Embedded PLG
The rare case of successful product led growth in Healthcare with Royce Brunson of Health Recovery Solutions

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Jason Tissera | Upmarket: Everyone. Thank you so much for joining us again today. We have Royce, who is the chief revenue officer for health recovery solutions, and is responsible for setting and executing all strategies related to the go to market and growth of the organization. Royce. We're so excited to have you. Thanks so much for joining

Royce Brunson (HRS): Super excited to be here, Jason. Thanks for having me.

Jason Tissera | Upmarket: So you know, when we're talking about product like growth first off, it's not really common in health care. So how have you been able to use it so successfully?

Royce Brunson (HRS): It's a great question, I think. I think, when we think about product like growth. Let's talk about some of the barriers, and why it's not great in healthcare all the time. A few things one PLG tends to be really focused on those contracts that are not really annual contracts. Right? So for health care we have annual contracts, high dollar amounts, high lifetime value of customers, and a big focus on lifetime value. And so for us in health care, typically, it's not a great model. The second thing is, we have a really high touch sales process. It's not just

about going to a website or understanding a need, and then clicking and going through the buying process.

Royce Brunson (HRS): Most of the time health care Buyers want to understand. How does it impact patients? How does it integrate with my systems? It's very hands on. And then the final piece, I'll say why it typically doesn't work is, it's a smaller market. So when we talk about selling to providers, I always say you could put all the providers of probably on one big old spreadsheet. It's not that big of a market, right? So you combine those 3, and then you say, oh, we use plg. I think a lot of folks go. Well, hmm. Let's talk about this. How we made it work. So what we we have done is we've kind of used a blended model. I think this is a really interesting model, because I tend not to just in my world. It's not live in a binary world where it's either all the one thing or all of another. And so we've combined it. And so what we have is we have a field Sales team led acquisition model. So what I mean by that is a typical outside sales organization supported by marketing and outbound prospecting efforts. And then what we have. Once we've acquired that logo and those sales folks are real sneeze within subject matter. Experts within their space.

Royce Brunson (HRS): We actually have product led growth for the upsells, cross sales and expansions on the back side. So once we tend to land a contract, we'll see that contract span pretty quickly. Once that expansion happens, we're basically talking about the same product, the same terms and conditions, the same price point, etc. So for us, what we've done is we've actually engineered it. So the back side is very product, like growth, type of model, whereas the front side is still field Sales team led model. I think it has, it provides both the and allows us to provide both the expertise and the brand on the front side. Yet the ease of purchasing on the back side removes a lot of the friction that you may find in these high dollar amount longer term contract type of sales model, so I wouldn't say it's exclusively one or the other, and we've found a way to combine them in a really nice way here.

Jason Tissera | Upmarket: I mean it's. It's really given you a lot of success. You've been able to grow the business now over 3 years, about 10X: right?

Royce Brunson (HRS): Yeah. So the business has grown from a top line. Perspective. It's been about 12X now over 3 years. It's been, oh, a wild ride might be a good way to put it so you know you would. There's certainly a difference if folks haven't been in the seed of just grow grow grow. Now it's grow and scale. And so how do you set up the business for both growth and scale? It's a really kind of a juggling act, because you're not just doing a one trick of just growth anymore. And in the world that we all live in today, it's not just growth at all costs. It's efficient growth, and I think a lot of investors would say, i'd rather have much more efficient growth and just growth at all cost as of today. So yeah, we're balancing both. And I think the really interesting pieces when we look at our numbers

Royce Brunson (HRS): typically about 50, and it can vary on the quarterly basis. But if we just use like a trail trailing 12 months. About 50% of our growth has come from current clients. So you know, we're seeing a lot of current clients expanding the contracts that they have through these models. What does that say to me? Your lifetime values increasing your tax in a better spot, your all of your financial ratios related to these type of marketing spend reflects much more positively on the business as those existing customers continue to grow in their lifetime value, continue to increase. 

Jason Tissera | Upmarket: I think that because you're using a product with strategy for the customer success side of the house, you're actually in a really good position to retain your current customers. You probably have some incredible data about exactly how they're using your systems

Royce Brunson (HRS): absolutely. So. I mean, we can track in a good way we could track and trend a lot of this, not only that broad basis by segments as well. So when we look at the data, I mean, we could look at it. We have 3 different segments that we sell into internally. It's strategic, the Enterprise segment, and then the regional segment. We look at all 3 of our segments, our customer based segments, and we can see, you know, who's expanding? When do they typically expand as it? Within 6 months, 18 months. What does it look and feel like? And we can deploy different resources against it?

Royce Brunson (HRS): For our smaller accounts we know that typically there's one expansion point or upsell point, and that point typically happens with an 8 to 12 month Mark, if it doesn't happen at that point does not happen. We know that they're twice as likely to turn. So how are we working with them? We work with them earlier on the front side to push value of the platform. So then there is some sort of expansion point that happens within that period of time. As we go upstream into the more enterprise and strategic accounts. Those conversations almost never happen. Why? Because a client will quickly expand beyond their initial contract. because they understand the value very quickly. So I just say all this, because, as we're as these customers look at our product, and as folks out there, look at their segments, it's really important to understand what the inflection point is for value realization by segment. Your smaller accounts will not realize value as quickly as your larger accounts will, and so it's important for us to have that field that sales process on the front side to emphasize it. But once we know exactly when that upseller that expansion may happen.

Royce Brunson (HRS): We're there with the PLG to make sure it's frictionless, because the last thing you want to do is the customers say, hey, i'm ready. And now the sales team takes too long, or the T's and C's have to be Redone. Just get them to the ordering site so they can actually get what they want done is is kind of our model. So

Jason Tissera | Upmarket: thank you for that. So thinking about building out this process, what kind of team and tech stack. Did you have to put together to support this?

