SALES WILL BECOME A NECESSARY PART of every laboratory executive’s management toolbox during the next few years. The unmistakable success of the nation’s best-performing laboratories now rests on their effective use of sales and marketing programs.
This is not something that most hospital laboratory administrators want to hear. After all, creating a sales program is hard work. Creating a profitable sales program poses additional challenges. And the arrival of managed care only makes it more complex to execute a productive campaign to sell laboratory testing.
Anatomic pathologists are another segment of the lab industry which generally prefers not to think about sales and marketing. Traditionally, close links with their primary hospital was all that was needed to insure financial stability. It permitted them to ignore sales and marketing, and suffer no ill consequences as a result. Why is sales and marketing becoming a “must do” for laboratories? Our editor lays out the compelling facts here. I agree with his conclusion that effective sales and marketing programs will be a critical success factor for laboratories of all kinds during the coming decade. There are some additional points I’d like to add to his revealing insights.
I encourage hospital laboratory administrators to make the same commitment to understand sales and marketing techniques that they already apply to management and professional/technical knowledge. Those who possess this knowledge will have a career advantage over those that don’t. I also recommend that anatomic pathologists reassess their traditional avoidance of sales. Pathologists must bring their businesses into the 21st century. It’s time to budget money for marketing and sales campaigns that promote their pathology practice and generate specimen and revenue growth.
We consider sales and marketing to be so important that we are sponsoring the first-ever national gathering of clinical laboratory sales and marketing managers as part of our upcoming EXECUTIVE WAR COLLEGE on May 11-12. The early excitement among lab sales professionals indicates they expect the information exchange and networking to be at an extraordinarily high level. Both hospital lab administrators and pathologists will find the sales presentations to be both enlightening and full of practical information they can use in their own laboratory organization.