Sean Shea Shaped ViB With 3 B2B Marketing Strategies He Mastered Moving Up From Salesperson to CEO

By Brianna Ruelas Brianna Ruelas has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on February 23, 2023

Sean Shea is founder and CEO of ViB (Virtual Intelligence Briefing), a B2B technology lead generation platform that provides enhanced marketing tools to technology companies to help them increase their marketing success. He knows that these days just about everyone is trying to sell somebody somethings. We’re living in a highly commercial world. It’s getting tricker to stand out and make the sale.

And that’s a familiar reality for Sean Shea. He worked in IT sales for years before becoming an entrepreneur. He knows first-hand why it’s so important to differentiate yourself in a crowded market and to connect with the right people. Nailing both is the secret to generating regular, high-quality leads in B2B targeting – and it’s easy to miss the mark.

Early in his career Shea started to explore new ways to accelerate pipeline and generate high-quality leads beyond immediate networks. He realized he had a knack for that side gig and he grew it into ViB, a B2B technology company that has modernized and streamlined lead generation of hundreds of companies.

Sean has learned valuable marketing strategies over the course of his career that have shaped the success of ViB. We asked him about those strategies. Whether you’re a B2B marketer or a business owner looking to improve your marketing efforts,  these strategies can help you differentiate yourself from the competition and drive results.

Grit Daily: What are the three B2B marketing strategies that you have used to grow ViB? Let’s just list those and then discuss each further.

  1. Lead generation is an act of reciprocity
  2. Embrace iteration, even for tried and tested marketing tactics
  3. Building a community of trust is key

Grit Daily: Countless times I’ve heard some refer to “prospecting” for leads, or in some similar way refer to leads as something to be found. What do you mean about lead generation being an act of reciprocity?

Sean Shea: The sales team I worked with in IT struggled to get enough leads. We had great potential, but our traditional sales approach wasn’t generating enough leads. Our existing databases were limited to the customers we already had, and we didn’t have a strategy to expand beyond them. Keep in mind, this was before the internet boom caught on!

Something had to change. I tinkered around, and reached out to current technology users and conducted interviews with them discussing their user needs and habits. I published these interviews on a first-of-its-kind editorial platform, ‘Virtual Strategy Magazine’.

Slowly, it started to gain traction, and the magazine began to attract more readers. As it grew, so did our list of contacts, and we were able to reach out to a broader audience with more targeted messages.

We found that by providing value to our audience through educational content, we were able to establish a sense of trust and reciprocity with them. This ultimately led to a steady stream of qualified leads and new business for our company.

Lead generation is more than just a numbers game, it’s an act of reciprocity. By focusing on providing value to your audience as your #1 priority, you can establish trust and create a mutually beneficial relationship that leads to more sales opportunities.

Grit Daily: Embracing iteration suggesting trying a lot of different tactics, but how about using tried and tested marketing tactics?

Sean Shea: B2B marketers know that email marketing is an incredibly powerful tool. But it’s one that few teams are using to full potential. Even if you craft the best possible email with the most enticing subject line, if it doesn’t fall into the right inbox you won’t get the uptake you’re looking for.

During the early 2000s, email marketing was still in its nascent stage with limited options for targeting and personalization And so, alongside my research into consumer habits and preferences, I decided to purchase qualified data to take email marketing to the next level with more targeted and personalized campaigns. Together with the information collected via the editorial platform, we had the basis for building ViB’s email marketing service.

Today, ViB Emails continues to evolve, tackling more modern email marketing demands like deliverability rates, list hygiene, contact data quality and hyper-precise segmentation. It’s important to us that we don’t just rely on tried and tested marketing tactics, but instead, we continue to iterate and improve our approach.

Grit Daily: How important is it to build a community of trust?

Sean Shea: Building a network in your industry is a fundamental step for emerging companies. It’s critical to attract supporters and present yourself as a thought leader. But more importantly, a network is essential for establishing trust.

In today’s saturated market, trust is a valuable currency that drives loyalty and sets the foundation for long-term profitability.

There’s so many ways to build trust, such as creating channels for open dialogue, being a listener before a solver, and focusing on consistency. All these tenets are increasingly important to today’s consumers.

With ViB for example, we’ve developed a unique community approach that hinges on trust. We connect decision makers from our community who are in search of emerging technologies and solutions with marketers and salespeople who have a solution to sell.

Because members trust us, they trust the solution providers we curate for them based on their needs and business goals. On the flipside, by offering accurate, direct-from-source member data that captures their intent, we’re able to provide consistent results — highly-qualified leads who are genuinely interested in their solutions.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, it’s likely that the importance of community-building focused on trust and value will only become more pronounced.

By Brianna Ruelas Brianna Ruelas has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Brianna Ruelas is a Dallas-based account executive and news desk editor at Grit Daily. She is also a motivational speaker and singer, creative cultivator, and bestselling author. Reach her at [email protected].

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