This week Sean Higgins, CEO of BetterYou, joins Ned Arick and Hilmon Sorey to discuss his go-to-market strategy, how he scaled BetterYou in an unexpected market, how he got in front of investors, and how he built out a business model based on data-driven conversations with his market.
Sean explains that, from the get-go, the biggest distinction he and his team had to make for BetterYou was whether or not they were a consumer app that would eventually go to businesses, or if they were a business app that would eventually get to consumers. In order to make this distinction, Sean reached out to his network, specifically to people who could potentially be buyers or who were really into fitness. They set roughly 40 meetings within the consumer and business markets and got everyone’s opinions about how much they would spend for something like BetterYou, but also gauged how serious these people actually were about health and wellness in general. What they found within the consumer market was somewhat disappointing. However, when they began interviewing organizations, they found a much different story. Continue listening at 00:28 to find out more about this discovery process and how his approach with BetterYou resonated within the business community.
Getting the Initial Customer Interviews
At 02:43 Sean explains how he went about securing the initial 40 interviews that he did during his discovery process. He tried to think of any HR people he knew and pinged them on LinkedIn. Then, he also dove into his surrounding community- he targeted Fortune 500 companies, as well as acquaintances- who he thought may be interested in the product. He gave them a 15-minute pitch just asking if they’d check out what he had to say. In total, to get those 40 meetings, he reached out to at least 200 people. Sean explains how he used the “mom test” during these meetings to get to the truth and extract information, which is what ultimately led to his decision to take BetterYou in the direction of enterprise versus consumer. Continue listening to learn more.
The Customer Acquisition Process
Once they decided to go in the direction of enterprise with BetterYou, the next step was to determine specifically which space to try to position BetterYou into. They came up with a few theories and made some targeted campaigns. They made cold calls and sent out emails and used this as an early way to keep score of which campaigns were going to work out and which ones were not. This is what led them into the wellness, targeting benefits, side of things. Continue listening at 05:59 to learn more.
Sean explains that it was not difficult to figure out the process he used to track data. He had been using HubSpot for a long time and knew how to set up his sequences and scoring. Once they started the process, it took a couple of months before they had enough data to really start analyzing, and at that point, they had to start sifting through and really weigh which data held water and which did not. Learn more at 08:52.
Through the process of tracking data, Sean and the team found a sweet spot around higher education. This was completely unexpected and came out of nowhere. Today, higher education institutions make up half of BetterYou’s customer base. They became a very valuable market for the company and this forced them to really dive into learning about the pricing side of things because these institutions were not only wanting BetterYou for themselves, but also for their students. Continue listening at 10:34 to learn more.
Finding the Right Price and Business Model
At 12:21 Sean explains that figuring out pricing can be tough. Most people aren’t going to willingly divulge their budget, so you have to anchor on a number that you think might be good. Talking to other companies in the same market and learning their prices can also be helpful for competitive benchmarking. However, even with having an idea of what you should be charging, putting a number on paper is still tough. Sean further explains that he will present a price to one customer and receive feedback, and then for the next customer, he will double the price and receive feedback there. He uses this sort of negotiating technique until he starts to receive a lot of resistance, and then he goes back to the last tier that he was having successful pricing with and he uses that price for the product.
The Investor Acquisition Process
When appealing to investors, Sean explains that they did not position BetterYou as an EdTech company because on the surface it looks like EdTech is not going to make a lot of money due to only being paid three months out of the year. What Sean and his team found was that off months for EdTech were actually very busy months for enterprise, so they decided to leverage that. It was important for them to be able to show how big the market for them could be, which is why having enterprises and organizations on board really worked in their favor to do this. Sean further explains that he tries to run his investor process in the same way that he runs his sales pipe. Continue listening at 16:07 to learn more about Sean’s very specific investor process and how it mirrors his sales process.
Getting Past the Initial NOs Early On
“No is the second-best answer you can hear in sales.” Sean explains that NO can mean one of three things: 1. NO can mean that the prospect has no idea/doesn’t understand what you actually do. This gives you an opportunity to help them understand. 2. NO can also mean not right now. This creates an opportunity for you to check back with this prospect at a later date. 3. NO can mean NO. The prospect simply didn’t pick you. In all three situations, there is something to be learned. Continue listening at 18:49 to find out what can be learned from each of these situations and how to move past them.
Adding to the Team
At 24:02 Sean explains that the founder is usually the most distracted person at the company. So, when he got to the point where, even with everything else he had going on, he was still able to get one or two demos per week, he decided it was time to hire for BDR first. This way they had someone making the calls to continue to get the demos booked. Sean goes on to say that they did not bring any leadership on until their third hire, because at that point they had a small team for someone to sit over and make sure they were reaching demo goals. Continue listening to learn more.
Replicating the Process
The reason Sean decided to bring on BDR first is because that is the process he figured out first. He knew what needed to be said in the calls to get the demos booked, and he knew that could be easily replicated by someone else. This way he was also still there to help guide when needed, but, essentially, that was a process that would be running itself. Learn more at 26:36.
In picking a name and branding for BetterYou, Sean explains that they needed to pick something that meant something. Something that people would know what it was about just by the name. They wanted something that was much more consumer-designed. In terms of supporting demand gen, the website and the design help, but they also started to focus on SEO.It is about connecting with enterprises, but also with individuals. Learn more at 29:33.
Getting Ahead of the Churn
Sean tells us that there is member success and customer success. From a member perspective, it is about helping them do what they already want to do, not determining their goals for them. Within BetterYou they have created something for everyone. They want to help people feel successful and they do that by celebrating it within the product. On the customer side, it is about giving them high-level visibility. They do not share individual data, but the customer does get to see the general statistics about what is going on. This approach provides value to both sides and therefore creates member retention. Sean also explains that, in order to track this, they pay a lot of attention to their NPS. They make sure that they are constantly handling and responding to the feedback they receive, which is not always easy and can be very stressful. Learn more about how BetterYou drives customer retention and stays ahead of the churn at 32:00.
BetterYou is still running very strong with organizations. They are building more partnerships and currently have a Tier 1 insurer that is looking to add BetterYou to their product offering. Sean foresees even more similar opportunities on the horizon. The goal of BetterYou is to create a space where you can optimize your day based on the things that you deemed were the most important in your week, and they plan to reach as many people as possible and are conquering some of these new channels in order to accomplish this. Learn more at 36:46.
Anyone interested in getting BetterYou into the hands of their employees can visit the website at betteryou.ai or connect on LinkedIn or Twitter. Any founders that want to chat with Sean can find him on Twitter or LinkedIn.
00:28 The Beginning
02:43 Getting the Initial Customer Interviews
05:59, 08:52 The Customer Acquisition Process
12:21 Finding the Right Price and Business Model
16:07 Investor Acquisition Process
18:49 Getting Past the Initial NOs Early On
24:02 Adding to the Team
26:36 Replicating the Process
32:00 Getting Ahead of the Churn
36:46 What’s Next