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Advancing dental providers’ tech with the support of B2B partnerships

Kleer's Brad James is launching collaborations with like-minded organizations in hopes of expanding access to dental care.

Kleer's Brad James speaking at a conference. (Courtesy photo)

This article is sponsored by Kleer and was reviewed before publication. Kleer is a Technical.ly Talent Pro client.

While studying for a biology degree, Brad James imagined himself as a healthcare provider, motivated to help others. 

Nearly five years into his job at Kleer, he’s realized technology — especially innovations in the healthcare space — can exceed his initial altruistic hopes.

“There are just so many ways to make an impact within healthcare, especially if you’re working from a technology standpoint,” James said. “The medical field’s tech is light years behind in so many verticals, especially dental. There’s a really big opportunity for innovation.”

James is the manager of strategic partnerships for Wayne, Pennsylvania-based Kleer. Kleer is a cloud-based software that offers patients access to dental care when insurance is not an option. Dental providers use the software to build customized care plans and offer them directly to patients, allowing the practice to control prices and manage patient experiences without interference from insurance companies.

Since entering the market in 2018, Kleer has grown in terms of business and its team: Kleer currently works with thousands of providers, and the company of about 38 employees is actively hiring. James, who was hired during Kleer’s first year in business, and his efforts to grow the company’s network directly tie into its growth. He estimates that 20 to 30% of Kleer’s current provider referrals stem from Kleer’s focus on strategic partnerships.

James was hired as a sales development representative before moving to the partnerships side of the business in 2019. Now, he’s managing one direct report and hopes to expand Kleer’s partnership team.

As he looks forward to more growth, he sat down with Technical.ly to disclose what exactly being a manager of strategic partnerships means, what’s next for Kleer, and why startups are more fun to work for than corporations (his words, not ours).

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Manager of strategic partnerships is a high-level title. What does it mean to you?

I help Kleer build relationships with like-minded organizations that can bring value to the dental providers we work with. When it comes to the marketing and sales side, I’m looking to support those teams by building out lead channels so that there are more warm and hot leads that can contribute to our sales cycle and convert at a higher percentage.

I think there is a really big opportunity for companies whose values align and who are on the same trajectory of growth to put aside their own self-interests and build together. That way, we’re offering a trusted resource that’s a combination between Kleer and Company XYZ.

Brad James. (Courtesy photo)

On that note, what current partnerships do you want to highlight?

Sunbit. They essentially provide patient financing, but it’s a tech-driven solution as opposed to traditional patient financing. It’s a better user experience for the patients and for the practices. Our partnership has been a seamless plug-in because they have a similar mission to Kleer by giving patients access to affordable care.

They handle the case acceptance side so if patients have expensive procedures they can’t afford out of pocket, that is where Sunbit can provide a solution with flexible payment plans. Sunbit actually increases access because the company provides financing for patients with some sub-optimal FICO scores. So long story short, working together allows us to build a full solution where Kleer handles coverage of preventive and diagnostic care, and Sunbit can provide a solution for dental patients’ expensive treatment options.

As you’ve stepped into a more strategic role, what resources have you leaned on?

Crossbeam is an amazing resource, and they put out tremendous content. It’s been an invaluable resource as I’ve started to mold myself into a partnership professional. I was lucky enough to attend their conference in Philadelphia this past year. I was able to soak it all in and learn what’s going on in these different B2B and B2C spaces.

I also work under Ed Kaighn, the VP of sales at Kleer. He has a wealth of knowledge in sales and partnerships and is an impressive leader. I’ve been able to turn to him with questions as my role shifted.

You’ve moved up since joining Kleer as a sales representative in 2018. Tell us what first drew you to the company and what has motivated you to stay.

Coupled with my passion for biology and healthcare, I really enjoy working with startups as I’ve done in previous work experiences. I really liked working with those individuals as opposed to some of the more established corporations because there are many ways to make an impact in smaller organizations.

At Kleer, you see the day-to-day impact of your work. The company has a very collaborative culture, and people are invested in their projects. Plus, there’s a high standard for transparency from top to bottom that helps us employees understand the bigger picture of what Kleer is trying to accomplish. Those two elements make me feel valued every day.

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