The Essential Guide on How To Become A Customer Success Manager

This article will help you better understand what to expect in your customer success job search and how to become a customer success manager.

This article will break down:

  • A customer success job requires a person to have fundamental skills in communication, problem solving and empathy.
  • When youre looking for a job, it can be hard to know what an ideal candidate looks like. However, there are some things that make up the perfect interviewee.
  • Here are some key tips for getting your next job: 1. Create a resume that showcases the customer success skills and experiences you want to highlight (i.e., not just what you’ve done but how it has impacted others) 2. Research companies in advance of interviews, if possible

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

What is Customer Success Management (CSM)?

It is important to ensure that a customer’s experience with the companys product and services are satisfactory. This may be because of how most SaaS companies now adopt subscription models.

How to get into customer success? The subscription model has enabled customers to easily leave if they are not receiving value. Thats where working in Customer Success comes in.

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

How to be a customer success manager? Customer Success Managers are responsible for making sure that a customer achieves their goals and they guide them through the entire process.

One of the main responsibilities I’ve found with salespeople is to take care of them after they make a sale, moving from sales to customer success. This means guiding them through every aspect for post-sales customer experience: onboarding, training, adoption and on-going support.

Top Skills on How To Become A Customer Success Manager

Customer Success Management is a wide-ranging position that requires technical and interpersonal skills. Technical and expert customer service skills will be discussed later, but many of the soft skill requirements are important for any Customer Success job.

Bonus: Download the FREE 60-page Customer Success Competency Model!

1) Relationship builder

The core of this role is building relationships. You have to be able to understand what motivates people, offer your help and always put the customer’s best interests first in order for them to trust you. It helps if you’re likable but human.

2) Organized and proactive

CSMs need to be proactive and organized because they are in charge of managing customer issues. If you can anticipate what customers will want or complain about, then your job is much easier.

3) Analytical and Strategic

A great CSM needs to be able to analyze data and create a strategy based on the analysis. For example, if they see that customers are not making enough sales calls or engaging with their clients in social media then they need more of those types of engagements.

4) Emotional Intelligence

CSMs are often the ones who have to diffuse heated situations between customers and companies. To do this, you need a strong sense of emotional intelligence in order to get what they want without having any conflicts arise.

5) Excellent communicator

The most important trait for a CSM is excellent communication skills.

Customer service managers spend a lot of time communicating with customers and their bosses. They also work to make sure that the company is successful.

A CSM’s job is to take in all of the information and data from various sources, interpret it for different audiences, and make sure that they are able to respond accordingly.

3 Skills Employers Desires in a CS Candidate

The qualifications for a Customer Success Manager position are often listed on customer 1st clerk job description, so if you see what they look like then it’s easier to find the right person. You needn’t be deterred by these requirements because understanding them is key to being able to compete.

If you are not the type of person who immediately fits into this mold, then there is no need to worry.

1) 1-3 years of experience

When employers hire salespeople, they want someone who has already had experience in customer service or account management.

When it comes to customer success, some companies look for people with a sales development background. This is because these candidates are good at closing deals and securing renewals.

2) Technical skills

Companies will be looking for experience with the Google suite or Microsoft Office products. Many companies will also value people who have experience using a CRM like Salesforce.

On top of all that, applicants need to be good with spreadsheets and have the ability to manage their time.

3) Communications skills

Communication skills are essential for salespeople because they have to be able to present ideas in a way that is easy to understand.

The more communicative position of sales manager is great for people who come from careers in different fields because they already have experience with communication.

Optional: Bachelors degree

In most cases, the company will ask for a bachelors degree. In some instances they may be willing to accept equivalent experience in lieu of a degree.

How to Begin if You Have No Background in CS

If youre trying to land your first customer success job, it is likely that you are not the perfect candidate.

When it comes to preparing for the CSM exam, youre not alone. We have helped hundreds of people by following these steps and they work.

There are many different roles in customer success, but the most common one is when a representative helps customers by providing technical assistance and general guidance. This role can be beneficial for anyone with some tech skills who enjoys working closely with people.

Make your work ex relevant to your future CSM role

The most important thing to do when looking for a new job is not just going through your resume and highlighting the parts that will make you look good. Instead, find what experience has been customer-facing in any way.

Even if your customer base is strictly internal or you’re coming from a completely different industry, when it comes to speaking about what they do at their company, frame the conversation like this:

Well, I can see how you dont see this as Customer Success. But let me help you understand why I think this is actually valuable for this role. I did 1, 2, and 3, as I was working to help XYZ folks through ABC process. Not only was I responsible for keeping them on track but I also helped them achieve 1, 2, and 3.

Give emphasis on your customer-facing experience

If you have been in a service industry, emphasize your customer-facing communication skills. If not, highlight any other relevant strengths that will be valued by the company.

As a candidate, you should be able to talk about how closely youve been following the industry and what your thoughts are on recent trends. This will show that not only do you have knowledge of the company but also understanding for where they want to go.

If you want to be hired, dont waste your time talking about how much you love XYZ company. Instead tell me why this position is perfect for someone like yourself.

Dont underestimate the power of domain expertise

If you are an experienced MarTech professional, it is likely that your employer’s needs will change and they may not be able to accommodate them. You should focus on companies with a specialization in this field.

When youve had experience with the company, it is easy to see how they are different from other companies and what their goals are. You should be sure to highlight that.

