How to Become a Customer Success Manager

How to become a customer success manager? Let's go over the dos and don'ts of becoming a successful customer success manager.

I never thought I would become a customer success manager. It wasn’t something that I had ever considered as a career option. But when I was laid off from my job in sales, I decided to give it a try. And you know what? I loved it! How to become a customer success manager?

Being a customer success manager is all about helping people use your product or service to its fullest potential and ensuring they’re happy with their purchase. It’s challenging, but also incredibly rewarding work. If you’re thinking about how to become a customer success manager, here are some dos and don’ts to help you get started on the right foot.

How to Become a Customer Success Manager

There is no one specific path to becoming a customer success manager, but there are a few things that will help you on the way. Firstly, it is important to have strong people skills and be able to build relationships easily.

Secondly, you should be able to understand customer needs and pain points and offer solutions that meet those needs.

Finally, it is helpful to have experience in project management, as customer success managers often have to juggle multiple projects at once.

If you have these skills and qualities, then you may have what it takes to be a successful customer success manager.

What is Customer Success Management (CSM)?

It’s important to ensure your customers have a good experience with your company. This is especially true for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, as customers can very easily cancel your service if they are not happy.

The subscription model gives customers the option to cancel their subscription to your service if they are not receiving any value.

This is where working as a customer success manager comes into play.

Customer Success is the practice of delivering maximum value for a customers investment in the companys product. This reduces churn and drives revenue.

Reducing customer turnover and driving up sales is the goal of successful customer service.

How do you become a CSM? A customer success manager is a person who is responsible for ensuring that customers achieve their desired outcomes. They do this by guiding them through the whole process.

One of the primary roles of a sales rep is to look after them after they’ve made a sale, transitioning from selling to customer service.

This entails ensuring your customers are successfully onboarded, trained, adopted, and supported.

What Skills Are Required for Customer Success Managers?

  • Account management
  • Analysis skills
  • Analytics
  • B2B
  • CRM software
  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Customer relationship management
  • Customer service
  • Customer support
  • English
  • Leadership

Expected Salary by Experience

According to data from the resumes of 3,000+ people from Indeed.com, the average base salary for this position is $45,000.

What are the Qualifications for Customer Success Managers?

  • Certified Scrum Master
  • Driver’s License
  • PMP

A customer success manager needs to have excellent time management skills and be able to multitask. They should also be detail-oriented, have exceptional communication, and possess solid project-management abilities.

A CSM must be independent and able to self-motivate. They must also possess great interpersonal and communication skills as well as the ability to multitask and problem solve.

What to Write on Your Resume When Applying for a CSM Job

Your resume should focus on listing the hard and soft skills mentioned in the job ad. In addition, you can include other skills that relate to the core competencies of the role. By doing this, you will show that you have the necessary experience for the position.

When talking about your leadership skills, use words that describe actions.

How to Become a Customer Success Manager

As you advance in your career, you will obtain more experience in handling clients and products through on-the-job training. This will help you become a successful customer success manager.

Seek out other relevant credentials that can help you gain experience in data software applications. For example, obtaining proficiency in Microsoft Office suites can be beneficial. Additionally, familiarizing yourself with other computer-related applications may also prove to be helpful.

Customer Success Manager

Preparing for Your First Customer Success Job

When you’re applying for a CS job, having a strong profile is incredibly important. This is especially true if you don’t have any background in computer science.

How do you properly market yourself to get the attention of the interviewer?

Cover Letter – Make a Good First Impression

Your cover letter is your opportunity to make a great first impression on the employer. Be sure to convey your professionalism and you will be one step closer to advancing in your career.

Resume + LinkedIn Profile

Your resume and your LinkedIn page are the first things a potential employer sees. Both need to present you in the best light possible, and both need to convey professionalism and competence.

If you’re looking to update your resume for a customer success job, be sure to frame your work experience from a customer service perspective. Highlight projects and accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to provide an excellent customer experience.

Your resume or LinkedIn profile should be clear and concise, with relevant keywords for easy scanning. Be sure to have a trusted friend or colleague check for any typos or mistakes before you submit it.

