Dental Market Insights Blog

How Dental Supply Organizations Can #GrowHappy and Exceed Sales Goals:

Part 3 of 3: Create a winning DSO market strategy with big data

 November 16, 2022

In this third and final part in our series, we’ll be exploring how once dental supply organizations have cleaned their customer CRM records and populated the CRM with new potential customer data, the next step is using big data to create a successful group/DSO market strategy.

As dental industry trade publications regularly report on the expansion of dental service organizations (DSOs) and as group practices continue to be seen as attractive private equity investments, it has not been lost on the leadership of many dental manufacturers, dealers and labs that having a strong group practice/DSO market strategy is crucial to future growth. Understanding that you need a group strategy is one thing, but knowing how to feed that strategy with the right data for success and knowing where to source it is where many organizations struggle.

Developing an understanding of provider behavior and buying intent within a DSO/group, as well as the relationships between practices, can seem like a daunting task, leaving some suppliers scratching their heads. However, the right kind of big data sets can help suppliers gain an understanding of the group landscape needed to flesh out a strategy that’s tuned to their unique business needs.

The DSO market: setting expectations, finding opportunities

Amid all the chatter and excitement about DSO growth and group practices “taking over the industry,” it’s important to remember that nationally, the majority of dentists still work in independent, unaffiliated practices. But the footprint of DSOs is growing and with it is the necessity for organizations to change how they approach doing business with group practices. Data from our GroupPracticeIQ® database tell us that today, about 19% of the active dentists working at large and small group practices are age 45 and under.1 Likewise, survey data from the American Dental Association as recently as 2019 suggest that one in five dentists under the age of 35 partnered with a DSO.

As older dentists retire in the coming years and up-and-coming dentists question the expense and administrative work associated with running a solo practice, we can expect to see more dentists gravitate toward DSO affiliation where they can put more focus into patient care. For dental suppliers, knowing who has recently joined a DSO/group practice or changed locations can influence sales and marketing strategy in a big way.

When suppliers are able to accurately track provider activity with the right data, they will have what they need to flourish in a growing group market. A recent article from Forbes recognizes that data is probably the thing that matters most in today’s world, shining a light on previously unseen opportunities.

Using big data to find success in an evolving group practice/DSO market

Finding the right targets, in the right place, at the right time has always been a challenge for sales and marketing teams. Office closures at the outset of the pandemic, ongoing change as providers move locations, sell practices or retire, plus the growth of group practices has only made it harder to know where to focus finite sales and marketing resources. Success in today’s market requires that manufacturers, dealers and labs have access to deep, accurate, regularly refreshed and trusted large data sources. These “critical competency” data sources will enable organizations to:

  • Know who the large, medium, small and emerging group practices are
  • Be able to craft group/DSO outreach strategy
  • Improve sales & marketing effectiveness
  • Alleviate territory confusion
  • Enhance group practice relationship management

Knowing who is affiliated with whom is only the beginning. Affiliation insights must also be enriched with accurate supplemental information that dental organizations can combine to create a complete picture of a practice. Only then can messaging be developed that is customized and specific, helping supplier teams to create immediate rapport with providers. Building a strong group practice/DSO strategy means that suppliers will also need access to supplemental insights such as:

  • The group name
  • The total group size
  • The number and specialty of providers at a location
  • The movement of providers between locations (if any)
  • Which providers are currently actively practicing

Group/DSO market insights — anytime you need them

If building, supporting and growing a strong group practice/DSO strategy is your goal, the good news is that data insights and tools do exist for sales and marketing teams of all sizes to understand their customers, efficiently tracking provider movement, quickly capitalizing on group market changes and uncovering the most valuable potential customers. With practice-level data delivering accurate, reliable and comprehensive affiliation, location and provider insights, growth becomes not only possible, but inevitable.

DentalMarketIQ’s CRM Optimization Suite combines it all into one web-based package of vital group data insights, available 24/7. With this real, activity-based data, dental suppliers have what they need to launch, manage and grow a group practice/DSO strategy. Contact DentalMarketIQ today to learn about how we can help your organization succeed.


1 DentalMarketIQ GroupPracticeiQ (GPIQ) Study: “Age Distribution of Active Dentists” 4/24/2022

About this blog

Welcome to Dental Market Insights, our DentalMarketIQ blog, which we hope will become a source of information and reference for anyone interested in oral health and the dental supply industry. Check back frequently for updates and resources, as well as product announcements and opportunities to connect with us at conferences and events throughout the year.