As a biotech CRO (contract research organization), Visikol receives an array of project requests. Visikol receives inquiries to mount tissues onto slides, inquiries to run screenings at scale with our complex cell cultures and everything in between. Most inquiries are legitimate business opportunities that translate into a SOW (statement of work). Up until the SOW, the processes and timelines are uniform across the spectrum of requests. However, the process is variable after the SOW is sent. The TTC, otherwise known as the ‘Time to Close,’ refers to the amount of time to win new business. The following few paragraphs will provide insight into the handling of varying TTC’s within your sales funnel.
Before handling requests, it is important to understand the variety of offers your company can provide. In the context of Visikol, our services range from standard histology preparation to large scale in vitro assays with complex models and endpoints. As a businessperson, it is key to understand the fundamental differences in how each service is executed, the best resource to learn from is the technical team.
Armed with knowledge about the diversity of the company’s offering, you can now start to prepare for the incoming inquiries and better predict revenue using TTC. As requests come in, the businessperson should be keeping track of the size of the project and the urgency of the requestor. Often, the simplest projects are smaller scale and need to start ASAP, while the more complex studies are more drawn out and have set dates to start (often this is representative of a Pharmaceutical or Biotech companies’ stage in the drug development process, do your research if you can before your interaction).
Once the conversation with the requestor has finished and the SOW has been sent along, it is time to start considering the TTC. If there is a small-scale study that needs results ASAP, then the businessperson should be actively following up to secure new business. On the other hand, a large or complex study will often need more than just the SOW and time to win. The businessperson needs to understand the situation and have materials, one-pagers, new data, and other tools to continue to share with the client to help guide them along their sales journey.
Questions to consider to help gauge the TTC
- What type of work is this? What is the scale?
- Is price or turnaround time the biggest objection?
- Did the client share a timeline or did the businessperson have to ask?
As the businessperson refines the follow-up strategy the TTC will become easier to identify (i.e., if you cannot close a small-scale project within a month or two, the chances it will move forward are low). Having the skill to identify the TTC and apply it to active requests is something that will be reflected in your CRM and to your sales manager. As deals move through your CRM, adjust accordingly to accurately represent your best prediction of how likely new business is to close, and more importantly when.
The more the businessperson can grasp the TTC, the more capable they will be in predicting the TTC of all incoming requests. This will result in high conversion rates and thus more revenue and better predictability in forecasting.
At Visikol, we see an array of histology, imaging, data analysis and cell culture requests, yet we are prepared to help with any interest within our purview through use of our business processes. If you want to work with us – reach out today!