Exit Stories: The Tale Of Vanguard’s Acquisition As Told By Neal Goffman

Image by Jackie Sizing

It’s not every day you can turn a $1 million company into a $10 million one, but that’s exactly what Neal Goffman did in 2016 when he became Vanguard Software’s chief operating officer. 

Vanguard was acquired by Dutch information services company Wolters Kluwer last year.

A year out from the deal, Goffman discussed the acquisition with Exit Stories host Kevin Mosley, including how he built Vanguard’s sales, marketing and delivery teams alongside their channel partner program and go-to-market strategy.

Here are a few highlights from the episode:

  • Goffman’s tips on sales might sound familiar, but there’s a wealth of information there. He says to listen to your customers and, importantly, listen to the market. You need to be constantly tracking why you’re losing deals and the feedback that customers provide you. (6:16)
  • There’s also some cautionary guidance Goffman suggested for other companies. As a young software company, you need to make sure you won’t be distracted by potential custom development deals. Goffman said they had some neat opportunities where customers swore they would pull the trigger on the deal, but it fizzled out. (12:45)
  • There’s a special kind of struggle that a startup executive faces when keeping the news of an acquisition secret for the time being. Goffman had long loved that Vanguard was like a family with so little turnover. Withholding the exit, knowing not all of the employees would make money off the deal, was painful. (28:40)
  • What is Goffman up to now? Hear him talk about GrowPath. He is the CEO of the Durham-based startup, which aims to provide best-in-class case management software for law firms. [Editor’s Note: we first profiled GrowPath in 2018.] (35:00)

Listen below for this week’s full episode and be sure to subscribe so you’ll be notified each time a new episode drops.

About Suzanne Blake 362 Articles
Suzanne profiles startups and innovation for GrepBeat. Before working at GrepBeat, Suzanne attended UNC Chapel Hill, obtaining a degree in journalism and political science. Previously, she wrote for CNBC, QSR Magazine, FSR Magazine and The Daily Tar Heel.