So You Want to Be a CSM?


In the past year, the evolution of the Customer Success community has spurred a remarkable growth, and I've had lots of great conversations with people new to the field or exploring the buzz around CS. Inspired by these conversations with those who want to be a CSM ... what you should probably know.

What to expect? Do not expect CSM roles to be the same.

Similar? Maybe. The same? No. Even within the same company, you'll often find variances based segmentation or level of guidance from management. Other variables can depend on the product/service, the company’s maturity, and the executive team’s feeling/perspective/impression of CS. Remember: Gauge if the organization understands the difference between Customer Success and Support. Chad Horenfeldt, VP CS Bluecore recently wrote an excellent piece on the relationship this has to the team morale and business.

Know how your success is defined.

Ultimately, you achieve your success by helping others achieve theirs. Irit Eizips, CEO of CSM Practice shares some key Customer Success Metrics and Dashboards for the Analyst Enthusiast. Apply this objective beyond your clients and include your internal partners as well. Find ways to help product, marketing, sales, engineering, support, and the executive team with your unique customer insights. 

Fast track your CS knowledge and learn as much as you can.

Assimilate it with your personal experience and don’t be afraid to question/be critical of what you’re reading/hearing. 

Find ways to get involved.

The Customer Success community is second to none. It has grown significantly yet maintains a core of some of the best people who are open and willing to help others investing in improving Customer Success at their companies. 
Find your PulseLocal chapter, look for MeetUps near you, and a Calendar of Events from The Customer Success Association.

Figure out if it’s really for you.

If you’re considering CS because it’s the “next cool thing”, you’re going to need to find a bigger purpose to make it.  Some additional reading to dig into this are The Essential Guide to Customer Success by Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight and The 7 Traits of Exceptional CSMs by Ron Lunan, Lead Solution Engineer at Salesforce.

If you liked this post, you might also like Recipe for Effective CSMs.