Tapping into Untapped Potential: QuotaPath is Building a Tool to Solve a Sales Industry Challenge. And it’s Free.

Each member of the crew at QuotaPath is driven by the curiosity to ask questions, explore possibilities and collaborate on brand new ways of doing things.

Written by Kimberly Valentine
Published on Oct. 17, 2022
Tapping into Untapped Potential: QuotaPath is Building a Tool to Solve a Sales Industry Challenge. And it’s Free.
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“For most companies, their greatest spend is on people — on human capital,” QuotaPath Senior Product Manager Nancy Chen said. “There are tons of great solutions out there that help you track things like ad spend and revenue, but I think it’s the psychological aspect of compensation planning that makes it so nuanced.” 

It was Chen’s curiosity into how an effective sales compensation tool could be designed that prompted her to join the QuotaPath team. In her five months at the company, she’s led newly created departments through the development of a new tool: Compensation Hub. 

But despite a large company commitment to its development, Compensation Hub won’t generate any direct revenue. 

Why? Because it’s free — and completely ungated. 

 

QuotaPath team photo
QuotaPath

 

It started with the curiosity to find a solution

In QuotaPath’s four years of operations, the company has helped businesses track sales compensation through its platform and has successfully grown its customer base. Speaking regularly with sales leaders and listening to their feedback, however, founder and CEO AJ Bruno tuned into a specific challenge facing the industry: 

As sales leaders adjust to account for inflation and an economic downturn, and as new roles are added to teams — such as sales business development reps — how should compensation plans be designed? 

 

Value Props

Founder and CEO AJ Bruno, a commercially rated pilot, hosts the podcast “Value Props” from his seat in the cockpit. Sitting alongside various leaders in the sales industry, they chat about trends, best practices and career journeys — and Bruno occasionally challenges his guest to deliver their elevator pitch in the time it takes him to elevate his plane an additional 1,000 feet.

 

“I recently saw a post by a thought leader in the SaaS space who said that SaaS sales comp plans are broken, and he’s right — they are,” Bruno said. 

The traditional sales compensation model is static, typically based on a five-to-one quota-to-on-target earnings ratio, he explained. To adhere to changing marketing conditions and evolving sales team structures, sales compensation plans need to be dynamic. 

It was a challenge Bruno realized QuotaPath could help find a solution to, but he didn’t want any strings attached. “Freemium usually tags onto a product, and the company’s just doing it as an entry point,” he said. “Instead, we wanted to make Compensation Hub open to the whole world.”

 

Related ReadingQuotaPath Gains $41M to Demystify Sales Compensation

 

Compensation Hub enables sales, finance and RevOps leaders to discover and model different compensation structures and find the one that will work best for their unique situation. After they input some figures, automatic calculations are made, the dynamic compensation plan can be shared right from the platform or imported directly into QuotaPath, and they can further customize their plan. 

Users can search for specific compensation models, including “account executive” and “sales development representative,” or filter by city or company type. And to integrate sales leaders into the solution, Bruno explained, “We’re talking to thought leaders in the industry about their best-in-class plans, and we plan to build these out as models that they can share with their audiences.” 

The unique approach to product-led growth positions both QuotaPath and contributing sales experts as industry leaders. What’s more, it’s an initiative that QuotaPath’s employees are excited about — not only for the problem they’re helping sales leaders to solve, but also the opportunity to develop a product from scratch. 

“Compensation Hub embodies our ‘stay curious’ company value because it’s tapping into this untapped potential,” said Zoe Wolfe, software engineering lead for the plan modeling team tasked with developing Compensation Hub. “It’s really exciting to add a brand-new functionality that’s going to increase value for sales leaders — especially one that’s not pay-gated or signup-gated but visible to anyone.” 

