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How (and When) to Hire a Great VP of Customer Success Management CSM

The VP of Customer Success role has become one of the hottest hiring priorities for companies in the Subscription Economy. Although the impact is now widely recognized, businesses still struggle with identifying the right time to bring on a CSM leader, and furthermore, how to recognize truly great candidates.

Join a lively conversation between Nick Mehta, CEO at Gainsight, Tomasz Tunguz, Partner at Redpoint Ventures, and Monica Adractas, VP of Customer Success and Retention at Box as they share how (and when) to hire a great VP of Customer Success.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:
- How data supports hiring a VP Customer Success earlier in the company lifecycle
- What the key characteristics of greatness are and how to identify them early
- How maturing companies have evolved the VP Customer Success role to meet the changing needs of their customer base

Featuring: Tomasz Tunguz, Partner at Redpoint Ventures; Monica Adractas, VP of Customer Success and Retention at Box; and Nick Mehta, CEO at Gainsight

How (and When) to Hire a Great VP of Customer Success Management CSM

  1. 1. How and When to Hire a VP of Customer Success January 15, 2015
  2. 2. Housekeeping • Q&A panel on your right • Recording for colleagues who can’t make it • All attendees will receive slides • Twitter hashtag #customersuccess
  3. 3. Our Speakers Nick Mehta CEO @nrmehta Tomasz Tunguz Partner @ttunguz Monica Adractas VP, Customer Success and Retention
  4. 4. On Your Mind? • Timing • Why do I need to invest in Customer Success this year? • When should I bring in a leader of Customer Success? • What do my CEO and board think? • Hiring • How does Customer Success fit into my organization? • What does Customer Success own? • Where do I find a leader with the skills my company needs? • Preparing • What do I need to know about Customer Success? • What do I have to keep in mind about transitioning? • How do I evaluate roles and employers?
  5. 5. Timing
  6. 6. Advocacy Reduces CAC Customer Success is a powerful growth mechanism
  7. 7. Customer Success Reduces CAC
  8. 8. Retention Affects The Top Line Hypothetical SaaS Co $50k in MRR 50 customers at $1k ARR each $1250 in CAC, Sales Efficiency of 0.8 Growing 15% m/m
  9. 9. Retention Lowers Costs
  10. 10. CSM Drives Greater Share-of-Revenue • Customers use more of a product over time • CSM teams help customers adopt and expand
  11. 11. The Whole Company Benefits Product feedback Marketing relationships
  12. 12. Economics For Your Investment • Compare CLTV to your growth trajectory • Is it less expensive to retain or replace your typical customer?
  13. 13. CSM Improves CLTV • Model expected benefits • Include organization change needed for full effects
  14. 14. Protect Against Bad Outcomes • Don’t just invest in technology • Hire a leader
  15. 15. Hiring
  16. 16. Revenue SuccessMaturity Adoption Retention Expansion Optimization Transformation $1 - $5 MM $5 - $20 MM $20 - $100 MM $100 MM - $1 B $1 B+ Gainsight CSM Maturity Model
  17. 17. Revenue SuccessMaturity Manager or Director of Customer Success VP of Customer Success SVP of Customer Success or CRO CCO CCO Reporting to President or COO Who Owns Customer Success?
  18. 18. Revenue SuccessMaturity CSM Onboarding Operations Support Renewals? Customer Marketing? Training Advisory Pre-sales? PMO Managed Services Domain Experts Architects Who Falls Into CSM?
  19. 19. Sales- oriented Support- oriented Services- oriented Product- oriented • Low ACV OR • High cross-sell / up-sell • Complex deployment OR • Naturally sticky • Low ACV OR • Non-tech user • Low ACV OR • Tech savvy user What Background Fits?
  20. 20. People Analysis ActionThought What Personality Fits?
  21. 21. How Do I Find A Unicorn?
  22. 22. Enlist A Recruiter
  23. 23. What Should I Ask My Candidates? • How do you define Customer Success? • Whom do you admire in Customer Success? • How should I measure you in this job? • How will you track your team’s performance? • What do you look for in team members? • What will you do with the 25th hour of the day? • Tell me about your toughest customer situation
  24. 24. How Can I Test? • Mock board meeting • Mock QBR presentation • Call one of their clients
  25. 25. What Should My Job Description Look Like?
  26. 26. How Can I Sell? • Importance to business model • Customer commitment • Org-wide customer culture • Support from product • Support from sales • Investment (systems, training, comp) • Career growth
  27. 27. Preparing
  28. 28. Background Strategy Operations Prior Experience
  29. 29. What I looked for in an opportunity  Company vision, future prospects, and leadership  A customer-back mindset  Ability to have impact (company readiness to invest / change)  Culture  Specifics: role, comp, career trajectory
  30. 30. Recommendations for Future VPs 1 2 3 4 Define the company stage and complexity that is right for you Make sure you *love* the people and culture Spend a *ton* of time listening Find companies with evidence of a cross- functional, customer-back mindset
  31. 31. Thank You! January 15, 2015