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How a CRO Can Pinpoint the Right Sponsor for its Services [Buyer Persona]

February 20, 2020

How a CRO Can Pinpoint the Right Sponsor for its Services [Buyer Persona]




Identifying your ideal client is vital to creating an inbound marketing strategy. But sometimes in the competitive world of CROs, you can lose track of that ideal client and grab at whatever business comes your way. The negative is that you may end up with a “bad” client -- one that has unrealistic expectations, a small budget, and poor communication skills. Or you may miss good opportunities while you’re struggling with bad ones. With a buyer persona, a fictitious representation of your ideal client, your CRO can pinpoint the right sponsor for its services. By understanding, empathizing, and addressing the specific needs of your potential sponsors, your CRO can personalize its relationships and build a trustworthy name. This trust builds loyalty. 


Sponsors want CROs to have solid protocols and best practice processes that conform to sponsor expectations and set the stage for smooth trial execution. - See Clinical Leader


What is a Solid Protocol for CROs?

But what does solid protocol mean? And what makes for a smooth trial execution in the eyes of a sponsor? The answers to these questions are subjective and dependent on individual companies and their specific needs. Gaining clarity requires research. 

Buyer persona research begins within your own CRO. Check out what employees in the business development and clinical research departments have to say based on their experiences with previous sponsors. Next, you need to step out of the comforts of your company and conduct real interviews. Buyer persona interviews can ultimately provide the most powerful feedback.


How to Use Interviews to Create an Effective Buyer Persona




According to Hubspot, a buyer persona should be composed of at least 3- 5 interviews or more depending on how much you already know about your persona. Interviewees can be found in the following populations:


1) Customers

Your relationship with past sponsors can provide insightful information regarding their pain points and struggles. You can immediately see how your CRO succeeded and how it failed on certain points.  Some client challenges may not be ones you can or want to address. You may determine that clients with certain complaints or challenges are not your target sponsors.


2) Prospects

Prospects are current opportunities that may provide you with new information. By contacting them, you can also introduce them to your CRO and its niche.


3) Referrals

If you’re an emerging CRO with few past connections, referrals can help you find a network of people similar to your target persona. LinkedIn can be a great tool to locate good connections. Try reaching out to your common connections first for formal introductions.


4) Third Party-Networks

To find interviewees that are removed from your company, you can use a third-party network like Usertesting.com to run remote user testing.


How do I Conduct a Persona Interview?



There are four categories of questions to ask your interviewee and within those categories, multiple questions to use as they apply to your CRO.


1) Who?

  • What is your background information? Job? Career path? Family?
  • What is your demographic? Male or female? Age? Income? Location?
  • What are your identifiers? Demeanor? Communication preferences?

2) What?

  • What are your goals? Primary goal? Secondary goal?
  • What are your challenges or "pain points?" Primary Challenge? Secondary Challenge?
  • What can we do...to help (you) persona achieve their goals? To help (you) persona overcome your challenges?

3) Why?

  • Give us real quotes about goals, challenges, etc.
  • What are your common objections? Why wouldn't you hire us to conduct your research and help you through the regulatory process?

4) How?

  • Marketing Messaging --  Describe how your CRO could provide a solution this persona.
  • Elevator Pitch -- Elaborate on your solution and sell it to your persona.


Once you've collected all the necessary data, you can download Hubspot's buyer persona template to organize it. This information will help you designate a target sponsor. Knowing your target sponsor will help you to create an informative website or update an old one as well as build a social media presence that will attract the business you seek.