 

 

QuotaPath team party - playing Jenga
QuotaPath

 

Building from the ground up takes collaboration    

Working on the engineering side of the project, Wolfe explained, “we went from nothing and now have 15 functioning plan pages, a list view, a plan import option and so many other features. We’ve been able to experiment with test-driven development, adding design components and a style guide, static rendering — things we don’t do as often or that aren’t as easy to implement in what already exists.”

Developing the product in a fast-paced environment has empowered employees to take on a lot of responsibility and make an impact quickly. “Even as new leads, Zoe and I were really able to take Compensation Hub down to the studs and make calls on it,” Chen said.

 

“Even as new leads, Zoe and I were really able to take Compensation Hub down to the studs and make calls on it.”

— Nancy Chen

 

To ensure the project moved forward smoothly, Chen focused on maintaining collaboration with asynchronous and synchronous working sessions, keeping documentation up to date and addressing open questions in the project management and note-taking platform Notion. She also identifies and assigns decision-makers for different components of the project and determines whether the components belong to the marketing or product teams. 

“A big part of our relationship is understanding our product and what we can do with it,” Chen said. “Zoe and her team provide a lot of great technical insight into how we build something and if something is feasible. Whereas, on the product design side, we’re coming up with questions and proposals for how and where we want to take this product and asking engineering if we can do it.”

A culture of curiosity, asking questions and working together to find solutions is not only cultivated among the teams responsible for the development of Compensation Hub — it’s companywide. This teamwork approach has led to strong relationships and support for employees who want to explore their interests and develop professionally. 

 

QuotaPath team members smiling talking
QuotaPath

 

Are you a passenger or part of the crew? 

“My three main roles as a CEO are to communicate the mission, vision and values of the organization; ensure that we have the right people in the company; and ensure that there’s an opportunity to learn and grow for every single person,” Bruno said.

From hackathons to engineering guilds, there are many opportunities to explore ideas and share knowledge, Wolfe explained. The leadership team consistently empowers employees to think creatively and find ways to contribute meaningfully.

“We have our startup roots and a lot of room to work on some really cool and challenging things,” Bruno said. “It’s a playground of innovation for candidates.”

Only several weeks into her new role, Chen realized that the product team hadn’t done a team retro. She helped pull one together and said she enjoyed “exploring how we can optimize the product team and our different processes” — initiatives that she’ll have the opportunity to lead. 

Wolfe, after noticing that new engineers in the company lacked a thorough understanding of QuotaPath’s product, explored how to incorporate this training into the onboarding process. A conversation with Bruno led to the development of a program called QP 101, during which sales team members speak to new engineers on how customers use the product. In another training session that was added, the chief of staff takes new hires through the process of designing a compensation plan. 

“My opinion feels super valued here,” Wolfe said. “If there’s a process that’s not really working and I point it out, I feel like that’s well received and often things will change.” 

As a new leader, Wolfe has experienced support from fellow leaders in the company to help her grow into her role. In addition to weekly one-to-one meetings with the CTO and bi-weekly one-to-ones with the CEO, she said, “I still have meetings with my previous manager who helps me through the difficult questions — things I don’t know how to handle yet, such as with direct reports.”

 

From Intern to Lead

Wolfe joined the company as a web development intern in the 6-month, full-time Drexel University co-op program. “I was a game development major with some traditional computer science background but no experience in web development. That didn’t stop QuotaPath from encouraging me to learn and grow,” she said. “I was allowed to fail, and I was also allowed to ask for more.” After the internship ended, she took a part-time role through her senior year of college before transitioning to full-time. 

 

Whether transitioning into a leadership role, exploring the engineering potential of a project or aligning on the vision for a new tool to offer users for free, team members at QuotaPath are encouraged to stay curious and empowered to act on their ideas.  

It’s the difference between being a passenger or part of the crew, Bruno said. “Someone who operates as part of a crew is someone who sees something and says, ‘I want to take the ownership of that and I’ll take the accountability.’”

When Bruno asks his team members which group they fall into, he said they already know the answer: They’re all part of the crew here.

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by QuotaPath.

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