Customer Success Leadership Community

Team Structure and Titles

  • 1.  Team Structure and Titles

    Posted 07-28-2021 08:47
    Hi friends! Accelerating the build of a CS team at a startup and have a chance to rethink design. Has anyone designed a CS team and leveraged generic titles? For instance, individual CSMs titles are all CSM or Customer Success Team and you do not have Sr. CSM and other such titles. However, performance on competencies still drives comp change...just not title change.
    #CustomerSuccess
    #PeopleLeadership
    #Roles&Responsibilities

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    Anthony Edwards
    VP of Customer Success
    TiLT
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  • 2.  RE: Team Structure and Titles

    Posted 07-28-2021 10:24
    IMO, I think that's a bad idea. You need to give your CS team a career path. People are interested in more comp but also career progression. Comp isn't something you show on your LI profile or your CV. Moving from an Associate CSM to CSM to Senior CSM to Principal CSM shows career progression. 

    My two cents.

    Andrew

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    Andrew Marks
    SuccessHACKER
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  • 3.  RE: Team Structure and Titles

    Posted 07-28-2021 11:12
    Hey Anthony! I am also building a CSM team in a startup like environment. The way I approached it is we have tiers for clients and then within each tier there are different level of CSM's. CSM's can advance to handle different tiers of customers or they can stay within a tier that they excel in and still have room to advance. 

    I feel like it is important for people to see there is room for advancement and most people view advancement in titles and not just job duties/compensation. 

    Happy to share what the structure I have created looks like if you want to discuss in more detail.

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    Brooke Carrie
    Director of Customer Success
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  • 4.  RE: Team Structure and Titles

    Posted 08-12-2021 13:41
    I'm also working on this now, thinking about how best to name the skill and responsibility level of more junior CSMs that also encompasses career pathing. Right now we have Customer Success Associates and Customer Success Managers. Thinking about moving entirely to CSM with a qualifier (like Associate, Senior, Enterprise, SMB, etc) to establish skills and growth opportunity. 

    @Andrew Marks do you have any additional resources you can share on this?
    @Brooke Carrie I'd love to see your structure and any specifics you're willing to share!​​

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    Cori Medler
    BombBomb
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  • 5.  RE: Team Structure and Titles

    Posted 08-16-2021 08:14
    Hi - This year, we removed the 'Associate' qualifier on some of our CSMs because I feel like it signals a junior level resource to customers and it leads to them to question why they got that assignment.  We use levels as an internal calibration point that indicates skill and experience level.  I wanted customers to see the CSM as their advocate and champion and not be worried about levels.  

    And we've blended portfolios so that all CSMs have a mix of  different size accounts to ensure that they don't lose sight of the differences between customer spend and needs.  Of course, the more experienced CSMs have more large / complex customers and less experienced ones have a smaller portfolio that will be built up over time.

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    Jennifer Woodford
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  • 6.  RE: Team Structure and Titles

    Posted 08-16-2021 09:13
    Thanks for your insight Jennifer! Really like this approach. Curious, do CSMs have any prefix's to their titles then? (Sr. enterprise, etc)?? I love holding ourself accountable as an organization to internal calibration and honestly, paying people well commensurate on the value they deliver.

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    Anthony Edwards
    VP of Customer Success
    TiLT
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  • 7.  RE: Team Structure and Titles

    Posted 08-12-2021 13:58
    Thanks so much, @Brooke Carrie. I booked time for today bc i'm eager :) but happy to give you more lead time if needed!​

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    Cori Medler
    BombBomb
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