FSQ Faces: Josh Kanagy, SVP, Global Sales

We are excited to announce that Josh Kanagy has joined Foursquare’s leadership team as Senior Vice President of Global Sales. In this new role, Josh oversees the development and execution of strategies to maximize sales, drive revenue growth, and optimize monetization across Foursquare’s location technology platform.

Learn more about Josh in this new edition of FSQ Faces.

Welcome to the team! What drew you to Foursquare and to this role?

Thank you for the welcome. 

I was drawn to Foursquare by its visionary leadership and groundbreaking location technology platform. The executive team and board have charted a compelling course toward making Foursquare a key player in geospatial tech, offering innovative solutions across various sectors. The company’s strategic partnerships and expansions highlight its potential to redefine how businesses leverage location data. 

I also love Foursquare’s story. Anyone who was on social media in the 2010s has heard of Foursquare. To see the company pivot from a consumer app to a powerful, AI-fueled geospatial platform is truly an inspiring comeback story. Everyone loves a comeback. 

Personally, this role presents a unique opportunity to contribute to Foursquare’s mission, driving value for customers and employees while shaping the future of location technology. The years ahead are bright and the opportunity to move Foursquare into this next phase is invigorating.

As SVP, Global Sales, what tactics do you plan to implement in order to drive growth and maximize revenue at Foursquare?

At the heart of my approach is the belief that growth stems from delivering and demonstrating real value to our customers, encouraging them to explore and unlock further benefits with Foursquare. 

Understanding and focusing on our ideal customer profile is crucial, as it will guide us in delivering targeted solutions and adapting to their evolving needs. This sets the stage for sustained revenue growth and customer satisfaction. 

We’ll also focus on building and sharing strong solutions across a myriad of industries that underline Foursquare’s impact. We will ensure our team is nimble and effective in communicating these solutions to existing and potential customers. Sharpening our ability to do this in a repeatable fashion is critical, as this allows us to focus our time on where there is mutual value realization. 

Finally, we will be disciplined in our execution, while remaining open to the interplay between our value hypotheses and the market’s reception of our platform.

Innovation is a cornerstone of many of Foursquare’s leadership principles. How do you encourage an innovative mindset within a revenue team?

To cultivate innovation, tight alignment across the business is important as a starting point. Within the revenue team, we’ll leverage data-driven insights and our curiosity. 

As we evolve the world’s leading location platform, it’s vital to adopt a growth mindset as we showcase the essence of a “new” Foursquare to both our customers and our prospects. This means prioritizing self-awareness, informed experimentation, and becoming comfortable being insatiably curious. 

Being innovative will inevitably result in some failures. And when we fail fast and derive learnings from those failures, we will be better off for it. Learning from failure is not automatic–once again, curiosity becomes a real asset. 

Pipeline building and progressing deals is where the rubber meets the road in a revenue organization. It will be incumbent on everyone in the revenue organization to be actively building and progressing pipeline to revenue. To build a pipeline, you have to be engaged with your customers. Again, a growth mindset and genuine curiosity will lead us to the greatest outcome. 

Simply put, innovation demands action. In bringing together highly seasoned tech leadership, 15 years of valuable business learnings, and coupling that experience with the agility of a startup, Foursquare underscores innovation’s role in our journey as both a growth-focused and startup-minded company.

Cross-functional collaboration is important to all teams, especially revenue. What’s the key to fostering collaboration between sales, marketing, and other teams that revenue leans on?

Here is the short answer: focusing on the customer. 

Putting our focus on outcomes that will move the customer into what I call the “zone of recommendation” (the customer who would or actively does recommend you and your solution) is paramount to our success. Everyone has a role to play in moving our customers and prospects into the zone of recommendation. 

This mindset will take us further than simply optimizing for the steps we own individually along the customer journey. Collaboration is much easier when there is tight alignment on the process and it is incumbent on the people in a company with a leadership principle like Owners Over Occupation.

What KPIs do you prioritize when measuring the success of the revenue team? How do they align with Foursquare’s goals?

Rather than dive into a list of usual suspects in the world of SaaS sales KPIs, I’d like to talk about some KPIs that don’t necessarily get tracked in Excel or show up on a Salesforce dashboard. 

Here are a few:

  • What is your mindset? What excites you about being here? Why are you at this place, on your particular team? What have you learned here? What are you working to improve?
  • What are your goals for the day/week/year and how do you measure your progress against them? 
  • In a more vocational vein, regardless of your role, do you have a business plan that captures your plan to deliver your number this year? For big bet accounts in our ICP, do you have an account plan that has been crafted collaboratively with your account team members and the customer themselves? What is your plan to drive repeatable results quarter over quarter?

Essentially, the KPI is whether or not you are driving your business forward or simply being reactive.

Foursquare’s goals are lofty, and rightfully so. The KPIs I focused on are wholly in an individual’s control. Executing at a high level on the things in our control, reduces our success’s dependence on things outside of our control. 

One needs to simply have an eye and ear open to the world to see and hear the conversations around generative AI, the convergence of digital and physical worlds in VR/AR, advancements in computing, and the use of massive datasets at a scale never seen before. These are truly amazing times we live in with respect to tech advancements and it is not going to stop.

I don’t view these trends (or others) as a challenge that needs overcoming today. Unless and until our ability to grow revenue is impacted, it doesn’t concern me. The flip side of this is that I believe many of the trends emerging in tech right now become additive to our story, to our approach. Thinking of these trends as tailwinds is much more powerful. 

So for me, the key is to focus on us – ourselves – as the challenge to overcome. 

Can we be disciplined in our execution to the point that we deliver increasingly predictable results? We are forging a new path, not building an incrementally better mousetrap. Our charter is clear in the revenue organization. Identify, prescribe and deliver value to our customers. When we do this, we win.

When employees join Foursquare, they’re always asked to share a fun fact. What’s your fun fact?

I once auditioned for the part of “Bar Patron” in the 2005 movie Lonesome Jim, which was written by a childhood friend. The role consisted of saying a single swear word to Casey Affleck, so my audition consisted of swearing at the director, Steve Buschemi, for 10 minutes or so. I didn’t get the part, but I did get to sit next to the guy that did in the scene.

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