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Castor Fuels a Life-Saving Medical Revolution with Salesforce

Castor Fuels a Life-Saving Medical Revolution with Salesforce

Clinic trial platform that makes researchers' life easier by simplifying and accelerating data collection from patients. Read more here.

Dutch clinical trial technology trailblazer Castor is transforming lives and fuelling huge medical advances by allowing researchers to gather and integrate high-quality data from any source on one platform. It’s unlocking the full potential of the growing mass of data at researchers’ fingertips by allowing them to analyse, visualise and act on it at lightning speed.

As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the company isn’t just transforming lives, it’s saving them. Castor Chief Operating Officer Rob Konterman explains the role Salesforce is playing in this medical revolution.

The faster we can optimise treatments, the more lives we can save and improve. Salesforce helps us do that.

Rob Konterman
Chief Operating Officer, Castor

What is Castor trying to achieve and how is Salesforce helping to make life easier for your customers?

Rob Konterman: There’s a universal need to be able to analyse and draw conclusions from data quickly and efficiently so researchers can shorten the time it takes to bring a treatment to market or write a paper. So there’s a huge demand for software that’s super intuitive, easy to use and deploy and offers great support. That’s where Castor and Salesforce come in.

Today, we’re supporting more than 7,500 medical studies around the world in one way or another. These cover all sorts of therapeutic areas and fields of medicine, including new and innovative wearable devices, such as the world’s first non-invasive blood glucose measurement device, and an exciting World Health Organisation vaccine comparison trial of COVID-19 vaccines that will help optimise vaccination strategies around the globe. We also powered the WHO Solidarity trial looking at existing medications, and even developed an offline capture app for areas with poor connectivity, such as parts of North Africa.

Our customers can create their own dashboards on Tableau so they can visualise and analyse data in real time. Having data locked away in spreadsheets doesn’t do anyone any good. If you’re putting a burden on patients by collecting data it is such a pity if you are not making the most of that data. The bottom line is that the faster we can optimise treatments, the more lives we can save and improve. Salesforce helps us do that.

What led you to Salesforce and how did you go about implementing it?

Rob Konterman: As a global business, we have so much data flowing in from all angles. We need to connect it all and drive insights across our business. We need super tight, properly optimised processes and crystal-clear communication, for example, between sales and customer service. That’s why we selected Salesforce. We had a Series A funding round that closed last summer and decided to make this our priority.

A key requirement was having easy and reliable integration with other tools, like Gmail, Google Calendar, Zoom, etc. If you have 10 different tools at your disposal and everything is in a separate window it becomes impossible to manage. Having everything together and automating the workflow allows sales reps to do two, three, or four times the work far more effectively. In the medical device segment, we expect to increase conversions by up to 30%.

We were super happy to complete the implementation in just 10 weeks. Overall Project Lead Yauheni Bankouski was the pivotal person in the Sales Cloud implementation and fed our implementation partner Gen25 with the right tickets so they could create and configure Sales Cloud exactly how we needed it. Tanya Docheva and Mariana Ismael, who are respectively managing Pardot and Service Cloud implementations, also did fantastic jobs. Tanya Docheva was even invited to host a Pardot configuration webinar for Salesforce users!

We were super happy to complete the implementation in just 10 weeks.

Rob Konterman
Chief Operating Officer, Castor

What solutions are you currently using and how?

Rob Konterman: Sales Cloud, Service Cloud—which we’re currently implementing — Pardot and various other subunits such as Salesforce Engage. We want to make sure that we develop a complete, 360° customer view that comes together in Sales Cloud. We decided to procure Financial Force, which runs on Salesforce, so that we even have the finance component on the same platform, and we have absolutely everything together.

Engage alerts us immediately when someone is visiting our website and we can see in real time what pages they’re visiting. It gives our sales reps a treasure trove of information, so they’re no longer going in blind. These things were so difficult to connect in the past, but now we have everything together, exactly where we need it.

We infuse Sales Cloud with data from our app, so our reps know how customers are using the actual product — how many studies they’ve created, when they went live when they last logged in, etc – so that’s really augmenting that 360° view. Our sales reps can use that information, prioritise how they spend their day and drive more cross and upselling.

The key differentiator for Pardot is the way it so tightly integrates with Sales Cloud. It’s so easy to create synced fields and push all the information into Salesforce. It’s great that we can manage our prospects and our customer campaigns and have all the data on them in one place. The customer journey is not linear anymore. Customers can still be prospects for cross and upselling so having all the data in one place to take action on is key.

Castor employee giving presentation to group of people

Can you describe the customer experience you aim to create and Service Cloud’s role in delivering this?

Rob Konterman: As a service provider to academic researchers, we were forced from the get-go to create a superior user experience; if we didn’t, we’d be overloaded with customer questions and would not be able to meet demand from the starting point.

One big pharma company customer said recently that a key reason they selected Castor was that it takes 30 minutes to train people on it. Their previous software took eight hours. If you’re a hospital collecting patient data, it doesn’t matter how many features software has or how cheap it is, if it takes eight hours to train people on inputting data it just won’t win.

It has to be easy to use, but service is also crucial. It’s extremely frustrating to be delayed on the next step of a study and waiting for a response. We aim for an email response rate of under 30 minutes and we’re achieving well below that. We have a 98% customer satisfaction rating and an NPS of 53.

We are set to handle 1,200 cases company-wide in Q2 so that puts a lot of pressure on the Service Cloud go-live date. Although we’re a self-service platform, we’ll always have customers who need some hand holding and Service Cloud will allow us to optimise our responses to customers while feeding valuable information into Sales Cloud.

What impact has the pandemic had on the business?

Rob Konterman: As early as January 2020, our CEO and founder, Derk Arts, recognised that COVID-19 wasn’t going to be contained and we made our platform free for all COVID-19 research globally. We had tremendous uptake from universities and commercial researchers all over the world, using our platform to capture Covid-19 data. There are over 200 Covid-19 studies on the platform in total. It’s really great for us to be able to play our part.

Another impact of the pandemic is that many other medical trials can no longer take place in hospitals because researchers are working on COVID-19. Instead, researchers are monitoring people at home using smartphones and apps and collecting data in that way. So, we’re launching a mobile app called Castor Connect, that allows participants to participate in clinical trials from the home. This together with our existing eConsent solution allows us to gather the right consent for participation and engage with patients across the globe.

Then there are the WHO trials I mentioned earlier; these are the absolute pinnacle of the studies we have done, allowing researchers to see which vaccines work best in which parts of the population. We’re immensely proud of this. The people who work at Castor aren’t just here just to build the company with the most revenue; they’re here to make a contribution to studies that are really benefiting humankind.

What does future success look like for Castor?

Rob Konterman: Everyone at Castor wants to improve healthcare. We want to make sure that every piece of research data that’s being captured is used to its maximum potential. So, for us, the goal right now is to make sure that as many people as possible are making use of our platform.

We want users and studies to be successful on our platform. That’s really how we measure success right now. The only way to really make an impact in this industry, which is generally very conservative, is to lead with technology. In the end, we want to make sure we’re able to develop all these technologies that will lead to data reuse on a massive scale. Salesforce will enable us to do that.

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