Featured Founder: Matt Wheeler of qualified MEETINGS
Welcome to our Featured Founder series, where you’ll meet startup founders from Tampa-St. Petersburg who are building and scaling their ventures to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. We interviewed Matt Wheeler, CEO of qualifiedMEETINGS, an inside sales firm dedicated to improving the efficiency and quality of the sales development process by creating and managing programs for high tech companies.
What were you doing previously and what inspired you to launch your company?
I worked in sales at IT software for companies like Infoblox, SevOne, AccelOps, CollabNet, and ForeScout Technologies. After making 250,000+ calls and building SDR programs, I understood the need for outsourcing part of my team but was only faced with two options, call centers or appointment setting companies. Both of these options left me getting unqualified meetings with little to no accountability from the team who I was working with. There would be multiple script readers working on my account and I would meet with one client-facing person who would tell me how my “program” was performing. I quickly saw the need to have a “sales partner” who trained reps that were dedicated to me. After helping grow ForeScout from $40M to $200M to go IPO, I decided it was time to take the model I have envisioned of building and create qualifiedMEETINGS.
What pain point is your company solving? What gets you excited to go to work every day?
Building and managing sales development programs that help companies create predictable pipeline and close deals faster. I love being able to take people generating a medium-level income here in Tampa, train them in tech sales, and see them go to $100k+ in income after spending 3-4 years working for QM and learning how to sell tech and do proper sales development from the ground up.
Name the biggest challenge you faced in the process of launching the company. How did you overcome it?
Funding, finding the right partners, and finding resources to scale. We hired a CXO which has been great for us but actively trying to figure out funding and getting the right operating team in place to scale. I joined Embarc Collective to get access to people who may be able to provide value in helping us overcome these challenges. QM has this unique ability to scale beyond its ability to fund scale, meaning there is a ton of interest in the programs we build but we still need considerable resources to help us deliver sales solutions at scale. There aren’t currently enough software investors in our local market and there are even fewer folks here that invest in services companies. QM goes well beyond the meetings and helps organizations with recruiting, training, sales software, and closing new business.
Where do you see your company headed next?
Our goal to grow by 3x over the next 12 months and expand on our sales recruiting and training services to help more companies that aren’t interested in outsourcing. Today we build the “QM 23/52” in a box and help train and manage sales development reps that work internally for software companies.
Give us a tactical piece of advice that you'd share with another founder just starting out.
It all starts with revenue. If you’re trying to get funding or building a bigger team, it always helps to have revenue first. Most founders start with products or services and go right for the raise, sell something first.
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