Targeting Your Job Search

The job search process does not have to be a numbers game. We recommend taking a focused approach to identify where to apply instead of using a shotgun approach.

Leverage Your Experience

Everyone would love to be working at the coolest company, but these positions are often very competitive and are only attainable if you have the right background.

If you’re looking to break into the customer success field, your best bet is to focus on companies where you already have some expertise. That way, you can show off your understanding of their customers and how you can provide value based on your experience.

This strategy will enable you to better understand your customers and how you can provide value based on your experience. By leveraging your customer’s success, you will be able to create a more successful business relationship that is beneficial for both parties involved.

Company Maturity

Some companies are more likely than others to hire entry-level Customer Success Managers.

If you’re looking to start a career in customer service, a startup may not be the best place to start. While larger companies typically have more established customer support and training programs, smaller businesses may not have the resources to provide the same level of support.

Companies with an established customer success department and training program can hire new reps and mold them into the ideal rep.

These types of companies are great for starting out as a Customer Success Manager.

Product Type

More and more companies are adopting the practice of customer success, whether they offer subscriptions or not.

While more companies than ever are hiring for Customer Success Managers, we recommend that new candidates focus on companies that sell subscription-based products.

This is an excellent way to gain valuable experience as a Customer Success professional and bolster your resume at the same time. You’ll gain first-hand experience with SaaS, which will be invaluable as you transition into a similar role at a SaaS company.

Even experienced CSMs find it tough to transition to a similar role at a SaaS company without the requisite experience. However, by taking on a new challenge and potentially killing two birds with one stone, you can set yourself up for success.

Customer Success Manager: Start Your Application

The application process is quick, but there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Don’t Forget the Cover Letter

A cover letter is an important part of your application because it gives you the chance to explain why you are a good fit for the role. Keep it engaging, personal and memorable, but keep it brief.

Since so many applicants fail to do this, it will make you stand out.

Don’t Wait for Opportunities That Are Not Happening

After you’ve submitted your application, there’s only so much you can do. You’ll likely have to wait a couple of days before hearing back.

If you haven’t heard back from the company after a week or more, it’s probably best to move on. Follow up with an email just to be sure, but don’t waste any more time if you don’t get a response.

The Screening Process

If you are selected to move forward in the hiring process, you will be contacted for a 30-60 minute phone screen. This is an opportunity for the Customer Success team to determine if you would be a good fit for the role. If they feel you are a strong candidate, they will invite you to participate in a live interview or video conference.

Be Patient

Don’t just jump at the first opportunity to get on the phone with your potential employer. Give yourself some time to do your research so you can make the most of the phone screen. This is your first chance to shine, so be prepared!

Preparation is Paramount

Preparation is paramount for success in any endeavor, and a phone screen with a potential employer is no different. Reviewing the company profile and revisiting your research will help you be better prepared to answer questions and engage in conversation.

Checking LinkedIn to learn more about the people on the Customer Success team can also give you valuable insights into their backgrounds and interests.

Check out the latest news, social posts, and recent releases from the company.

Spend some time on the website and see if you can find any free trials or demo videos. This will give you a better understanding of what the company does and what they’re selling.

Set Yourself Up for a Successful Call

Make sure you’re in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Have your resume and notes ready in case you need to refer to them.

Be sure to come to your phone screen armed with the knowledge you need and the ability to demonstrate that you’ve done your homework. This will help ensure that the call is successful.

Customer Success Manager: The Hiring Process

After speaking with the team, you will then have the opportunity to speak with the hiring manager. Finally, if you are selected, you will speak directly with the lead.

The Gauntlet

If you’re brought in for an interview with Customer Success, expect to dedicate a whole day to the process. You’ll likely meet not just the team, but also people from other teams that interact with Customer Success.

Ultimately, every prospect you talk to will have the final say about whether or not you make it to the final stages of the hiring process.

If you have back-to-back interviews, it’s important to take care of yourself by eating regularly. Make sure to bring a snack or ask if food will be provided so that you can keep your energy up throughout the process.

