Ki Mobility Hires Dedicated Sales Force
- By Laurie Watanabe
- Sep 07, 2016
It’s been a busy time for Ki Mobility, the manual wheelchair manufacturer celebrating its 10-year anniversary in September.
In 2015, the company launched both its Little Wave Clik rigid chair and Little Wave Flip tilt-in-space chair, and in December, Ki sold its 50,000th wheelchair. This March, employees moved into their new Ki Mobility headquarters in Stevens Point, Wisc., and the company followed up in June with an official ribbon cutting and open house.
Then came word that Ki Mobility was making the major move of hiring a dedicated sales force.
The change, President Doug Munsey told Mobility Management, is “to increase the focus on our line, so we can offer more education on our products, on how our products work and the services that we have. We can respond quicker to issues and have greater availability. It just raises the bar on how we approach the market and what we offer to our customers.”
While Munsey said some sales reps would continue to be independent after the change, most will directly work for Ki.
“We needed to be able to present a more consistent message to our customers,” he said. “We were only going to be able to achieve our goals of what we want to do and how we want to be perceived in the market [if we have control over the reps’] training and focus. We needed our own team and the ability to affect and impact their daily actions.”
The general transition to the direct-sales staff starts Sept. 1, though Munsey expects some territories will be filled later than that. And he emphasized his gratitude to the independent sales force that helped to build Ki in its first decade.
“We want to thank the independent reps that have worked with us, and they will be continuing to support us during the transition,” Munsey said. “We wouldn’t be here without them, and they provide a very valuable service to our industry.”
Changing to a direct-sales staff was just a naturally occurring process given the company’s growth, he added.
“We have a solid product line today, but we have more products coming, and this gives us the opportunity to get our team organized, comfortable in the market, get the customers comfortable with them as more stuff comes down the road in the future,” he said. Transitioning to a direct-sales force “was an inevitable move, and it was inevitable for a company in our section of the marketplace. It was really just a matter of when and not if.”
As for what seems to be a lot of activity in a very short period of time, Munsey says that Ki Mobility has a strategic plan, but “There’s no master plan in things converging; it just happened that way. Having the new building was a function of outgrowing our last building. It was inevitable; the question was when. We do have some fairly significant products that will be coming out in the not-too-distant future, and having the sales force settled in and fully trained on our existing products was something we decided that we should do first, instead of bringing in a sales force with new products, which can get kind of confusing and muddled.”
Then he paused, as if to take in for a moment how far Ki has come in its first 10 years, and how it’s positioned for the next decade.
“It’s exciting,” he says. “We’re having fun.”
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.