Skip to main content

What Do You Need in a CRO Relationship? Quality, Capabilities, and Connection

We asked, and you answered! Throughout April, TFS conducted a series of LinkedIn polls to get a sense of what our partners value most in their CRO relationships. It’s part of our efforts to walk the walk when it comes to two-way communication. If we only deliver what we think our partners want, we risk valuable insights falling through the cracks – and for a CRO that prides itself in relationships, that’s a risk we aren’t willing to take.

While your poll responses reinforced our TFS delivery strategy in many ways, there were some surprises, too. Let’s break down what we learned!

Insight 1: Quality of sites and patients is the most important factor when selecting a CRO partner for a clinical trial

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the quality of sites and patients carried 65% of the vote for the most important factor in CRO selection, far surpassing efficiency, flexibility, and attentiveness. It makes sense; quality is the cornerstone of clinical research, and without it, the rest aren’t relevant. At TFS, we’ve embedded a culture of quality across all of our teams, from the grassroots up to the executive level. It’s something that’s tough to accomplish in a massive CRO, but our mid-size business gives us an advantage on this front. So while we can tout that we’ve conducted our work across more than 12,000 clinical sites and 150,000 patients, these numbers aren’t what differentiates us. Our true value is in decades of solid established relationships with these sites and patients that allow us to support our partners with the quality connections needed to bring novel research across the finish line. Even as our impressive growth trajectory continues, we are committed to maintaining our mid-size mindset where quality is everything and commitment to excellence counts.

Check out the full poll.

Insight 2: Experience is everything. Capabilities and case studies are the evidence sponsors look for when it comes to selecting a CRO

Referrals and budget proposals are nice, but when it comes to picking a CRO partner, tangible experience outshines everything else. A majority (61%) of our survey respondents said that core capabilities and case studies are what they look for when selecting a CRO, surpassing referrals from another sponsor, budget proposals, and investigator site visits.

At TFS, we take a depth versus breadth approach to our expertise. Sure, we could advertise that we’re the leading experts at every kind of clinical study, but that wouldn’t be true. Instead, we have refined our focus areas to the ones where we are truly best-in-class: dermatology, hematology, oncology, ophthalmology, internal medicine, and neuroscience. Within these focus areas, we are skilled in supporting even the most challenging studies, including those involving pediatrics, rare diseases, and real-world evidence. For our potential partners who want to fully understand how we bring these studies to life, check out our case studies and white papers that drill down into the details of the challenges and opportunities research in our focus areas bring.

Check out the full poll.

Insight 3: Experience might draw sponsors in, but the relationship makes them stay

We asked what keeps sponsors from considering another CRO, and the answer was telling. As it turns out, it’s not lack of time or awareness of other CRO offerings, and although the capabilities of other CROs scored highly (34%), one factor outranked them all. Sponsors stay with their CRO partners because of the relationship that’s been established.

This outcome was hugely reinforcing to our TFS culture, which prides itself in keeping business personal, underpinning our partnerships in trust, and going above and beyond when our clients need us. For us, it’s never “just work.” We know that behind every trial are patients, families, caretakers, and friends. We work passionately to support our partners’ research not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because we see our own loved ones’ futures reflected in the work we do today. So much of the value we bring is tangible, captured in budgets, timelines, and case studies. But the personal touch we bring to our relationships is our intangible secret sauce – and we are thrilled to hear that our sponsors’ value it, too.

Check out the full poll.

Would you like to learn more about how TFS can help you deliver your next clinical trial? Contact us today to start the conversation!

Learn more about our related services and resources:

TFS Solutions | About TFS

Contact Us:

Contact us today and join a team that cares about you.

Let's Talk