SalesTechStar Interview with Josh Wetzel, CRO at OneSignal

Technological advances have enabled marketing and sales to create better customer journeys but there are still a few blind spots that need more attention here; Josh Wetzel, CRO at OneSignal shares some thoughts:


Hi Josh, welcome to SalesTechStar! Tell us about your journey through the years…we’d love to hear about OneSignal and more about your role there…

I’ve been fortunate to work at some innovative, high-impact startups (, Polyvore, PubMatic, Bazaarvoice, and now OneSignal) and large successful technology companies (such as Adobe, CNET & eBay) over my two-decade career.  With strengths in scaling businesses and establishing and executing high growth plans, I have led multiple pre-revenue to $100M gross annual revenue startups. Having previously been in leadership roles at eBay, Bazaarvoice, PubMatic, Polyvore, and CNET, I’ve also contributed $4 billion in equity creation for founders, investors, and employees. My advice beyond the chemistry, product, and opportunity guide is to take on unique assignments. I have intentionally chosen roles across marketing, business development, sales, and customer success in small, early-stage companies (working in basements and garages) as well as multi-billion dollar public companies. Seeking these unique opportunities has allowed me to wear every hat across the business and at companies of all sizes. Each opportunity provided me with tremendous growth and brought me to where I am today as the Chief Revenue Officer at OneSignal. OneSignal is the market-leading customer messaging and engagement solution, offering mobile and web push notifications, in-app messaging, SMS, and email. We provide a powerful multi-channel platform, enabling one million businesses to deliver over 8 billion messages daily.

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Overall, I have had great mentors who taught me to focus on working on products I was excited about, with teams that I could learn from, and for roles where I personally can be successful and grow.  I wrote a post on this in greater detail this week as it relates to hiring.

Can you take us through some of your team’s core GTM strategies and challenges through 2020/2021 in light of the pandemic and what new plans and processes helped alleviate the most common ones?

At OneSignal, we are a global business with customers in 100+ unique countries.  Less than 25% of our usage is in North America. For 2021, our GTM strategies and priorities are to grow our team footprint and be more consultative with customers.

Our mission is to enable all businesses to have world-class customer messaging, and a core part of realizing that is helping them select, set up, and use tools to grow their customer engagement, retention, and loyalty.  While COVID presented a challenge to how quickly we could hire and expand the team, it has also forced us to think creatively about how we were engaging with customers.  OneSignal was fortunate in that the pandemic did not impact our investment, but instead changed the way we prioritized the customer experience over geographic expansion. And now as the world is starting to recover, we’re able to execute on both.

In what ways do you feel SaaS sales/marketing teams can benefit from messaging solutions more if put to proper use with the right plans?

As tech innovation has improved the customer journey, the baseline for how SaaS sales/marketing teams should use messaging solutions continues to rise. COVID ushered in forced technological change, and our parents/grandparents were forced to learn zoom, streaming video, and mobile food ordering.  Our collective expectations have also risen — DoorDash now provides live delivery alerts, and we’re all used to everything being delivered.  The expectations of buyers, whether B2B, B2C, have leaped forward. SaaS sales and marketing teams can tremendously benefit from messaging solutions because they need to adopt a strategy that is inclusive of not just phone & email but push notifications, SMS, and in-app.  The aim is to let your prospects tell you how and when they want to be contacted and personalize to make each interaction higher quality.  Teams that take the time to be thorough and thoughtful with the right messaging strategies will thrive in 2021 and 2022.

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Can you share a few success stories from some of your most recent campaigns through 2020/ until now in 2021?

We spent a lot of time in 2020 building our customer journey plan and putting in place the internal infrastructure to support our strategy.  So our success was simple changes such as launching a growth pricing plan to support the hundreds of thousands of small businesses who can afford $10/month but $1000/year too much.  Another success story of our most recent campaigns is providing thought leadership and data-driven insights within our outbound marketing efforts.  An example of a campaign focused on push notifications —  we sent to thousands of websites explaining how they could alter their push notification prompting a higher quality response rate.  For some sites, we showed how their prompting sans context led to low positive rates and how this could negatively impact them on Chrome browser (even get them banned), and for others how adjustments to their pre-prompt and where/, when they prompted, would lead to better segmentation of users.  This campaign saw a 35% improvement of response over baseline.

Can you throw light on some of the sales tech / martech that you and your team rely on at OneSignal today?

At OneSignal, we rely on Gong/Chorus solutions.  The ability to onboard/train/develop reps, give customer meeting access to your entire company info, and easily search these conversations for insights on the product roadmap as well competitive landscape, all from the confines of your couch, is game-changing.

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A few must-dos that every CRO in SaaS should follow through 2021?

Constantly strive to align the funnel.  Conceptually this can be easy but in practice, there are so many moving parts.  I believe starting with sound quarterly goals for every single function and employee that nest up to the top are essential.  If everybody knows what the strategy and objectives are, and they have guidance on what is expected of them and how that fits the plan, it makes the inevitable curve ball manageable and enables the team to be more nimble when opportunities arise.

OneSignal is the market-leading customer messaging and engagement solution, offering mobile and web push notifications, in-app messaging, SMS, and email. Our powerful multi-channel platform enables one million businesses to deliver over 8 billion messages daily. Powered by superior architecture, OneSignal is designed to scale with your business and deliver messages more quickly and reliably than the competition. By providing an open API, extensive documentation, free accounts, and intuitive personalization and analytics tools, we help businesses of all sizes provide a seamless messaging experience to create meaningful customer connections.

Josh Wetzel is the CRO at OneSignal

 The Best Ways to Push Better Sales and Marketing Outcomes in 2021? Be More Creative and Strategic. Catch more from these SalesStar Podcasts:

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