Providing physicians with the clinical context and knowledge for the best use of specialty clinical laboratory tests helps this highly successful lab sales professional establish win-win client relationships

In support of the many local clinical laboratories and hospital lab outreach programs across the United States that continue to regularly add new clients and take market share away from their national lab company competitors, The Dark Report organized the 2016 National Lab Sales Excellence Award.

The award winners were announced at this year’s Executive War College in New Orleans on April 26–27. Reporting on the lab industry’s top sales producers serves two worthy goals. First, it brings recognition to the accomplishments of these lab sales professionals. Second, it helps medical laboratory administrators and pathologists at other labs and hospital outreach programs learn more about what it takes to use lab sales reps to win new clients.

What follows is a profile of the 2nd winner of the 2016 National Lab Sales Excellence Award. Dark Daily will publish profiles for each of the five laboratory sales professionals who were recognized with this unique national sales award.

—Robert Michel

National Lab Sales Excellence Award Winner
Category: Specialty Laboratory Sales

Mary Bonnerup, Clinical Specialty Representative
Mayo Medical Laboratories, Rochester, Minnesota

When you talk to someone who is passionate about something, you feel it. That is true of Mary Bonnerup, winner of The Dark Report’s 2016 National Lab Sales Excellence Award for Specialty Testing. She brings an unmistakable passion to her work as a Hematology and Oncology Clinical Specialty Representative at Mayo Medical Laboratories (MML) in Rochester, Minnesota.

In the award category of Specialty Testing, Bonnerup put up impressive sales production numbers during calendar 2015. Her accomplishments include:

• Achieved 208% of quota;

• Gross collected revenue increased more than $1.7 million over 2014 numbers;

• Added 13 new accounts; and

• Back-to-back years of hitting her numbers, finishing at 101% of quota in 2014.

In Bonnerup is someone whose passion for sales excellence is fueled by values born and bred on the farm where she was raised. These values are synchronized seamlessly with Mayo Clinic’s legacy mantra of putting the patient first.

Farm to Market—Bringing Strong Values to the Workplace

One of nine siblings, Bonnerup hails from the farmlands near Rochester. She credits her parents with infusing their brood with a distinct value system. “My parents instilled strong values in all of us, including the importance of sticking together,” Bonnerup stated in a recent interview with Dark Daily. “We all still live within an hour of each other and get together for all the holidays.”

Fueled by her passion for science and service, Bonnerup earned a degree in medical laboratory science from Minnesota State University at Mankato, which is 85 miles west of Rochester.

Bonnerup’s husband’s career in the newspaper business took them to other parts of the Midwest and Southeast. When the family returned to its Rochester roots 25 years ago, she got a job at Mayo Clinic in the Hematopathology Department and then moved to a new role at the Mayo Medical Laboratories global reference laboratory, which operates within Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (DLMP).

At this year’s Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management, The Dark Report announced the winners of its annual National Lab Sales Excellence Awards. Pictured above (right) is winner Mary Bonnerup, Clinical Specialty Representative for Mayo Medical Laboratories of Rochester, Minnesota. Bonnerup won her award in the category of Laboratory Specialty Testing. Pictured at left is Robert L. Michel, Editor-in-Chief of The Dark Report. (Photo by Linda Reineke, copyright: The Dark Report.)

At this year’s Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management, The Dark Report announced the winners of its annual National Lab Sales Excellence Awards. Pictured above (right) is winner Mary Bonnerup, Clinical Specialty Representative for Mayo Medical Laboratories of Rochester, Minnesota. Bonnerup won her award in the category of Laboratory Specialty Testing. Pictured at left is Robert L. Michel, Editor-in-Chief of The Dark Report. (Photo by Linda Reineke, copyright: The Dark Report.)

Mayo Clinic’s reference laboratory provides esoteric testing and genetic testing services, test selection guidance, result interpretation references, and continuing education on new and existing medical laboratory tests. “MML’s mission fits with my belief system,” stated Bonnerup, who serves in her spare time as a hospice volunteer.

