Todd Walling is Permobil’s new senior VP of sales for North America, the power chair manufacturer has announced.
Walling, who began his healthcare career with Cardinal Health in 1999, worked in contract administration and served as rehab product manager for The MED Group before joining Permobil in 2007. Walling has been Permobil’s Key Accounts Manager and Area Sales Manager.
Larry Jackson, Permobil’s president of North American operations, said of Walling, “We are excited to promote Todd to this new role. He has proven himself to be a good leader and strategic thinker. Todd will bring new energy and fresh ideas to the sales force.”
In a Jan. 2 conversation with Mobility Management about his first priorities in such a dynamic environment, Walling said, “I will continue building a seamless and dedicated sales force for both brands, but making sure that the market sees Permobil and TiLite as one and not two different companies. When our salespeople are out there educating people on Permobil, they will also bring TiLite into the conversation. I will be focused on building our sales team into being the ultimate resource for the dealers, clinicians and end users.”
Now that sales reps will be handling not just complex rehab power chairs, but also TiLite’s ultralightweight manual chairs, Walling said a strong clinical background is more important than ever.
“That’s been a big part of our development program,” he noted. “We’ve been looking for salespeople that have ATP and clinical experience. That’s always been one of our advantages in the market. My goal will be expanding our sales force in certain areas of the country and with these additions, obviously sales management, education and training will be my top priority.”
Walling said TiLite’s Jim Black and Terry Mulkey “have been doing an excellent job educating our sales force, clinicians and our dealer network on the concept of TiFit” – defined by the manufacturer as “the art of building the ergonomics of the wheelchair around you, the rider.”
And though he acknowledged that work remains to be done, Walling added, “The transition has been a lot easier than we expected because most of our dealers are already in the manual wheelchair business.”
As for what ATPs and clinicians can anticipate as complex rehab show season gets underway next month, Walling said, “We’re ecstatic about the upcoming International Seating Symposium (ISS) here in Nashville coming up in February. And we’ll be introducing several new products. Not to steal from Apple, but this will change everything.”
Permobil’s plans for 2015 include the Virtual Seating Coach’s first software production release, as well as showing in America the new power chair seen by REHACARE attendees in October.
But Walling said even if ATPs and clinicians are familiar with the Virtual Seating Coach, announced at the 2014 ISS, and were at REHACARE 2014, the 2015 ISS will hold some new surprises.
“You haven’t seen all of it yet,” Walling said. “In addition, there’ll be features which have never been offered in powered seating, and the industry will see more innovation to the popular Corpus seating system.”
The focus on seating is intentional.
“Going forward, seating & positioning skills and education are going to be our number-one priority,” Walling said. “We’ve always felt that it’s all about the seating, and then the base comes secondary. What separates Permobil from our competition, we believe, are all our Corpus seating advantages. These are specific, unique features that Permobil offers.”