In our last post, we talked about the struggles MedTech companies face when trying to implement a customer-relationship-management system. Contract research organizations face a lot of the same issues in their own implementations: complex customer types, tricky system integrations, and difficulty automating.
Rather than retread ground by going over these issues for CROs, today we’re going to talk about why you might want to install a CRM system in the first place and how something like a well-implemented Salesforce installation can improve companies’ workflow and make their employees working lives easier.
Pricing and quoting
A CRM can help with more than just the relationship part of working with customers. Knowing important details about customer accounts and contacts is vital to making sure that customers get treated with the care they expect—and more. While we’ve talked about how out-of-the-box systems like Salesforce may not cover all of your business needs, a well-customized CRM can help synchronize pricing data with customer data to ensure a salesperson gets the correct numbers no matter where they look.
We’ve talked before about how complicated clinical trials pricing can get, so being able to ensure consistency in customer records across teams and an organization can be a vital improvement to a salesperson’s quality of life. A good CRM implementation can track customer types and locations, keeping track of important data like:
- Customer type (university, research lab, medical school, a private company, etc.)
- Trial site countries
- Specific regulatory bodies
- Funding types
- Past sponsor preferences
Being able to track these factors gives salespeople the information they need to provide thoroughly accurate quotes personalized to client needs and preferences. And quote personalization is only the beginning.
Customer relationship management always starts with the salespeople. People in clinical trial sales quickly learn just what their clients will need and how they might want their services customized, even if they have a preference for a certain clinical location. This is a testament to salespeople’s dedication to their work and familiarity with their clients, but it can cause issues when salespeople move to other companies or have to take leave or vacation. The past few years have shown how vital it is that employees get the rest they need in their off-time, and being able to track customers’ preferences and purchasing metrics can give your sales team the tools they need to help customers even when the expert needs a day off.
Having this data in one place is a gold mine for CROs. Good-quality data is essential to the working of any clinical trial, so you can understand why maintaining the same level of quality in customer data is just as important. Clinical trial sponsors need to be able to demonstrate that they can do good work and produce high-quality data without constant supervision. The first opportunity to demonstrate that is through client interaction.
Being able to track client communication and access past interactions gives salespeople the ability to predict what clients will need from what they have needed in the past—to analyze the data they have to produce meaningful results. Effective customer relationship management is the perfect way for a CRO to demonstrate its competence and effectiveness in an increasingly competitive market. This has the added bonus of informing CROs what services they should invest the most resources in and how they can alter their clinical trials services to target a wider customer base.
Clinical trials companies have a lot to contemplate when incorporating new technologies. It’s important to consider possible drawbacks, but that shouldn’t keep CROs from overlooking how technologies can improve their quality of life and service outside of their marketed value.