ProntoSign Passes 300 Enterprise Customers with $50-$500k ACV To Help Manage Secure Signatures at Scale with CEO Bill Brice

Bill Brice

In Episode #640, Nathan interviews Bill Brice. He’s currently the CEO of AlphaTrust Corporation which he launched in 1998, to capitalize on the sustained long-term shift from paper-based document businesses to fully electronic document processes. Bill is considered as one of the industry’s pioneers and he’s a leading authority of electronic signatures, especially around generating real economic impact and brand enhancement. He served as chairman of the board for the Electronic Signature and Records Association and is currently a member of the board of directors. Before his electronic signatures company, he started his entrepreneurial career, when in college, by co-founding Brice Foods and is chairman and CEO. He grew the company into a global enterprise best known for its chain of frozen yogurt stores. The company grew into 1500 franchise locations and 43 countries with manufacturing operations on 4 different continents. For his work, he was awarded as The Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the International Franchise Association, which is the world’s oldest and largest organizations representing franchising worldwide.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Crossing the Chasm
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — HubSpot
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— 7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “At that time, I wished I would know what happened with the internet before it happened”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:23 – Nathan introduces Bill to the show
  • 02:36 – Bill was based in Dallas and that’s where he started his yogurt company
    • 02:57 – Bill’s was the first company to bring frozen yogurt in Texas
    • 03:15 – Frozen yogurt was first popularized in California
    • 03:32 – Bill wanted to pioneer the first operational chain selling frozen yogurt in Texas
  • 03:39 – Bill has turned to franchises and now has 1500 franchise locations
    • 04:00 – The first franchise was $150K, $20K franchise fee and 5-6% royalties
  • 04:34 – The frozen yogurt company had $150M in revenue
  • 04:50 – In 1996, the franchise sold because someone wanted to buy it
  • 05:09 – Franchise valuation is similar with other businesses
  • 05:31 – The franchise was cash flow multiple
    • 05:42 – 6-10x was the best multiple
  • 06:15 – Bill was making a lot of software on the side of the yogurt business
    • 06:53 – Bill was annoyed by the amount of paperwork a business had to go through
    • 07:16 – A computer was about automating business
    • 07:35 – Bill had a completely different team for his yogurt company than his e-signature company
  • 07:41 – AlphaTrust is completely privately owned and funded
    • 08:00 – Being privately funded allows them to focus on what they are doing
  • 08:20 – AlphaTrust is in a specialized segment of a market
    • 09:10 – AlphaTrust started on the enterprise businesses in the late 90s
    • 09:24 – Some of AlphaTrust’s clients are General Motors, ADP and AT&T
    • 09:36 – Some of the big companies have millions of documents processed yearly
    • 09:42 – AlphaTrust specializes in the high performance processing of documents
    • 09:52 – AlphaTrust’s customers still deploy and embed their software on premise
    • 10:12 – AlphaTrust also operates cloud systems for their customers, but they support the plan and model the customers want
  • 10:38 – The pro-side of AlphaTrust is quite small
    • 10:53 – It accounts for only 10-15% of the revenue
    • 10:56 – The rest of the revenue comes from licenses
  • 11:50 – Average initial contract value is $50K-$500K
    • 12:00 – Some of the customers pay for perpetual licenses
  • 12:40 – AlphaTrust currently has 300 large enterprises
  • 13:10 – Team size is 20
  • 13:22 – AlphaTrust does direct sales, but they also have partner channels
  • 13:46 – AlphaTrust has 20-30 specialists around the world who are part-timers
  • 14:36 – AlphaTrust is happy with how they’re doing at the moment
  • 14:59 – Bill MIGHT sell the company to Salesforce if an offer comes
  • 16:10 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. The franchise business is the same as any other business – even when it comes down to the valuation.
  2. Working with big enterprises can set you apart in a saturated space.
  3. Saying “yes” to an acquisition isn’t a terrible idea; instead, it’s just a good way to exit.

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives