Inside Dental Technology
December 2017
Volume 8, Issue 12

Taking Advantage of the Data-Engagement Loop

Prioritize leads with CRM

By David H. Khalili

When a dental laboratory is ready to grow, it must reach out to dentists in order to increase its case volume. Sometimes laboratories reach out to existing clients, offering incentives to expand their average case-flow. Other times, laboratories must reach out to new dentists in an effort to gain new clients. But how do you know what will work? By conducting this outreach in an organized and measured fashion, dental laboratories can improve their overall success through the use of customer relationship management (CRM) software. High-quality CRM software can aid the dental laboratory in organizing its marketing efforts, tracking potential clients (leads), collecting and storing lead data, and triggering follow-up outreach based on the lead's responses. CRMs allow laboratories to adjust outreach based on live, up-to-date marketing data, giving them an opportunity to concentrate marketing resources on dentists who are more likely to send cases and become clients.

In its simplest form, CRM refers to a database or spreadsheet. Each row in the spreadsheet provides information about a dentist (ie, dental office name, dentist name, address, phone number, email address, etc), and each piece of data is stored in its own "field." You can import your spreadsheet directly to the CRM to analyze complex data with complete agility. From easy data preparation to dashboards and interactive analytics, using a CRM tool is the simplest way to manage, analyze, and visualize all the marketing data in one place. Implementing a CRM platform records the life cycle of the sales journey. CRM thrives on the information fed into it and becomes a positive feedback loop—constantly gathering more data and using that data to guide decisions which will, in turn, result in more data.

In order to be truly valuable, this database must include much more than just dentist contact information. Most importantly, a CRM must be used to track what kind of promotion materials each dentist was sent, if or how they responded to them, and, overall, what worked and what didn't.

A CRM tool also helps organize and analyze leads in different dimensions, such as the number and quality of new leads, conversion rates (how many prospects are converted into clients), and the most efficient lead-generation channels. The best CRMs can merge data from multiple sources such as telemarketing, email, social media, and website traffic to provide a 360-degree view of how dentists are responding to the laboratory's marketing efforts. They provide rich reporting to aid the marketing team's decisions and implement "trigger systems" to schedule specific actions based on the lead responses. For example, you are able to separate and organize the leads list in groups specific to the services and products each dentist prefers. Each group can then be sent literature or other marketing materials targeting their interests. All this improves the conversion of potential leads into opportunities and new clients.

Most CRMs are designed to be used by marketing professionals across a wide variety of industries. A laboratory should be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time customizing the general settings, fields, and triggers to reflect the specific needs of the laboratory and its potential clients. But spending this time can be well worth the effort to organize your leads and improve your marketing returns.

About the Author

David H. Khalili is CEO of DentalLabSupport.com, Inc. in Los Angeles, California.

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