Many medical laboratories are working with vendors to optimize supply chain management and align it with patient outcomes
Even in today’s difficult financial environment, many local clinical laboratories and hospital lab outreach programs across the United States are prospering. Their financial stability is largely due to the fact that they have laboratory sales professionals who regularly add new clients and take market share away from their national lab company competitors. It is to honor these industrious lab sales pros that The Dark Report organized the 2016 National Lab Sales Excellence Award.
The new national sales awards were unveiled at the Executive War College in New Orleans on April 26-27. As noted in earlier Dark Daily e-briefings, our 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.
In recent months, we have profiled two of the winners of the 2016 National Lab Sales Excellence Awards. This is the third profile in Dark Daily’s coverage about these important awards.
National Lab Sales Excellence Award Winner 2016
Category: Diagnostics Equipment/Laboratory Software Sales
Diane Haley, Laboratory Products Sales Consultant
Cardinal Health, Inc., Dublin, Ohio
Diane Haley is the winner of the 2016 National Lab Sales Award in the In Vitro Diagnostics Equipment/Laboratory Software Solutions Sales category. She has worked as a laboratory products sales consultant at Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE:CAH) for 10 years. In this capacity, Haley has built a reputation for bringing innovative solutions to her customers with a focus on improving patient care and reducing cost.
In the qualifying production year of FY 2015, Haley produced 110.3% of quota in this highly competitive segment of diagnostics equipment and laboratory software sales—an accomplishment she achieved in eight of the past nine years. A Cardinal Health Champion Award Winner for 2015, she increased revenue from her accounts by $345,449.
Challenges When Representing a Distributor of Lab Products
“Working to identify the best products and to ensure smooth logistical solutions for specific clients is not always easy,” stated Haley in a recent interview with Dark Daily. “It can get crazy.” That’s where Haley’s expertise comes in. “My philosophy is to remain calm, get the facts, figure it out, and find a solution for my laboratory customers.”
Since 2012, Haley has been a member of Cardinal’s Sales Advisory Committee. “Diane’s drive and tenacity are valued by her customers and she delivers on driving savings, standardization, and improved testing for her lab customers,” wrote Susan Kucera Schultz, Regional Sales Manager for Laboratory Products at Cardinal, in her statement nominating Haley for the award. “She is considered a leader at Cardinal Health and is often sought after for her insight and experience.”
‘Phenomenal Leadership’ Fosters Sales Success
Haley credits Cardinal’s culture as a major factor in her success. “Our leadership is phenomenal,” she told Dark Daily. “They give us the tools to succeed.” She also was quick to note the camaraderie. “We’re all very close-knit. Everybody wants everyone to succeed.”
As an example, Haley shared a humorous anecdote during the interview that revealed something about both her level of work focus, as well as the esprit de corps of her work environment. “Out of the blue, I get this email announcing ‘Congratulations! You’ve won this award.’ I thought it was spam, so I deleted it. The next day, I started getting all these e-mails congratulating me. Wondering what in the world was going on, I asked my manager if she knew whether I had won an award. That’s when she told me she had nominated me for The Dark Report’s 2016 National Lab Sales Excellence Award and that, without my knowing, she had gone to my customers to get the required reference letters. I felt very special that she had that confidence in me.”
Haley remembered how good it felt when, a few months later, Ben Thompson, National Vice President of Sales, Laboratory Products, at Cardinal Health, came up and congratulated her. He had put out some internal press about the award. “I work with a lot of great people,” she stated.
Helping Labs Move from Lowest Price to Net Value Strategies
Haley’s medical laboratory customers see her as a valuable partner in looking for ways to address challenges, such as reduced reimbursement rates. “We consider [Diane] an integral part of our team,” vouched Renee Schroeder, Senior Buyer at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, Minnesota, in her referral letter.
It’s top sales performers like Haley that put Cardinal Health in the number two position in Gartner’s 2015 Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25. The ranking recognizes companies that have demonstrated leadership in improving patient outcomes and lowering costs.
In a commentary published on the company’s website, Lisa Zierten, Director of Marketing and Hospital Services, pointed out that health system leaders increasingly are realizing that “supply chain” includes “the next frontier when it comes to driving down the cost of care.”
A national survey commissioned by Cardinal Health and conducted by SERMO Intelligence showed that supply-chain cost ranks second only to reimbursement problems as the top issue for today’s hospital executives, a PR Newswire release announced. Thus, providers are collaborating with supply chain vendors to develop data-driven strategies aligned with patient care and future revenue models.
Duke University Health System is one example described in Gartner’s Top-5 report. According to the writer, supply chain includes part of Duke’s care redesign team to help balance supply chain costs with patient care metrics.
That kind of collaboration requires strong analytics capabilities to connect product decisions in value analysis with patient care. This is where Haley’s skills as a liaison and consultant come into play.
“We make sure our venture partners have the right solutions and technology, then the right data and right analysis that shows what a change might mean,” Ryan Cox, Cardinal Health’s Region Vice President for Sales for Laboratory Products, told Dark Daily. “No longer is it mostly based on the lowest price. Now, healthcare executives and lab managers are also factoring in efficiency and operations. They realize that lowest price is not always the best choice to produce the best combination of quality and cost.”
Medical laboratories search for supply chain strategies that work. Haley’s national award win highlights the importance not only of top-performing sales teams, but also of the increasing importance of supply chain integration strategies going forward. “What clinical laboratories are doing today isn’t going to work 12 months from now,” observed Cox. “Everyone is in motion to better understand the changes and to figure out strategies that work.” This includes forward-thinking pathologists and clinical laboratories directors.
––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 soon. 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.