Customer Success Manager Today, Next Stop TBD

By October 12, 2020Blog

Customer Success careers

Did you know that “customer success specialist” is the sixth fastest-growing job title in the United States?

According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, customer success roles — like a customer success manager (CSM) — increased 34% from 2019.

But what’s next after you’ve spent time as a CSM? 

Because CSMs have a diverse array of skills and experiences, they tend to be well-suited for a variety of positions. After all, they know how to manage customers, onboard new clients, upsell accounts, build relationships and troubleshoot technical issues. 

Here’s a rundown of potential landing spots:

Leader of the Pack — CS Leadership

Achieving higher ranks within the Customer Success department is a common route. If a CSM has a strategic mind, strong leadership qualities and excels at managing teams, then a path to senior positions within the CS department would make for an excellent fit.

Hang with the VIPs — Enterprise CS or Key Accounts

Another way to advance a CS career is to manage larger, more complex enterprise customers who demand a white glove, high-touch approach. If CSMs really enjoy the relationship building aspect of their jobs and have seen success with account expansion, then they could be the perfect candidate for an enterprise CS position.

Make It Rain — Sales

You know who they are: Charming people who really have a knack for sales.

If a CSM has demonstrated success with cross-selling and upselling, then they may be interested in moving to the customer acquisition side of the house. Plus, if these salesy CSMs are motivated by the upside potential in variable sales compensation plans, then that also could make them strong contenders for a future in sales.

Get Techy With It — Product Management

No one knows the ins and outs of their company’s SaaS platform like a CSM. With all of that product expertise and technical know-how, it’s no wonder that many CS professionals want to trade in their customer QBRs for a good, ol’ fashioned product strategy session. 

But seriously, if the daily grind of customer complaints is making a CSM feel burnt out, they may want to take their energies to the Product team. There, they can flex their techy muscles and strategize on the product roadmap.

Nerd Creatives Unite! — UX or Marketing

They’re data-driven. They have a creative bent. And they also likely have prior experience in marketing or design.

Just as LeBron James said he was “taking his talents to Cleveland,” a CSM who has enjoyed working together with marketing or UX in the past — plus has a creative eye and is a wiz with campaigns — may be well-suited to join one of those teams.

In addition, a CSM who wants to transition to marketing would be particularly qualified for a role in post-sales customer marketing or even product marketing.

Want to learn more about your customer success career? Check out this post on certifications.  

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