Sharing Specialty Testing Knowledge with Client Physicians

When she first arrived at Mayo Clinic, Bonnerup was amazed by the environment. “I would see a book written by a specialist in a given area of medicine and realize, ‘Oh, the author is sitting right over there,’ and see another one and again think, ‘Oh, that author is sitting right over there.’” She was working among some of the best doctors and scientists in the world.

In her work as a hematology and oncology clinical specialty representative, Bonnerup is tasked with sharing that knowledge with client physicians. “The culture here is steeped in the concept of sharing knowledge,” she stated. “We help the physicians connect the dots so they can use the clinical laboratory tests for hematology and oncology the right way.

“Our goal is to enhance their ability to care for the patient,” she continued. “That allows us to keep our focus on research and esoteric testing.”

Laboratory Utilization Management a Key Focus

“With the increase in consolidations since the Affordable Care Act, and decreased reimbursements, there is increased pressure on medical laboratory directors to cut costs and focus on the correct utilization of lab testing,” stated Ken Vogel, MML’s Regional Director of Sales for Hematology, Oncology, and Coagulation, in an interview with Dark Daily for this story.

Vogel pointed out that MML’s approach to addressing these market changes is somewhat different than most reference laboratory services. “Here, the focus is on utilization management,” he stated. “This represents a shift to emphasize the value of laboratory testing and how it benefits the patient.”

“We focus on the specific interests of our physician clients and show them what we are doing in that area,” added Bonnerup. “We provide continuing education on specialized testing and help them learn better utilization management.”

Bonnerup recounted an example involving MML’s targeted next-generation sequencing for colorectal cancer. “By educating our clients about a certain mutation for colorectal cancer, we can help them avoid putting a patient on a $10,000/month chemo drug that would not help and could hurt. We try to convey the message that more clinical laboratory testing is not always better.”

Dedication and Strong Values Led to National Lab Sales Excellence Award

“In every role that Mary has served here at MML, she lives by our organization’s value statement: ‘The needs of the patient come first,’” stated Vogel.

The conversations with both Vogel and Bonnerup left little question that the Mayo brothers’ philosophy of putting the needs of the patient first has stamped an indelible mark on the institution and the people who work there. They both would attribute the respect given Mayo Clinic internationally to the daily fulfillment of that value.

Similarly, by following the philosophy of putting the needs of the patient first, Bonnerup has demonstrated sales leadership in service to physicians and their patients, while at the same time meeting and exceeding clinical laboratory sales goals. This contributed to her selection as a 2016 National Lab Sales Excellence Award winner.

—Pamela Scherer McLeod

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Dark Report National Lab Sales Excellence Awards will be presented for the second year at the Executive War College in New Orleans on May 2–3, 2017. Details and nominating forms will be available on the website this fall. Awards for 2017 will be based on sales production for calendar 2016, and nominations must be made by the sales professional’s sales manager or senior administrator.

 

Related Information:

Clinical Laboratory Industry’s First-Ever ‘National Lab Sales Excellence Award’ Is Part of the 21st Annual Executive War College on Lab and Pathology Management

Brand of Brothers—Charles and William Mayo’s Legacy: Creating the Multispecialty Group Practice Concept

Mayo Clinic History and Heritage

2016–17 Best Hospitals Honor Roll and Overview

2016 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for

Genetic Tests and Precision Medicine Start to Win Acceptance by Some Payers; Pathologists and Clinical Laboratories Have Opportunity as Advisors

National Lab Sales Excellence Award Winner for Hospital Laboratory Outreach, Sean Murnane, Northwestern Medicine-HealthLab, Is a Study in Passion, Perseverance and Competitiveness

Why More Clinical Laboratory Sales Managers Are Failing in Today’s Fast-Evolving Healthcare Marketplace