We at Sikich work with over a hundred life science and contract research organizations (CRO) at this point and counting. Our clientele spans from early-stage pharmaceutical companies, biotech’s, therapeutic organizations, and medical device companies, in addition to different types of CROs. All of these clients range from preclinical to clinical. As such, we have a wide breadth of experience across multiple value chain areas and a firm understanding of what both vendors and clients are looking for when doing business with each other. Ultimately, we believe the best CRO client experience boils down to access to information.
Our clients and the clients of our clients expect an Amazon-like experience. They want to be able to interact and have access to information at their fingertips whenever they want. Therefore, companies want to be able to provide access to real-time information, not process information that could be a week old or older.
To help our CRO clients provide this kind of access, we highly recommend cloud-based technology that we can tailor to provide a personalized experience. We adapt the technology to the way that companies and their clients want to interpret it. This kind of personalized experience can become a competitive advantage. With the CRO space continually growing, competition is also increasing. Promising your clients real-time access with a personalized experience has become more of a must-have to be competitive instead of an “it would be nice to have” service.
Addressing Quoting Challenges
This easy, real-time access to information is not just something your clients need- it’s something everyone in the organization needs, especially for quoting. CROs often receive a lot of RFPs (requests for proposals), and these are rarely small and simple. They require a lot of quoting, which requires coordination across many different groups at the CRO.
Many organizations have a custom application to handle their quotes, but most of the time, these custom apps do not connect to the business management system. This causes bottlenecks when it comes to sharing the data in real-time, both internally and externally, with clients. Companies often create various portals for clients and internal departments to help facilitate and collaborate this information. These portals are very labor-intensive, which takes time away from other tasks or projects. This may be fine when starting out, but the complexity across these portals creates more technological challenges as the company grows.
By implementing Salesforce, you can also take advantage of its CPQ functionality that allows for bundle quotes as well as detailed and complex quoting that includes dependent variables.
Companies must streamline and consolidate all of these systems into one system that can handle quoting, RFP configuration, communication and collaboration with the potential clients, track the process, manage approvals, and log the feedback loop. With one system that provides real-time information access, collaboration both internally and externally becomes seamless.
Streamlining Data Processing
Now that your data is in all one place and you can see all of it in real-time at any time, what can you do now with this data? How can salespeople track their leads, clients, contacts, activities, and opportunities in the same system? Even when opportunities aren’t won, your sales department will still want to keep all of that RFP information to learn from it.
Salesforce has artificial intelligence to help sales seamlessly process all of this data. It’s possible to look at all of the sales opportunities and learn immediately the chances of winning the business. The intelligence crawls through all of your business’ data from opportunities, both won and lost, and can tell you your chances for winning the opportunity and how to improve your chances of winning it. The intelligence can also identify the scope of a project, project execution plans for that scope, and start establishing timelines.
In turn, this data will automatically flow from the CRM into the backend business management. If you’re using Salesforce, then Salesforce can automatically input all of this data, including the AI data analysis, directly into NetSuite. There’s no need to manually input data, which cuts down on inaccuracies.
Improving Communication Overall
When everything is in one place that is easily accessible across departments, communication greatly simplifies. It’s easy to track approvals, no matter if it’s for sales or project plans. In regards to approvals, everyone who needs to be part of the approval can instantly see it and approve it when a user uploads it. In fact, all data anyone uploads, whether internal or from a client or vendor, is instantly available for everyone to access.
Not to mention, it’s easy to communicate the project status and delivery to clients. NetSuite can automatically build project plans from the quotes and proposals, while customized to how your company needs them. This includes ensuring compliance and recognizing revenue. The project plans can also include flexible billing to ensure that invoicing aligns with the timelines and quotes.
Ultimately, the goal is to increase collectability and visibility on the projects with your clients. When the clients have a good, transparent experience, they’re more likely to return for business.
Cloud-based technology will create a valuable client experience
The key point for improving that client experience and turning it into an advantage over the competition is access to information. By providing visibility across the entire company and to clients, your company will be able to prepare quotes and estimates more quickly with great accuracy. Your clients will be able to stay informed with the progress of their project, all while remaining collaborative across the company. Ultimately, by implementing a modern cloud-based technology like Salesforce and NetSuite, your CRO business will run more efficiently, be able to improve continuously, and as a result, become more profitable and competitive.
For more information on how CROs can deliver a superior client experience using cloud-based technology, please check out our free ebook and webinar posted below.
Ready to improve your CRO client experience with cloud-based technology? Please contact us at any time.