If you follow business news, you may have heard that on September 29, 2021, Totango announced it had raised $100 million in Series D funding. The company, which prides itself as the leading customer success solution platform, was founded in 2010. The series D funding brings the total funding to $132 million, having raised $$3.8 million in Series A, $15.5 million in Series B, and $8 million in Series C. Guy Nirpaz, the co-founder and CEO of Totango, said that the past year has been super busy. You can acknowledge that he eats, sleeps, and breathes his company from the fact listed below.
1. He Wrote His Book from HanaHaus
HanaHaus is a co-working space, and Nirpaz confessed that the atmosphere is what he needed when writing the book “Farm Don’t Hunt.” He said he is a creative person who needed inspiration; hence the scent, color, mindset, and pace offered by HanaHaus were enough to keep his creative juices flowing. Since the workspace also provides hourly bookings, the entrepreneur worked on his book on weekends.
2. His Ideal Profile for a Customer Success (CS) Manager
In a Totango Press Release, Nirpaz explained the five drivers of ideal corporate success management. According to the entrepreneur, a CS manager must be good at onboarding, nurturing, renewal, upgrading, and escalation. He added that a manager must also be well-equipped in project management and have exceptional organizational skills. He, however, clarified that in a small company, the CS manager must handle five drivers, but once the firm grows, more CS managers can be recruited, each handling a particular driver.
3. He Believes Companies Should Invest in CS Software Earliest Possible
Nirpaz enlightened other entrepreneurs that the general rule for investing in CS software is as soon as the company has at least 20 customers. Since the business is still young and probably cannot afford a CS manager at such a stage, the CEO should be in charge of the five drivers. Nirpaz further informs us that waiting until much later could be overwhelming, as managing the five drivers becomes challenging. He added that even if there is the general rule of waiting for at least 20 customers, CEOs should consider investing in CS software as soon as they can afford it.
4. His Work Background Before Becoming an Entrepreneur
Cleverism interviewed Nirpaz, who revealed that before he went on his entrepreneurship journey, he was an employee in various startups. He was the Vice President of GigaSpaces Technologies, which he described as a big data company that focuses mainly on data distribution. He also worked at IBM as the Chief Software Systems Architect; he led the implementation of enterprises systems in several industries. Nirpaz late got a job at Mercury Interactive in the load testing product division as the Chief Systems Architect.
5. He Was in the Army for Six Years
For six years, Nirpaz was in the Israeli Defense Forces, climbing the ranks to be a tank commander. Joining the army was not voluntary because the state requires every Israeli above 18 years to join the Israeli Defense Forces. The requirement is only exempt for Arab Israelis and any other person on religious, physical, or physiological grounds. There have been changes regarding the minimum period one is supposed to serve. For instance, in 2015, they reduced the mandatory military service from 36 to 32 months. In 2020, the law was revised further to reduce the period to 30 months for males; women serve for a compulsory period of 24 months.
6. What Motivated Him To Be an Entrepreneur?
In his previous positions in the different companies he worked for, Nirpaz loved technological challenges. He admitted that he has always been a technical person and his colleagues looked up to him to solve whatever challenged them. However, with time, he realized that the mountains he was trying hard to climb were not his to climb in the first place. Nirpaz, therefore, decided to be his own boss, defining his mountains.
7. The Inspiration Behind His Company’s Name, Totango
Totango is derived from “it takes two to tango,” showing that even when he began his company, Nirpaz was focused on an ideal relationship between customers and vendors. He clarified that nowadays, customers have high expectations which vendors must meet for them to remain in business. By understanding customers’ needs, companies can develop products and offer services that meet customer expectations and add value.
8. He Admires How Amazon Prioritizes the Customer Experience
Nirpaz does not hide his enthusiasm for customer satisfaction, and it is no wonder he chose to pursue a business facilitating customer success. One of the companies that he appears to draw inspiration from is Amazon. He detailed how he watched an HD movie on Amazon Prime, and the next day, he received an email from Amazon informing him they would refund his money because he did not get the 100% HD experience. Of course, the entrepreneur was surprised because he had not even noticed a couple of minutes was not 100% HD but was very impressed by Amazon’s automated service to detect such glitches.
9. He Dislikes the 360-Degree Customer View Concept
Nirpaz said that he has never been a fan of the 360-degree customer view. He argued that it implies one is in the middle of the circle and does not know which direction to look first, yet he prefers considering customer knowledge. A 360-degree view of the customer refers to the entire customer’s journey and experience with a company. It is created through aggregating hard and soft data across multiple channels. Although Nirpaz dislikes it, Method outlines a few benefits of this strategic approach. For instance, it enhances customer intelligence and facilitates seamless customer service.
10. He Prefers Taking One Step at a Time
They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Therefore Nirpaz believes that since the customer success model can take a couple of years to implement, the best way is to do it in stages. According to Customer Think, the entrepreneur advises that people should implement a block of work and measure its success before moving on to the next block of work.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee