Customer success manager is quickly becoming one of the most valued positions within an organization. Many will argue that customer success is surpassing the value of all the major sales positions.
At times, this has the chance to create a rift between the sales force and anyone in the customer success management department. Certain salespeople believe that customer success managers have it easy – there’s no quota, cold-calling, and they can bounce around to various customers. It sounds like a piece of cake, right?
That isn’t necessarily true. Customer success managers normally get involved in the late stages of the sale. They are usually looking to either adopt new changes or keep older technology in place. Here’s a place to go now that reviews a CRM system adopted more towards a customer success manager than the sales staff.
If you’ve been thinking about transferring over to customer success and out of sales, this guide can help. We’ll show you the value in the customer success management position and how to embody that value.
Pictures of Daily Tasks
These are some of the things a customer success manager might be tasked with doing on a daily basis.
They might schedule monthly or quarterly meetings with customers to help resolve any deployment or adoption issues regarding new software they have recently purchased.
There will be a strong effort to reach out to customers to make sure they are efficiently adapting the new software or technology.
Customer success managers will meet with sales staff to discuss new client acquisition or clients who might be getting ready to make a commitment.
The Position Overall
Let’s examine some of the specific details surrounding the CSM position:
The average salary of a CSM is around $90,000 per year. $71,000 of this is base pay, and $19,000 is comprised of bonuses and additional pay. This includes cash bonuses, profit sharing, and stock options.
Although a CSM makes more base pay than an Account Executive (similar position), the Account Executive has more potential to earn bonuses and extra commission.
After entering the world of becoming a CSM, there exists a whole new world of job potential after gaining experience. These are some of the potential transitions an individual can make after becoming a CSM.
CSM >CSM Manager >CEO
CSM >Enterprise CSM
CSM >Account Executive
CSM >Sales Engineer
CSM >Professional Services
CSM >Product Marketing
Why Would You Switch?
This is one of the biggest reasons a salesperson switches over and becomes a CSM. There is a lot of stress involved with being in sales. The constant need to hit a quota and close a sale can cause a salesperson to burn out and tire of the constant grind.
Sometimes people switch to the career of CSM because it’s more rewarding. A CSM gets an in-depth look at the questions and concerns of a customer. This gives them the chance to solve these issues, thus giving them a more rewarding feeling about their job.
When you change to a CSM and leave sales, you’re also gaining more perspective on the overall journey of a customer. This also gives you experience in the field of consulting since you’re there to help customer onboarding and deployment. This could open up an entirely different field of work for you in the future.
Pros and Cons
Let’s examine the pros and cons of becoming a CSM.
There is less stress involved with being a CSM. The base pay is higher, and you remove yourself from the daily grind of a sales quota.
You get to form longer-lasting relationships with customers that are more rewarding for you. Sales positions and CSM positions require you to be a people person, but a CSM has the advantage when it comes to helping people.
You don’t have to cold call anymore since you only deal with clients that have already purchased.
More extracurricular company perks like a company vehicle and company credit cards
There’s a lower chance to gain bonuses because you’re not on a huge commissions structure anymore.
You have to deal with disgruntled customers more than when you were in sales since you handle the second half of the customer journey.
It can be frustrating to train new users that aren’t as skilled in computers or technology.
Potential Ways to Switch
There are several ways you can make the change to CSM.
Within Your Company
This is probably the easiest way to make the switch to CSM. Talk to your supervisor about changing departments. If you have a positive history with the company, there shouldn’t be an issue with you changing to a different department.
The only time this might be an issue is if you’re a top-notch salesperson. The company might not be so excited to lose one of its top producers.
A New Company
If the latter happens, you and the organization could cause a rift, and you might need to switch companies. This might end up working better if you want a new environment altogether.
Is Becoming a CSM for You?
If you’ve been in sales for a while and you’re starting to feel burnt out, changing to a CSM might not be a bad idea. Moving over to a more mentally fulfilling position could be the refreshing change you need to get you excited about work again.
The most important part is making sure you are comfortable and prepared to make the change. Besides being mentally prepared, make sure you are financially prepared for a career switch over the long haul.