Is customer success the career path for you?

Feb 16, 2022

If you’re an SDR who loves engaging with customers, you could be an excellent Customer Success Manager. 

When you’re an SDR, the traditional career path is that you’ll probably become an Account Executive (AE). It’s a next step that many SDRs love as they can move from outreach to the business end of the sales funnel – closing deals. However, the SDR to AE move is by no means the only option available. For example, you could become an SDR Manager.

Another possible move could be into customer success. The post-purchase customer experience is an increasingly critical part of the customer lifecycle, and organisations that invest in customer success see significant uplifts in revenue. When you become a Customer Success Manager, you’ll get to influence how your entire organisation works.  

In this article, we’ll look in more detail at customer success and what a Customer Success Manager (CSM) actually does. We’ll also look at how to excel at onboarding – one of the CSM’s key responsibilities. Let’s go!

 

 

What is customer success?

Customer success is the part of the B2B sales team that engages with customers after they have made their first purchase and throughout their relationship with your company. It is all about helping the customer get the most value from the product they bought from you and quickly fixing any issues that may arise.

The goal of customer success is to grow your organisation’s relationship with the customer. In SaaS, where most purchases operate on a subscription model, customer success is vital to securing a renewal when the contract ends. Boosting customer retention is vital for a sales team. After all, it’s much easier (and cheaper) to renew an existing customer than it is to go out and find a new one.

However, don’t confuse customer success with customer support or customer service. Customer support is the team on the frontline dealing with customer requests and fixing specific faults. The customer success function is much more strategic.

 

What is a Customer Success Manager?

A Customer Success Manager (CSM) is the face of customer success in your organisation. The CSM is in charge of building and maintaining the customer relationship as soon as they become customers. Among their responsibilities include:

  • Onboarding new customers – The CSM is in charge of getting the customer started with your solution, so they quickly understand its value. Onboarding is crucial because, at this point, the customer is excited about your product and wants affirmation that they did the right thing by purchasing it
  • Being the face of the company – The CSM should be the customer’s first point of contact whenever they have any questions, issues or anything else they want to discuss. A good CSM will talk to their customers regularly to make sure they’re getting the most value from the solution
  • Renewals – Repeat customers are exponentially more valuable than one-and-done customers. The CSM should keep track of when customers’ renewals are due and follow up to renew their subscriptions. If there is an obstacle in the way of a renewal, the CSM’s job is to remove it

 

The voice of the customer

Further to their everyday responsibilities, a good Customer Success Manager will be an advocate for the customer and their needs throughout their organisation. 

By building solid relationships based on mutual understanding, the CSM will know better than anyone what customers like and don’t like about your product. This type of knowledge is valuable across the organisation, from the product team developing new features to the finance team in charge of pricing and beyond. 

By championing customer-centricity in your company, you have the opportunity to truly influence its direction. That’s not bad for someone who was an SDR not long ago!

 

Onboarding tips

As mentioned before, onboarding is where you reassure your customer that purchasing a solution from you was a good idea. It’s also where you get them started using the product so they can quickly realise its value. A smooth onboarding process can set the tone for a successful customer relationship and significantly boost your chances of a renewal at the end of the contract.

Here are three tips to help you onboard your customers effectively:

  • Set goals and expectations – Make sure your customer knows what they will get from your onboarding process before you start. This will make them feel more confident in your hands. Then, when you deliver on what you promised, they’ll be happy
  • Don’t neglect the nitty-gritty – It may not be your job as a CSM to get customers registered on your solution with usernames, passwords, etc. But, it is your job to make sure all the information they need to get started is all in one place and easy to locate
  • Communication is key – You should be communicating with your customer all the time as they get started with your product, helping them along and solving any problems as quickly as possible. You should also report how their onboarding is professing to other stakeholders in your company, including the salespeople that sold the original deal. Finally, you can also take care of external communications, such as announcing your new partnership on LinkedIn or in the media

So, what do you think? Does Customer Success Manager sound like a good move to you?

 

Find out more from SaaSLeads

Want to take your first step into the fun, exciting and lucrative world of SaaS sales? It’s time to talk to SaaSLeads.

At SaaSLeads.io, we’ll give you all the skills you need to be a successful SDR on our three-month paid internship. Then, we’ll find you a great job with a fast-growing SaaS company, where you can build a brilliant career.

To find out more, contact us by filling out the form below.

Indra Gheorghe

Indra Gheorghe is a relationship-building master and also our Customer Success Manager at SaaSLeads. Previously she has worked as an Account Executive closing deals, as well as starting her career out in PR. Indra has a creative streak as she was Editor at her University magazine publication, WAXED Magazine.

She is passionate about human rights and has volunteered with the women rights association Filia.

You can find and connect with Indra on LinkedIn here

Ready to talk? Get in touch today