Josh Sweeney shares How to Scale B2B Sales in this Business RadioX Interview.

In this interview:

  • What motivated Josh to start FounderScale
  • How FounderScale is different from other companies
  • Common roadblocks when scaling your business
  • The types of businesses FounderScale works with
  • The difference between sales and marketing content

Josh Sweeney Talking Sales Engagement on Atlanta Business RadioX

VO (Voiceover): Broadcasting live from the business radio studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it's time for Atlanta Business Radio brought to you by OnPay. Built in Atlanta on pay is the top rated payroll and H.R. software anywhere get one month free at unpaid dotcom? Now, here's your host.


Lee Kanter: He can't hear another episode of Atlanta Business Radio, and this is going to be a good one. This work would not be possible without the support of our sponsor on pay. So please support them so we can continue to share these stories. Today on Atlanta Business Radio, we have Josh Sweeney and he is with FounderScale. Welcome, Josh.


Josh Sweeney: Hey, thanks for having me.


Lee Kanter: Before we get too far into things, tell us about FounderScale, how you serving folks?


Josh Sweeney: Sure. At FounderScale, We help B2B founders increase sales.


Lee Kanter: That's pretty straightforward.


Josh Sweeney: Yeah, we try to keep it really simple.


Josh Sweeney: We try to keep it straightforward with the elevator pitch. We help founders increase B2B sales. How do we do it?


Josh Sweeney: We have two different offerings. The first one is we Amplify the outreach that sales reps are already doing. We'll work with founders directly or founders who have a sales team and we amplify the quantity and volume of sales outreach they're doing to drive opportunity back to those founders or those sales reps.


Josh Sweeney: The other way that we do it is called our Attend platform, where we have sales of engagement events like webinars and interview podcasts, and other similar that we help them with. We drive people to those events so that they can get more interviews, which become prospects, and turn into leads and opportunities for our clients.


Lee Kanter: And then what was kind of the genesis of the idea?


Josh Sweeney: For many years, I had a CRM consulting firm and through growing that up through a few million dollars in revenue and then exiting, I had lots of hard-won and expensive lessons around building a B2B sales organization and making B2B sales repeatable and also trying to transition as being the primary salesperson for my organization to having some freedom on my own where I didn't have to show up and the B2B sales would still come in. And so going through those challenges, once I sold that organization, I had to look at what I wanted to do next. And I thought that given all my experience with that company, I could help other founder-led B2B businesses solve sales and marketing problems.


Lee Kanter: Now, when you're working with a new venture like this, what is the most challenging part?


Josh Sweeney: I think there's a lot of challenges, some of it is just maybe some of the past experiences of founders. So something may have worked in a previous business that they're trying to fit into their new one. Some of it is helping them overcome knowledge gaps with demand generation. In the B2B space we've worked with a lot of founders, especially in the services space where they're experts in their field, but they also now need to become experts at sales and running sales teams and running an organization. 


Josh Sweeney: Other challenges we see are with founders that have a few million in revenue, growth stagnated for the past few years and now they want to grow. The challenge is helping them overcome some of those knowledge gaps and think differently.


Lee Kanter: So now in this venture, are you using the same tactics that you would recommend your founders use?


Josh Sweeney: We are, and that's really one of the more unique items about us, we run into lots of organizations that they actually close deals and get their own deals differently than what they sell to clients. So when we go through all the metrics for the benefits of running a webinar to generate B2B sales and other sales engagement events, and we go through these sales outreach and amplification processes, those are exactly the same things we're doing for ourselves. Everything that we do for ourselves, we can go back to clients with and as it evolves, it gets better for everyone.


Lee Kanter: So now let's just take one of those tactics like, say, webinars. What are some of the mistakes that you see people who are trying to do webinars make? What are some mistakes people make?


Josh Sweeney: Well, the hard part about a webinar is one that they're actually so easy to do that a lot of people will just, you know, they'll try to do a webinar, they'll spin it up, and then people won't show up and they wonder why.


Josh Sweeney: We have a checklist of hundreds of steps that we go through around promoting the webinar, the marketing emails, the sales emails on top of it to get people to show up and really put butts in seats all the way through the automated reminders until the hour of the webinar.


