The Second Installment

Strikedeck presented the second installment of the NextGen CSM Webinar series on the topic of “How to Prepare for a Career in Customer Success”. The goal of the webinar was to outline a transition plan for those who want to enter the rapidly expanding field of Customer Success.

The featured speaker was Paul Reeves, the Vice President of Customer Success at TokBox (which is a happy Strikedeck customer!). Paul has been in Customer Success-related fields since 1999, when he joined a startup with a “sleeping bag and a great attitude” (his own words). Paul had a great wealth of knowledge to share, and will continue to guest on upcoming webinars going forward, so we look forward to learning from his experiences.

The webinar was moderated by Strikedeck’s enterprise sales executive and self-professed “Champion of CSMs”, Jeff Lowenstein.

How to Enter CS?

Paul described two main ways one can enter the Customer Success (CS) profession:

  • Move laterally from an adjacent fields that fosters interaction with customers and execution high value tasks. He provided relevant examples highlighting individuals who have done such career change and subsequently have developed great track record in CS.
  • Join as an associate, leveraging prior skills, whether it is in a specific domain (like Salesforce) or technical knowledge (like configuration engineering).

In either case, the most important determinant for succeeding in the CS is having the “right stuff.” He listed several personal traits belonging to this category, including – a desire to help customers succeed, and an ability to listen to customers. CSMs ultimately should be able to convince the customers on how great your product/service is and how much value the customer is getting out of it.

Tactics for Transitioning

On the tactics to transition to CS career, Paul said networking is extremely important. He highlighted Strikedeck’s regular meetups as an example where one can attend and talk with CS professionals, who are always eager to help.

Q & A

The Q&A session proved to be very insightful as well. There were several questions ranging from “Is CS a fad?” to “what are the universities offering programs in CS?” Paul and Jeff provided great answers to all of them.