StarCast Customer Spotlight: Solta Medical

Medical Device Company

Company Name: Solta Medical

Location: Hayward, CA

Classification: Medical Device Manufacturer

Industry: Aesthetic Products, Procedures, and Services

Worldwide Sales Reps: Approx. 100

Distributors: Approx. 80

StarCast Solutions Utilized: StarCast Sales PortalStarCast Physician Portal

Solta Medical is a worldwide leader in developing aesthetic products, procedures and services.  The company has three primary products lines:  Thermage, a skin tightening and body contouring procedure, Fraxel, a skin rejuvenation and skin resurfacing laser, and Isolaz, an acne treatment solution.

I recently spoke with Leslie Whitehead, Marketing Manager at Solta and Johanna Beckman, Manager of Sales Training and Inside Sales at Solta.  Leslie manages Solta’s StarCast Physician Portal, a customer training solution that provides Solta’s end users–dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and their staff–with training courses and materials on Solta’s line of products.   Johanna, alternately, manages Solta’s StarCast Sales Portal, a tool they utilize to keep their worldwide sales reps current on product updates, benefits, and sales techniques.

How do you use StarCast?

Leslie: We use StarCast in two very different ways.  Johanna uses it for sales training.  I use it for physician training.  The training presentations on my side show our physicians how to properly use our devices to treat patients.  We are communicating the clinical pearls and basic training that we need to provide to our clinicians so that they have A) Safe Procedures and B) can get great results for their patients.

Johanna: We give the reps access to the customer training but we also give them more extensive, in depth product training.  This includes courses like teaching them what composes the laser, or how the Rx radio frequency technology has been designed.   We need them to have a scientific understanding of our products as well as tips and tricks on how to train their physicians and their offices, how to sell the product, and how to highlight the features and benefits.   Currently we’re adding new modules on more corporate policies as well as finance issues that they need to know and understand.

Leslie: When a new hire comes on board, Johanna assigns them a new course load that they need to take.  That way when they come to the office for their formal training here in Hayward they at least have a strong foundation of knowledge.  The sales reps need to watch these courses or they cannot come to live training.

Johanna: Generally I will check on a new hire before they have attended training.  About a week out I will look to see if anything has been watched.  If nothing has been touched I will write their manager and say “look you need to address this or I’m going to address it”  and they’ll usually get on them to complete their training.  It’s great motivation because the sales force knows we have access to see what they are looking at and more importantly, what they have not looked at.  It keeps them honest.

How Did your Sales Reps Respond to this form of training?

Johnanna: Sales Reps still moan and groan about having to complete the training, but they really like the ability to be able to have the training on demand;  to be able to go back and access them.  The reps that are best described as the “studious type” are really thankful to have the courses.  This is also true internationally where we have a hard time getting to our reps or them getting to us to go through physical training.  It really provides an outlet for them to brush up on stuff before coming in and asking a ton of questions.  In general it is very well received by the reps.

Leslie: When the StarCast Sales Portal was first launched a lot of sales reps were like “thank you thank you thank you, this saves me a lot of time.”   They have a lot of territories and they need as much time savings as possible.  A lot of them have large territories and sometimes travel between 5 states.  So having StarCast saves them money on not only their time but also because now they don’t always have to travel to see their physicians when training can occur online.

Why did you decide to implement StarCast?

Johanna: The Physician Portal was definitely needed.  Our sales force had been asking for something like this for a very long time.  One of the challenges that we face with training is that turnover in a medical office is very high.  We need to make sure that the RN’s or Estheticians who use our devices understand the procedure and the technologies used.  In addition, we want to provide additional training to the person who is doing the procedure who may have forgotten some little tidbits of information or might be looking for some treatment pearls.  Previously, whenever our customers had problems,  sales reps would always have to go back to their office to train them.  It wasn’t something they could do over the phone.  They had to do it live.  So with the launch of the StarCast Physician Portal we were able to send physicians and their staff members online to train on the procedures.  StarCast is just a lot more economical for us.  Also, from the physician side, one of the great things about the sales portal and the way that it is integrated is that the sales force can see which of their customers are signed up with StarCast and who has watched what because they can actually see that if they choose to.

How were you doing your Training before StarCast?

Leslie: We had another company that we were utilizing to do physician training.  The other product was very customized and it was very intensive to record the training. We had to have someone come here physically, set up all the equipment, record it, take it away, edit it, and send it back to us.  It wasn’t something we could fix or update very easily.  Our technology changes very quickly and we need to make updates immediately to the training materials and that system wasn’t allowing us to do that.  With StarCast we knew that we could.  Additionally, when we launched the physician portal we had already partnered with StarCast to use them for sales rep training, so it was an easy add-on solution to a system that we were already using.  The other system was very expensive and it wasn’t easy.

Does StarCast help in any other areas?

Johanna: Yes.  When we need technical information or technical training to go out to our customer database, we can use StarCast.  Often times we use it to fulfill regulatory requirements as we did recently at Thermage with our CPT training.  After taking the training we had a test that our users had to complete and that was enough for us to satisfy the legal and regulatory requirements of training on those physicians.  We were able to go back and put it in our database saying “yes these customers have been trained on this product.”

Leslie: We have class 2 laser devices and class 3 medical devices so when we’re talking about training, it could go back to a product liability issue.  If we were ever in some sort of litigation where the customer is claiming we didn’t train them properly we can go back and say: “look, yes we did.”  We as a company want to make sure that the end user, the patient, is getting safe and efficacious treatment.   That is why we are in business.

Johanna: From a sales training side I think it does allow us flexibility in the sales training program and is a great way of getting information to a rep before they come in for a live class.  When a rep gets hired they could be working in the field for 2 months before I have an actual class being held at corporate, so it allows flexibility in terms of getting them up to speed quickly.  It really helps get people the knowledge they need quicker in the field.

How do you build content?

Johanna: We are building the content ourselves.  I’m actually in the process of recording one right now.  The system is just intuitive and it’s easy to use so the turnaround time can be really quick.

Do you recommend online training for medical companies with similar challenges?

Leslie: I think with a worldwide sales force and a worldwide customer base, online training really is something you need to do.  It’s a necessity.  It’s no longer something that’s nice to have.  And in the age where printing things and shipping things out to customers and distributors isn’t economically feasible, it’s so much easier to ensure that we are getting a consistent message out to everybody by having something like this.  I would definitely recommend it.

For more information about Solta Medical and its range of innovative products, please visit:

Additionally, please visit Solta’s product websites at:

Thermage (the premier solution for skin tightening and contouring):

Fraxel (the premier solution for skin resurfacing):

Isolaz (the premier solution for acne and deep pore purification):

Claro (the only hand-held IPL device to use heat and light to clear acne):

To view more information about StarCast please visit:

Or take a look at our 2 minute StarCast demo video here:

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