When interviewing over Skype, it’s important to make sure your space is well-lit, clean, and free of clutter. You should also make sure you have a good connection and that your location is private.

Just like in in-person interviews, your prospect will be judging you on how you present yourself over the phone.

The Project

After the interview, it’s not uncommon for companies to give you a project. This is usually in the form of a 90-day plan for what you would do if hired. Companies want to see how you think and how you would approach the job if given the chance. This is your opportunity to shine! Be sure to put your best foot forward and show them what you’re made of.

When it comes to customer service interviews, employers are looking to see how you would handle certain customer interactions and if you can present in front of them. They also want to get a gauge of your abilities by seeing how you act in front of a customer.

This is your chance to show what you’re made of. Prepare as much as you can and practice your presentation until it feels like second nature. This is an opportunity to prove yourself, so make the most of it.

The Final Round

After you’ve delivered the project, the company will decide on whether or not to hire you. If they are undecided about your candidacy, they may bring you back for a panel interview or have you speak with the head of Customer Success.

Impress the Team Leader

Be sure to bring your A-game! If you’re meeting with the team leader, it means that a large portion of the team believes you would be a good fit for the position. The leader may have veto power or be a key decision-maker, so it’s important to bring your best effort forward.

Win Over a Panel of Peers

If you’re interviewing with a panel, your goal is to convince the interviewers that you would be an asset to their team. They’ll be focused on how you would act in specific situations and whether you’re a good fit for the culture. To win them over, focus on demonstrating your skills and abilities, as well as your commitment to the organization.

The Offer

Congratulations! You just got a new offer!

It can be tempting to answer the call immediately, but make sure you think it through first.

This is your chance to show that you’re not afraid of a little challenge and that you have what it takes to see things through.

Make Sure The Salary is Competitive

If a company offers you a low salary because you don’t have the experience, don’t accept it. You’re going to be working there for at least one year, if not more.

It’s important to make sure that you’re being offered a competitive salary, especially if you don’t have much experience. You don’t want to take a job and then find out later that you could have made more money elsewhere.

Understanding Salary Variables

If the salary is on the lower end, be sure to ask what the expectations are for receiving the incentive pay.

Beware of Stock Options

If you’re considering taking a job that offers stock options, it’s important to understand the risks involved. While stock options can be a great bonus if they appreciate in value, they’re not something you can rely on for long-term financial security.

If a company is trying to sell you on a large volume of pre-IPO shares, they’re essentially asking you to bet on the future. And while there’s always a chance that the company will go public, most startups never make it that far.

Having options is not a replacement for fair pay.

Take Your Time

Don’t get too excited that you land a job that you regret accepting. Make sure you do the math and make sure that the pay is fair.

Check out what other customer service managers are making at a similar level of experience to what you’re currently at.

Dos And Donts on How To Become A Customer Success Manager

Don’t freak out!

Salespeople are a dime a dozen.

As a job seeker, remember that you have some responsibilities. It’s not just about applying and hoping for the best. You need to go above and beyond what your competitors are doing to land the job that you want.

To stand out from your competition, you have to be better. If not, there are likely other qualified applicants out there.

DO take more sales training courses.

When you hire someone new, make sure you provide them with training, so that they don’t develop any skill gaps in their new job.

Don’t think of your experience as something you’ll use again. Instead, think of new ways you can use that same experience.

When it comes to hiring, always remember that the context is just as important as your qualifications. You might have more experience than you think, making you a great candidate for the job.

When it comes to job seeking, you must find your niche. This can be done by determining what fascinates you about a certain industry or environment. Once you have found what sets you apart from other applicants, use this information to your advantage. Doing so will help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of being hired.

Conclusion: Customer Success Manager

If you’re thinking about how to become a customer success manager, the dos and don’ts in this blog post will help you get started on the right foot. Becoming a successful customer success manager requires understanding what the role entails and being prepared for anything that comes your way. Keep these tips in mind as you embark on your new career journey!


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