Life science research and diagnostic company Qiagen learned years ago that younger scientists were increasingly digital and weren't interested in traditional sales methods, such as on-site visits and in-person meetings. The company needed to reach its target audience in the digital world.

As part of its digital transformation, Venlo, Netherlands-based Qiagen developed 10 new tools, including one that it calls the sales cockpit, an insight-delivering app store. As part of the effort, 10 data sources and four new data streams were combined into one analytics database. Information found there includes customers' purchase histories, biotech domain data, funding information, published articles and crawled websites.

With this data, "we know better what customers would like to buy," sometimes before they do, says Florian Wegener, vice president and head of e-commerce at Qiagen.

The system can also identify funding and grants received for academic research, which funds about half of Qiagen's business, says Mathew Anderson, head of e-commerce business solutions. "Being able to pull that grant data, overlay it with our CRM tool, and understand where we can target" upcoming research is very valuable, he says.

The sales cockpit has increased the efficiency of Qiagen's salesforce by 30%, and Wegener says the digital channel now generates 20% of the company's global revenue.

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