Marcel Holsheimer

The key to successful scaling: Inside the minds of 30 CSM leaders

Over the past year we’ve talked to over 30 Customer Success Management (CSM) leaders in the B2B SaaS space. It has been eye-opening to talk to such a wealth of industry knowledge. We’ve gained firsthand insights into the most pressing pain points in Customer Success (CS), pinpointed the differences in Customer Success strategies and pondered the future landscape of this rapidly-evolving industry. While the issues Customer Success teams in B2B software companies face vary depending on a number of factors, we found that they all have one challenge in common: how to scale successfully. Or, as the head of Customer Success, Saahil Karkera, from the hotel-upselling tool, Oaky, neatly put it, “How do we keep a lean team, massively increase user volume and drive maximum customer ROI while keeping it personal?”Before tackling that critical Customer Success challenge, let’s first look at three interesting patterns we discovered from our conversations with the industry leaders:1. The structure of Customer Success teams differs greatlyUnderstandably, the way CS teams are organised tends to vary from company to company depending on their roles and responsibilities within the organisation. These range from very broad, with CS covering client success, operations, logistics and solutions, to a much more fixed remit where CS is focused solely on onboarding and product adoption. In some cases, CS even have a small customer marketing team who control existing customer communications. Often in B2B Customer Success teams, the department is only focused on renewal of existing customer accounts, rather than upselling— which sits with the sales team. An interesting point to keep in mind is that not all CS teams have customer support within their department.

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