How to Land Your Dream Job in Customer Success

June 18, 2019

Sam Feil

Customer Success Manager

Welcome to our blog series CSM from the Trenches, a community for frontline Customer Success Managers (CSMs) that discusses trends, best practices, and advice for the frontline.

Being on the CSM frontline allows us to directly influence the success of our clients. I love that; as our clients are successful, we’re successful. Each day we learn from the trenches what it takes to make clients happy and successful.

Let’s get started with this week’s post!

From: Steve McDougal, VP of Customer Success
Company: Preqin Solutions / Dynamo Software
Location
: London, United Kingdom

Steve is a life coach with over 10 years of hiring, growing and leading successful international Customer Success teams.

Introduction

Do a quick job search on LinkedIn for “Customer Success” and you’ll find over 186,000 job opportunities across the globe.  Customer success roles are popping up all over the place, and not just in the usual tech hubs such as Silicon Valley, London, New York, Dublin and Berlin.

New customer success jobs are being created every day, and along with those new jobs, more and more people are applying for these roles.  New graduates and employees from other departments are flocking to join the Customer Success department, eager to help increase customer loyalty and drive revenue growth.

With the increase in competition, I often get asked, “How do I land my dream job in Customer Success and stand out from the crowd?”.

First, I think it’s important that you figure out what kind of a Customer Success Manager you want to be. There are a wide spectrum of Customer Success roles out there and you need to decide which of these roles is best for you.  Do you want to negotiate large contract renewals, be a trusted advisor, or be a customer support representative? I’ll explore each of these roles below.

The Customer Success Job Spectrum

  • Renewal & Upsell Specialist – Role requires having upsell and retention revenue quotas. Responsible for negotiating contract renewals and growing professional services revenue. May be required to scope out billable projects and act as a project manager.
  • Trusted Advisor – Role requires deep domain expertise and becoming a subject matter expert. The primary focus is on product adoption and utilization of software.  May be required to deliver training sessions and workshops.
  • Customer Service – Role requires a customer support mentality. The focus is on servicing the customer with specific requests and providing in-person or telephone support.

Many of the roles you apply for may require a combination of the different aspects on the spectrum.   So figure out what aligns to your skill set and motivations.

Searching for the Right Job

Now that you’ve figured out what type of role appeals to you, you can start the job search.  Here are some tips when searching for the right job:

  • Check out sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed.  Search for titles like “customer success manager”, “director of customer success”,  or “customer success representative”.
  • Update your Linkedin profile to highlight the experiences and skills that are similar to the job you are searching for.
  • Connect to people who work at the companies you are interested in.   Offer to take them out for a coffee or lunch in exchange for the “Inside View” on Customer Success and company priorities. If you live in a remote location suggest a telephone call.
  • Create strong personal links and gain a deeper understanding of the company.  This will put you in a much stronger position to secure that all important interview and will make you appear more informed and impress the hiring team.  You really want to know “What does Customer Success look like in your company?” , “How much influence does Customer Success have?” “Does the head of customer success have a seat on the Executive team?”.
  • Leverage employee referral programs.  Existing employees may receive an incentive for recommending successful hires, so it’s in their interest to recommend you to directly to the hiring manager.
  • Read Blogs on Customer Success software websites and attend local Customer Success meet up events so that you can learn about the key trends and topics.

Conclusion

In recent years, customer retention has taken center stage, requiring larger investments in the people, processes, and technology needed to retain customers and sustain revenue growth.   And this is all great news for anyone interested in starting a career in Customer Success. The opportunity to get a job in the customer success department has never been greater.

Good luck in your job search!

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Want to share your mentor advice? Let’s connect!

Join the conversation on our LinkedIn CSM from the Trenches group page.

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Here are other customer success resources:

Customer Success Toolkits:

Customer Success Leaders Toolkit: Six valuable assets to help Customer Success leaders understand how to build and to scale high performing teams.

Customer Success Metrics Toolkit: your ultimate guide to defining and measuring all things Customer Success

Other CSM from the Trenches Posts:

Frontline – Shannon Kenedy, Customer Success Manager, Game Plan

Mentors – Kristi Faltorusso, Vice President of Customer Success, BetterCloud

Himanshu Patel, Icertis – 3 Key Takeaways from My First Two Years as a Customer Success Manager

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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