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Customer Success as a Culture — Hiring Best Practices for Customer Success Managers

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Customer success teams have gone through strategic changes and growth over the past few years. This important strategy and business focus drives toward the outcome of retaining and growing your customer base. As you continue to adapt and change your customer success strategies and tactics, remember this key focus—customer success is not a department, it’s a culture.

We are passionate about customer success and it’s positive outcome—building relationships that last™. In our latest eBook, our team at ClientSuccess interviewed 7 customer success leaders at the forefront of these changes. These leaders have incredible advice they’ve learned by actually going through the process and learning firsthand.

Our newest eBook entitled “Customer Success as a Culture: Customer Leaders Edition”, shares best practices focused on the strategic and tactical aspects of building and scaling effective customer success teams. Each week, we’ll highlight one of the customer success leaders and will share some of their key learnings with you. This week, you’ll learn from Ursula Llabres, VP, Customer Success at InsideSales.com. Let’s get started:

About InsideSales.com

InsideSales.com is based in Silicon Slopes, Utah’s high-tech corridor. InsideSales.com offers the sales industry’s first comprehensive sales acceleration platform that creates high-performance sales teams with breakthrough technology. InsideSales.com customers experience revenue growth up to 30% in as little as 90 days.

What are the qualities you look for in Customer Success candidates at InsideSales.com?

As Ursula builds out her team of Customer Success professionals, she looks for certain qualities when she’s interviewing her candidates, some of which include:

  • Quality and thoughtfulness in questions they ask, and who are NOT afraid of asking questions
  • Hunger for knowledge, aptitude for learning
  • Good listeners and those who tend to validate what they have heard
  • Natural networkers; those that can connect the dots, build relationships and who are interested in enhancing relationships
  • Disciplined and methodical
  • Those who naturally like to plan things out and execute on the plans
  • Adaptability and creative thinking
  • Natural problem solvers
  • Positive attitudes

What are some interview questions you like to ask?

“I focus on questions that allow the interviewee to share concrete stories where their experience on a certain topic can be revealed,” said Ursula. “I focus on questions that reveal more about the candidate’s true colors.”

For example, Ursula would ask these questions to corporate-level Customer Success Manager candidates:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to turn a customer from a detractor to an advocate?
  • What is a typical day in the life for you?
  • In context of your current role, what are you most proud of currently? Why?
  • If today you manage 50 accounts and tomorrow your portfolio increases by 30 accounts to a total of 80 accounts, how would your account management processes change? What would be 3 key things you would do to manage the change and deliver results?
  • Give me an example when you did something that made you feel extremely satisfied/dissatisfied with how you worked with a customer? What did you do after that?
  • What do you enjoy/dislike the most about what you do today?
  • Give me an example of a time when your work impacted your peers positively.

How do you know when to hire more CSMs?

Ursula is always thinking about her team’s structure and her ratio of CSMs to clients. She explained that the trigger points for hiring a new CSM are based on account numbers and on portfolio value thresholds. “It is important to note that there is a cost of retention model that plays a role,” explained Ursula. “Hiring new CSMs as the company grows needs to be combined by also allocating operational and program resources that help scale the growth and manage the cost of delivering success.”

Read Ursula’s full contribution to the ebook entitled, “Customer Success as a Culture: Customer Success Leaders Edition” and learn from 6 other customer success leaders like Ursula.

Download the full “Customer Success as a Culture” ebook collection:

Customer Success as a Culture: Sales Leaders Edition

Customer Success as a Culture: Marketing Leaders Edition

Customer Success as a Culture: Product Leaders Edition    

Learn more about how ClientSuccess can help your company develop a strong customer success methodology and strategy with easy-to-use customer success software by requesting a 30-minute demo.

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