Josh Sweeney: And then you have the backend delivery on using that content in multiple different ways. So it's one of those things where it's easy to do one and then say, ah, that didn't work for me because there's a lot that goes into actually getting people to show up and ask not only RSVP, but show up for the webinar. So we really made a repeatable process around that.


Lee Kanter: Now, when you're working with a new client, maybe like they have that bias that you described earlier, what are some kind of ways you educate them and maybe manage their expectations? Because I would imagine some of them think like, well, if I'm outsourcing this part of my business, I expect, you know, this kind of result.


Josh Sweeney: Yeah, well, the good thing is, we show what those results are, because we do so many of these, we actually know exactly how many people were emailed, how many sales outreach we did from a salesperson perspective, how we marketed it, what the R.S.V.P.. And they show up rates are. So we're able to really show them those numbers. And the misconception there, I guess, would just be is it done in a process-oriented way that gets the result that they're looking for?


Lee Kanter: Now, when you're talking about the ROI, why are you do you kind of land on the ROI of the actual dollar amount or is the ROI kind of on the number of attendees? How do you kind of workaround that part of the offering?


Josh Sweeney: Given my CRM and sales background, I want to know all about the dollar amount, ROI now that it's different for everybody, just because we work with clients that have enterprise deals that take six months to close or a year to close, they could be two hundred thousand dollars and other small clients that could do twenty thousand dollars worth of work.


Josh Sweeney: With that, we're also HubSpot partner. So we get a lot of the tracking metrics when we work in. Either they're either HubSpot or they're marketing automation and CRM platform and we want to know how well it did.


Josh Sweeney: We pull all of those down, all the engagement numbers, and then we do go back to them requesting sales numbers. So we just did one for a client the other day and we know that they had five net new leads come in because of that, that we're engaged. And they actually had two opportunities that had gone dark on them that reengaged. So for some of that, we just have to go back to them because it depends on their level of discipline and whether they enter deals or opportunities in their CRM that we can track back.


Lee Kanter: Now, is this is the service offering? Do it for you, do it with you, do it yourself, or is there a different kind of tiers for different folks?


Josh Sweeney: No, it's all white glove service, we take care of every single step for you except the presentation, so we give you some best practices on the presentation. But our clients are the experts in their field. So we ask that they put together the presentation and the deck, but most of them are really great at communicating anyway. So we'll guide them on the field that we want. Right. We like a very educational tone to the webinar so that when we invite people, they feel like they're not being pitched, but they're walking away with value and that helps them build the relationship with the prospect. Everything else we do, we handle in the end. And the only thing the client needs to do is read it and approve content and messaging and target lists and some other things that we take care of.


Lee Kanter: Now, in your career, how have you seen kind of sales and marketing evolve and now maybe even have a blurring of the lines between the two?


Josh Sweeney: We focused mainly on the B2B space, so I can't talk about B2C, but from sales and marketing, we like a blended approach. We follow A.B.M, account based marketing, which is where we're really being data driven and detailed around who we're trying to get in front of. In the case of our service, instead of just blasting out the webinar to everybody and then having people show up, that may or may not be good leads and counting them, we're only really counting and even targeting with our messaging the people that are on in their sweet spot from their prospect list. So when we build those lists, we're going after those. So I think of sales and marketing really have to be run together and very cohesively when you're running an account based marketing type method.


Lee Kanter: So now when you're working in this B2B field, there are certain industries or sectors that this works better for.


Josh Sweeney: Yeah, I think there's just some natural fit. We have a lot of customers in the technology, information security, I.T. space, we have others in construction and finance. But what we have to do is we have to look at what the sales engagement event is. So, for example, a podcast would be can be a little broader because of this interview style and other people that might be listening to podcasts, whereas webinar might be a little harder to get results on and, say, the construction industry, because the people in those organizations aren't necessarily always sitting at a desk or more likely to be on a webinar. But they could be in a car very often going back and forth between construction sites or talking to clients and lots more likely to listen to a podcast. So we look at the industry and and really pick the sales engagement event that works best for them based on our past results.


Lee Kanter: So now what's your back story? We're always in marketing or technology.


Josh Sweeney: Yes, so I actually went for went to college for telecommunications management, went into information security and then went into CRM from there.