How To Become A Customer Success Manager: Dos And Donts

DONT panic!

Hiring salespeople is not a difficult task.

A lot of job applicants are so focused on finding a company that they think is perfect for them, but it’s important to remember you have some responsibility in the process. Don’t just apply as-is and hope for the best.

The article suggests that you have to be better than your competitors. If not, there are plenty of other qualified candidates out there.

DO take up additional training

When you hire a new employee, make sure to provide them with training and coaching opportunities. This will help prevent any skills gaps from developing.

Don’t just think about how your past experience will help you in the future. Think of new ways to explain that same knowledge.

When it comes to hiring, context is important. For example: you might be more qualified than you think.

When I first began hiring salespeople, I just assumed pay along with commissions and bonuses would be enough. It turns out that a paycheck is not the only thing that matters.

Finding your niche is essential in any field, but it’s even more important when you’re a job seeker. Whether it be the environment or an industry that fascinates you – find what sets you apart from other applicants and use this to your advantage.

Resume and LinkedIn Pro Tips to Consider

To be successful in the job market, you need to have a resume that grabs attention and makes your experience seem unique. You want it to sound professional but creative at the same time.

Lets talk about your headshot

Having a good headshot is crucial for first job success in your job search. This can be used on LinkedIn and resumes, so it should not look like you just took the photo with your phone or that it was taken at an event where you were having fun.

If you want to be memorable, use a photo that reflects who you are and makes your personality stand out. If it looks like something from the stock-photo section of Getty Images or if its just an awkward selfie taken in front of a mirror, then this is not what we’re looking for.

Keep it clean (especially the fonts)

Your resume should be professional and easy to read. You can ask a mentor for feedback or hire an online service that will do it for you.

Hit the right keywords

Headline: Become a Sales Manager with this CompanyUnderneath, add the following information in section one: “The skills I have acquired through my previous experience as an HR Generalist will be helpful for me to manage salespeople effectively.”

You should also mention your passion for customer first job success. The key is to use the right keywords that hiring entry level customer service manager is looking for in a resume.

If youre unsure of what keywords to focus on, look at the linkedin customer success manager job descriptions. This is a great place to find the critical keywords.

Highlight your wins

It is important to include achievements and results on your resume. If you have done something that has produced measurable success, make sure it’s included.

Ditch descriptions, talk about results

When describing your past positions, dont just say what you did. Talk about how it helped the customer experience and made their lives easier.

Think customer-facing

Every job on your resume should be framed in a way that focuses on the customer. That means not bending something so far from reality, but still looking for any elements of what you do with customers.

The same is true for your LinkedIn profile. When you create a post, make sure that it’s in line with what you put on your resume and vice versa. Make the headline of both accurate so they know what to expect from each other right away.

Selecting Your Next Employer

Before you start applying for csm software jobs, research the companies that interest you to see if they are hiring.

Target a mid- to late-stage company

The ideal company for you to sell your product is one that has an established customer first job success team and a good client base.

The best-case scenario is when a company already has a team of experienced salespeople and wants to bring in raw talent. The organization can shape the new hire into an excellent CSM who will fit right in.

Early-stage startups are usually looking for someone with experience, and that means they will not be interested in you. If the company is early enough to offer a position, then go ahead but just know what you’re getting into.

In situations like this, there are going to be high expectations. You need to have structures and processes in place that will support the project

One of the mistakes I made early on was not looking for roles where people would be given room to learn. Early-stage companies are busy and dont have time or resources to train new hires.

Make sure it can be a long-term gig

The last thing you should consider is the company culture. You will be spending a lot of time there and it’s important to make sure that they are aligned with your values.

Make sure the company is a good fit for you.

Personalize your approach

Dont forget to include a cover letter with your resume. Make it engaging, personal and memorable by addressing why you are the best person for the job.

Dos and donts

  • It is important to avoid using loud or distracting colors, fonts and headshots on your resume.
  • Ive learned that it is important to keep a professional attitude while working as customer-facing salesperson. This means representing the company in an honorable way and staying courteous with customers.
  • When applying for a job, do not underestimate the importance of including a cover letter. Its an excellent way to show your strong points and communicate effectively.
  • Make sure you include keywords in your resume, LinkedIn profile and cover letter. People (and ATS software) skim resumes; if they don’t find what they’re looking for quickly enough, it’s likely that you won’t get a second glance.
  • Research companies that are hiring for entry-level CSMs and apply to those positions.

Understanding the Hiring Process

When you apply for a job, the next step is to wait. It can be hard not knowing when your application will be reviewed. Patience is the key on how to become a customer success manager.

Different companies will have different hiring processes. Some might move fast, while others may take their time to get back in touch with you after a phone interview. If they do want to meet again, expect it be at the company’s office for an actual meeting.

Come to the phone screen knowing more about your company and productservice.

When meeting with potential clients, it is important to do research beforehand. You should examine the companys website and social media profiles as well as press releases in order to make a good impression.

If you get past the phone screen, expect to be interviewed by people from outside of Customer Success. Do your research on these individuals and be prepared for questions about how you can help them with their role.

Do your research before you start any project. You can never be too prepared. There you go, those are the skills and steps how to become a customer success manager. 

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Contact us and let's discuss your ideas!

Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was written by Content at Scale, a solution that uses AI + a team of optimization specialists to publish hundreds of high quality, SEO optimized content straight to your blog. It’s the first and only solution that allows you to truly scale content marketing.