Sean Shea never intended to launch a demand generation company.
Long before he was founder and president of ViB, Sean was a young college graduate contemplating a master’s degree in meteorology. But instead of taking on more student debt for an uncertain career, he decided to try his hand in tech sales — and immediately fell in love.
“I really liked the excitement of getting an appointment and making a sale,” he says. “And when one of my customers was successful because I helped them, it was even more rewarding.”
He quickly worked his way up the ranks, taking on more responsibilities and managing teams. And when the companies he worked for couldn’t generate enough leads to keep him busy, he developed websites to drive more.
From side gig to fortune 100-serving venture
Over a decade and a half ago, when virtualization was still a fledgling concept, Sean founded Virtual Strategy Magazine. He interviewed subject matter experts, acquired lists, compiled data, and began writing and sending email content. He discovered he had a knack for demand gen, and it wasn’t long until others took notice.
Once, the VP of a successful storage company (later acquired by Dell) told Sean that his efforts generated more leads than the organization’s entire corporate marketing wing. This comment left an impact, and, in 2010, Sean took ViB from a side hustle to a full-time operation.
Over the past twelve years, Sean has filled his company with some of the brightest and most experienced marketing and sales experts he’s met throughout his nearly four-decade-long career. This includes ViB’s VP of Sales, Eric Sherman, who was once a customer, and CFO Dan Cottam, whom Sean met when the two volunteered together in Haiti.
And although the demand gen world can be a crowded space, Sean and his team have worked hard to differentiate ViB from its competitors. In addition to providing exceptional customer service, ViB goes the extra mile for customers, develops genuine relationships with each client, and works closely with customers to reach their goals. The additional time he and his team invest in their clients generates a healthy ROI through renewals and referrals.
“When I met Sean and heard about the customer renewal rate and conversion rate, it really knocked my socks off,” Dan says. “I’ve not been used to that sort of success. And you know, it’s continued.”
Service, success, and scaling while keeping the ViB magic alive
Since early in its existence, ViB has earned business from some of the world’s largest tech organizations — including Google, Nutanix, VMWare, Veeam, and Palo Alto Networks. Miraculously, despite its continued growth, the company hasn’t lost its early magic.
According to the ViB team, that’s for two reasons.
First is the unwavering dedication to understanding clients and meeting their unique and evolving needs. The team has the expertise necessary to help rapid growth companies meet significant demands and acts as an extended part of clients’ demand teams. Thanks in part to ViB’s efforts, many of its clients have been acquired by even larger organizations.
Second is Sean’s lifelong commitment to the golden rule, kindness, and ensuring service remains one of the organization’s core pillars. As part of this, the company has instituted Pay it Forward Friday, where employees are given PTO to help out at a charity of their choice.
Additionally, Sean regularly communicates with all employees.
“Every month, I schedule 5 to 10 one-on-one meetings with employees and ask how they’re doing on a scale of one to 10 — not just with work, but how they’re doing as a whole person — mind, body, and spirit,” he says. “I also ask them what we’re doing well as a company and where we can improve.”
He says it’s essential to check in on people and let them know ViB is a safe place. If they’re having a tough time, he wants them to know the organization is there to help. And if they have constructive criticism, he wants them to feel comfortable sharing it.
And while lots of organizations say they care about their employees, ViB follows its verbal commitments up with action.
“Sean genuinely just believes in people, kindness, and humanity,” says Mariah West, VP of Marketing. “At his core, he wants people to succeed above and beyond what happens in business. And that’s evident in how he prioritizes his time and how he incentivizes his team.”
As a result of all this hard work, the company has continued exceeding its goals, delighting clients, growing its team, enhancing its service offerings, and generating more customer success stories.
So while Sean may not have started his career intending to build a demand generation company, he’s more than thrilled with what the company has achieved.
“This ViB is way better than I ever envisioned,” he says. “It’s more than I ever could have predicted.”
🔍 How are B2B marketers approaching generative AI, lead generation and marketing budget allocation today? Check out our latest B2B marketing trends report for the latest stats and strategies you need to know.
Discover the latest trends and statistics — and the key actions B2B marketers and leaders need to take today.