asked Mele and the leaders at Vennli to capture that expertise in nutshell. In other words, we asked for Vennli's sales pitch. What we received was a look at the thinking behind Vennli's success. But don't take our word for it-read it for yourself below.

Vennli wins customer choices- here's why

Provided by Vennli

As a sales executive, wouldn't it be ideal to walk into a dental practice, already knowing what's important to that dentist? When you understand how a dentist makes decisions, the sales process can be more effective (and faster!).

As a marketing leader, wouldn't it be ideal to know exactly what will resonate best with each type of dental customer in your campaigns? ROI would be amazing. By understanding what is most important to your customers and what they think about you versus your competition, you can influence their purchasing decisions like never before.

Growing your dental business all comes down to winning the customer choice. Vennli is something new. It's a cloud-based software platform that combines a proven strategy model, ongoing customer conversation, and data visualization.

How? Vennli starts by taking your growth challenge and the decisions you need to make. Then it quickly translates them into actionable growth cases focused on customer decision-making. By harnessing real-time customer insights (how your dentists think) and visualizing this real-time market feedback, the software reveals customer needs and preferences. This sparks strategies to drive differentiation, customer value, and growth.

Why? Vennli believes that organizational growth results when the customers' voice drives decision-making. To facilitate this, Vennli makes customer research simple and fast and presents the results in an innovative and intuitive way. This allows businesses to know exactly what steps to take to increase their competitive advantage . . . and win the customers' choice.

Ultimately, businesses thrive and grow by winning customer choices, so nothing is more important than understanding what impacts customer decision-making.

Vennli's clients face a diversity of growth challenges. Some are aimed at driving sales and marketing effectiveness. Others are looking to identify new opportunities for innovation and growth or ensure the success of a new product. Businesses may also be looking for ways to optimize their existing product portfolio's performance. Ultimately, they are all trying to develop unique value to win their customers' choices.

Customer-driven growth strategy to win your customer's choice

Here's an example of Vennli in action. Many businesses conduct some sort of customer satisfaction research to better understand how they meet their dentist-clients' needs.

This is important. As depicted below, the overlap between what dentists value (yellow circle) and what you provide (blue circle) represents the value you provide to dentists (green zone).

While these insights can begin to spark ideas for your strategy, you still have a huge blind spot-the competition.

Dentists have options to consider when making choices. In this challenging market, companies compete with one another for dental customers and profit. So, in addition to knowing how you win in the market, you also need to understand how your competitors win.

But you can't assume you know how dentists view your competition. Your own perception likely differs quite a bit from theirs. And when you have the wrong data going into strategy, you develop solutions for the wrong problems, wasting limited time and resources.

Therefore, it's crucial to ask dentists how they perceive your value and the value of your competitors (red circle) so that your strategies build competitive advantages. Now you can see how the factors that impact dentists' choices fall into the competitive market landscape.

To build your strategy, you need to focus on your green zone, which is your competitive advantage. How can you build and defend this area to win the dentists' choice?

You also need to know your competitor's advantages (the orange zone) so that you can neutralize any advantage your competitor may have in the customer's view.

With this data visualization, strategic decisions are easy and intuitive, but the results are powerful. Vennli arms you with the engine to build a strategy to win a dentist's choice.

Editor's note: Visit DentalApex360.com for more informative articles by Vennli on dental decision making. To reach Vennli directly, visit getvennli.com/dental.