Recipe for Effective CSMs

 
Customer success is where 90% of the revenue is
— Jason Lemkin, Investor & Founder Champion at SaaStr Fund
 

Per the Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. With this in mind, assembling the right team of customer guardians is paramount especially in the SaaS world.

Business Savvy: Quotas or not, being knowledgeable of sales dependencies and opportunities are essential given the CSM proximity and relationship to the customers. The ability to build the case and convey the net impact of your solution to their goals is critical towards demonstrating value.

Patience: It's commonly believed that 9x of your customer lifetime value (CLV) is after the initial sale. Maintaining composure and showing understanding are imperative to navigate clients from one success milestone to the next. Remember to focus on the long-term objectives beyond the obstacles you encounter.

Technical Proficiency: A comprehensive understanding of the applications and advantages of your product/service allows the CSM to lead strategic value-driven discussions beyond chit chat or technical support. This builds trust and earns your CSMs the first position whenever customers are planning for new challenges. 

Proactively Analytical: If your team is waiting for the clients to ask for help, they are defaulted to the passenger seat and forfeit the chance to amplify credibility.  Taking the initiative to analyze their customers' interactions across the company provides continuous improvement for the client's experience from a holistic perspective.

Leadership:  The ability to engage and be assertive with decision makers (internal & external) to provide feedback and guidance. Doing this with conviction and delivering meaningful results builds confidence and confirms the real value of Customer Success.

Being more successful with your product/service is not only beneficial for the customers, but it's also fuel for your company's bottom line. With research showing a 5% increase in customer retention increases profits by 25% to 95%, isn't it worth curating these skills for the folks on your team? 

Referenced readings

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