Josh Sweeney: So it's all been, you know, an I.T. information technology type path for me. And then once I found sales, I was able to merge those two. And that's really where I like to operate is. How do you bring the repeatability and the scalability of technology and the knowledge of sales and put them together for great outcomes?


Lee Kanter: So what's the most rewarding part of the job for you?


Josh Sweeney: The results for entrepreneurs when I get a call from another entrepreneur that says, hey, we got a deal in because of something that FounderScale delivered. That's probably the most rewarding piece, at least with our clients. And then growing our team and team members is another very rewarding piece as we as we bring new members of our team on seeing their growth and how they learn in our organization is also very rewarding.


Lee Kanter: Can you share a success story of maybe one of the clients you work with that you were able to take them to the next level? You don't have to name the name of the company, but just, you know, a little bit about their background.


Josh Sweeney: Yes, sure. So we're working with a client right now, and they they've done things a very similar way for a few years, and then they decided they wanted to take it to the next level. So they were putting a lot of effort in in sales and marketing and outreach for some big goals that they have in the next few years and big growth goals. And the company's been around a very long time. So, you know, there's just another set of another layer of thinking and some knowledge that has to happen to take them to that level. So we we launched their first webinar actually, I think a month ago, and we got sixty seven attendees who normally get about a 50 percent attendance rate roughly. So they got a good attendance. And then that was actually the one I mentioned earlier where they they had four different people that engaged because of that. And they had two opportunities that had gone dark and those very engaged and that was very surprising for them. So it's very rewarding to hear that those those bigger opportunities are engaged. And we think that's, you know, that's the first step on taking them to the next level, because we already have two more webinars planned for the organization. And we've we've historically shown that we can deliver those results across multiple webinars across time. So super excited about how that's going to work out and how that works out for them.


Lee Kanter: Now, can you share any advice for B2B company out there that might be struggling with their sales and marketing?


Josh Sweeney: Yes, so I you know, I wasn't a salesperson originally, I was a technologist, I was an engineer, very engineering minded and a lot of ways. And what I what I really learned from my organization for myself was in order to excel in any of these areas, in my order in my company, I had to go become an expert. So I went and got all of the best books in sales and marketing and started listening to those. I'm a huge audible and I go through probably about 30 bucks a year via audible sigh. Listen in my car and on runs and working out and things like that. So I would say it'll be OK to be open minded and really go start learning to be the expert, because, you know, the founders of these organizations and the leaders of these organizations are the only ones are the ones that can move the needle the most. Right. They affect the most people. So go grab those books. You know, found the great ones, the pivotal ones. I know predictable revenue was a pivotal one for me. Jumblat With sales, Grady has great information and there's just some really good stand out content out there.


Lee Kanter: And then if somebody wants to get a hold of you, what's the pain they're having to be a good fit for a client, for you.


Josh Sweeney: So the pain they're having, is there a B2B founder led organization and they have 1- 10 five full time salespeople and they're struggling to increase sales, maybe they've gone through some marketing companies.


Josh Sweeney: They found some other things that didn't work for them. And they want a new perspective on some items that really work and are built for B2B. those types of clients are the best for us.


Lee Kanter: Now, what is the range of this for this service? Is this in the thousands? Is tens of thousands as a pay per performance? How do you work with your clients?


Josh Sweeney: Yeah, so the great thing is, is the pricing is built for founder led companies, so our packages start at a mere fifteen hundred a month per rep. And so we're amplifying what the reps doing and then we have other annual packages that continue up from there.


Lee Kanter: And is there a paid performance element to it or it's strictly for the service.


Josh Sweeney: It is pay for service, so we provide the results and the numbers to show them what we've done, we provide plenty of referrals for that. 


Lee Kanter: And if somebody wanted to learn more, have a more substantive conversation with you or somebody on your team, what's the website?


Josh Sweeney: So the website is,


Lee Kanter: Good stuff.


Lee Kanter: Well, Josh, thank you so much for sharing your story today. You're doing important work.


Josh Sweeney: Yes, thank you. Thank you for having me.


Lee Kanter: All right, this is Lee Kanter. We will see you all next time on Atlanta Business Radio. And remember, we couldn't be doing this work without the support of our sponsor OnPay. Please support them so we can continue to share these stories.


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