Royce Brunson (HRS): It's really it really was a big effort. I'll say that. And so, you know, because we have a blended model. It takes a probably, you know, whereas if you're just PLG, it may be, you know, multiple of one. We have like 1.7, 5, because it's a blended model, right? And we don't have a typical cost structure of a PLG. Company, because we have a field let team on on the front side.So we have from a tech stack perspective, you know. I'll just use kind of the the the big one that that we use. It's all run, at least our crm is all run through salesforce, and so you know we're a salesforce shop. Everything is set up, so our orders are ingested through there. We do use net suite as well to process our orders. That is probably different than a lot of product like growth organizations. Primarily, because just the caveat. Our business also has a hardware component to it. So when we start talking about hardware, well, how do you ship assets? Those are underlying assets to a business. We also come a company salesforce into netsuite, which is really imperative for us. And then, in terms of a team, we have an amazing revenue operations team. I would encourage anyone that's looking at even scaling a business if it's field, lead or pog, or one or the other, a combined model definitely start to make some some business cases to get some revenue operations. Folks in house revenue operations has emerged very quickly over the last call at 5 6 years, and it's not just sales. Operations like sales operations, is one part of revenue operations. Revenue operations should be about everything from aco acquisition with marketing. How they behave throughout the customer process or the buying process, and then how they renew in that dollar all the way through the lifetime of the contract. So, having a team that's focused on that integrating that, and making sure it's in place is kind of a secret sauce that we've put in place, and we have a great team here for that.

Jason Tissera | Upmarket: That's really exciting. I mean, you've done an amazing job with it. Can you talk a little bit about the internal structure that you've set up to support growth with existing clients. I mean, like you said, existing clients are  the big part of your success over the past couple of years.

Royce Brunson (HRS): Absolutely so, you know, I think that there's,: I'll say broadly, especially in today's environment. There's a lot of pressure. Ceos Cfos are looking at their cost of maintaining customers in  ways that they haven't before. And I think a lot of folks are trying to understand, hey, how much do I actually need to devote to this right? And I always say it's a little bit like a house. It's a lot like a boat. Once you buy it, there's a maintenance cost that goes into it there. It's not just going to be self fulfilling, and after a while you do have to continue to invest in it in order to maintain its value. And so, using that analogy, I think a lot of folks go. Okay. I get it because I think a lot of Cfos and Ceos think once I have the customer, they get it. It's free right from there. Well, no, there's definitely maintenance that has to go into it. The model that we've set up is what we call the Pod model, or the pod system. And so the pod system is a combination of both a sales executive or an ae along with their Csm. Or client strategy. My success counterpart and it. What we've done is we've broken up the country into different sales regions, so that segmentation that I talked about before you could think of that as more horizontal, whereas the territories themselves are more vertical. And so we set this up in a few different ways and each territory has a pod, so it's a sales lead in a client lead that's in there. They are focused exclusively on driving value for customers. So folks that are out there that are wondering how they set up this model. You could actually do it in a really light way. The way that you play around or tweet. This model is mostly based on the book of business for the Csm.

Royce Brunson (HRS): So essentially, you know, if you want to have a 10 or 12 million dollar book of business way too much, you need more Csms. So, finding that sweet spot is going to be really important, it should be in the data. But we have sales, executives along with their CSM counterparts in the Pod system, and the pod system is really about driving value for customers. Now, that's kind of the heavier side. The lighter side that we've deployed. Jason is really on making sure that the correct reporting is from in front of the customer. So you know, we use tableau as a reporting engine, and our tableau reporting engine is really focused on driving value and constant value for customers by showing them how they interact with the systems and the value that it provides them on a weekly basis. 

Jason Tissera | Upmarket: that's amazing. And I think one of the big things about a successful PLG model is being able to provide not only that information, but be able to show a customer that we truly understand what it is that you're going through your personal needs and your personal, what what you personally value from our system. So talk a little bit about personalization and how you've been able to provide your customers, not only with the reporting that helps them. But how are you able to really set out? What are the next things that they need to grow into? What are the new features that they need to have access to.

Royce Brunson (HRS): Yeah, it's, you know if folks are running PLG your one of the secret sauces that you need to have is access to client behaviors with your systems and understanding how clients are interacting with your platforms. Give you an example. monday.com. If you're just using monday.com for a certain department or a certain team. monday.com knows that, and they're recommending that you start using it for other teams as well. It's not because they're just, you know, great people. I know a lot of folks there. It's because they want their system used in different ways. We do very similar work. Where what we're doing is we can see how clients are using our systems for different use cases, and we can recommend different use cases based on the in our world, patients that are enrolled within our programs. That has been a really pivotal piece for our platform, because essentially, if somebody's using us or a health systems using us for X to Z state, we know that there's gaps in that there's clear use cases for others, and we can recommend that. So how does somebody who, you know, just starting under PLG. Journey or not seeing enough trouble with that? How do they adopt it? I would really sit down with the data team data science team if  that's a luxury enough to have one and really understand. What data are they capturing from the users? It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be, you know, 100% aligned with. You know, ABC. Project that you're doing internally, all it has to be is directional, and from there you could start to make automated assumptions and recommendations based on that. I think if you company that recommendations with if you're doing QBRs, you know Quarterly business reviews or other types of touch bases, it's gonna be really powerful, and you'll be able to start to throttle off that heavy Cs model or at least throttle up the books of business that those Cs folks have, because a lot of the work that they're being asked to do in terms of sifting through the data can be automated through some really powerful reporting engines that are out there today.

Jason Tissera | Upmarket: I mean, this has been an incredible conversation. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wealth of knowledge with us. Yeah, Thank you so much.

Royce Brunson (HRS): Yeah. My pleasure. Thanks for having me, Jason.