From a successful exit to two years into his next venture, QuotaPath CEO and Co-Founder AJ Bruno has learned a lot about starting a sales-led company versus a product-led one. For starters, the former TrendKite President and Co-Founder created a competitor in an industry he was already familiar with. With QuotaPath, nothing quite like this exists and it’s being built from a pain point he has only experienced as a customer.
With the desire to build an organization that disrupts a new industry in a completely unique way, and applying lessons learned from TrendKite, AJ knows that QuotaPath is operating in a multi-billion dollar industry and they are launching their product to organizations this summer. Here’s a snapshot of some of the differentiators.
Raised $5 million to build a remote, transparent sales performance application
Successful exit in the past, but going after an even bigger market now
Diverse team that has embraced a corporate awareness culture
- QuotaPath is a Freemium commission tracking tool that allows companies the option to try before they buy. It’s a Product-Led Growth (PLG) engine where the product drives acquisition and retention, effectively selling itself. PLG is on the rise as B2B companies recognize that it’s a more efficient and scalable business model.
- TrendKite (prior to the acquisition by Cision) was a leading sales-led organization that nailed sales methodology and repeatability (this team was led by AJ). Its high performing sales team paved the way to $25 million ARR in only 4 years time. But with a sales cycle of cold outreach and prospecting, demo, to close, it’s Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) came with a high price tag.
Focus on metrics: flywheel vs. funnel
- QuotaPath has adopted a PLG flywheel framework with a dedicated focus on providing value to the end-user. With satisfied users comes increased advocacy, which in turn drives compounding growth of new user acquisition. It measures success by tracking metrics like decreased time-to-value, activation rate (the a-ha moment), adoption, retention, referrals, and Product Qualified Leads (PQLs).
- TrendKite primarily focused on customer acquisition and new business, measuring traditional funnel metrics like Marketing and Sales Qualified Leads (MQLs and SQLs), with a focus on account management and customer success. This model lacks superiority because funnels produce customers but don’t consider how those customers can help the business grow.
Path to monetization
- QuotaPath took 18+ months of planning and research, ensuring Product Market Fit, and understanding the industry and its personas. It hired its first customer success hire a little less than a year into the business.
- TrendKite went through the accelerator program with Dreamit Ventures. From ideation to building the product, to acquisition, it had three paying customers by the end of the program. It hired its first sales hire in 6 months time.
QuotaPath empowers and aligns sales organizations. Teams across all industries use QuotaPath’s diverse set of features to measure performance and drive consistent ROI. As a product-led organization, QuotaPath is dedicated to building a beautiful and easy tool that simplifies commission calculation and quota attainment tracking. Founded in 2018, QuotaPath is co-headquartered in Philadelphia, PA and Austin, TX.
About AJ Bruno
AJ leads the QuotaPath team as CEO & Co-Founder. Prior to QuotaPath, AJ spent 6 years at TrendKite, the company he founded and was president of in Austin, Texas. At TrendKite, AJ led 250+ employees to a successful acquisition by the public company Cision for $225 million in January 2019. Aside from his love of all things tech, AJ is the father of three young girls and is an avid pilot, frequently seen flying around in his Beechcraft Baron.
AJ is very active in the startup community. He’s an investor to dozens of startups and advisor and mentor to many. He currently sits as a Board Member of Philly Start Up Leaders, the largest community of entrepreneurs in Philadelphia. He is also an alumni of Dreamit Ventures, having completed the program with his first company, TrendKite.
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“Master empathy and relationship building to sell in the new normal”
“How to Run a Sales Team as a Founder”
SaaS CXO Summit
“High Velocity Sales”
AJ brings together two of his passions: flying planes and sales in the binge-worthy series, Value Props. He’ll get sales leaders out of their comfort zones and interview them from the cockpit of his plane.