Dear Insider: What’s the Career Path of a CS Team Leader?

Dear Insider: What’s the Career Path of a CS Team Leader?

Need to vent or ask for advice? We're here to help!

Ask anything here anonymously and we'll answer in our next installment of Dear Insider.

Q: What's the career path of a customer success team leader and the required soft and technical skills?

The career path of a Customer Success Team Leader can vary depending on the organization and industry.

Typically, you will see the following:

  • Team Lead
  • Head of Customer Success
  • Director of Customer Success
  • Senior Director of Customer Success
  • VP of Customer Success
  • SVP of Customer Success
  • CCO

That said, there are so many flavors of each of these roles, and they can be dependent on the company. For example, a Director of Customer Success at an early-stage startup might oversee the entire CS team and be responsible for building the CS practice. In contrast, a Director of Customer Success at a Global Company might oversee a regional team in a specific segment. While both these roles have the same title, the work and responsibilities are very different - also, the skills necessary to do the work are very different.

Skills will be in line with the role, and while there will be specific skills required depending on the scope, there are a few skills that are standard for a CS Leader:

  • Strong Communication
  • Financial Literacy
  • Business Acumen
  • Analytical Skills
  • Empathy
  • Data Analysis
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Project Management

While this is not an exhaustive list, having these skills will ensure you have a strong foundation to be successful in any role.

Q: What is your daily routine as a CCO?

The role of the CCO looks different at every company - the stage, maturity, strategy, and customers will all contribute to defining the scope of what the day-to-day looks like. That said, fundamentally, there are some things that are a part of the job responsibility and will define what I will do daily or weekly.

  1. Customer Meetings: Hopefully, most of my customer engagements are proactive and not escalations, but I will spend about 30% of my week in customer meetings.
  2. Data Analysis: Data drives everything! I am constantly looking at customer and business data to understand performance and impact. It’s also imperative that we use the data to make decisions that will drive the business.
  3. Internal Meetings: There is no way to avoid this … but I’m in lots of meetings. Some of the meetings are 1:1’s with direct reports, some are team meetings, some are operational meetings, and then, of course, there are the leadership and planning meetings.
  4. Strategy Design and Operations: I’m ultimately responsible for designing the operating model for the entire CX organization so it could be producing content, optimizing tools and systems, making process recommendations etc. I’m always testing and working to drive efficiency.
  5. Community: Because of my role and our industry a good amount of my time is spent serving the community - speaking engagements, attending events, webinars, social media etc. It’s imperative that I stay active in the community.

The best part of my job is that no two days look the same. I have the ability to drive real impact for the business, for my team, and for our customers.


Want to get advice from CS Insider and Kristi Faltorusso?

Send your questions for publication here. (Questions may be edited for length.)


Q: We are a SaaS business just starting to create a success assistance deck for our Sales team. We aim to use our customer success services as a Sales point for higher deal sized (looking to upmarket). What would you advise us to include in this deck?

It’s wonderful that you are looking to bring Success into the Sales process. This is the best time to align with the customer and set proper expectations.

Remember, as you are designing these assets, it’s not just about creating the deck but about enablement as well. You’ll need to ensure that everyone on the sales team knows how to position Success, that they are armed with FAQs, that they understand when to use this talk track, and so much more. Getting this right and leading the change management efforts that come along with this will be key.

But let’s get back to the deck cause that’s what you asked about.

If I am building resources for the sales team to discuss Customer Success, here is what I’d include:

  1. Value Proposition: What is the value of working with your Customer Success team? Remember, this is not what Customer Success will do but the impact they will have.
  2. Align on Expectations: Paint a picture on what it will be like to work with your Customer Success team - highlight the people, the experience, and knowledge, include testimonials - sell Customer Success
  3. What You’ll Get: Include content outlining what you’ll get from Customer Success - talk about how they engage, what they do, and anything tangible. Highlight it all here.
  4. How You’ll Do It: Outline HOW you’ll do what you do. It will be critical for them to understand how you’ll execute and what their role is in all of this.
  5. FAQ: Include some frequently asked questions, but then leave time to address their questions or concerns.

Remember that the goal here is to sell the value, set proper expectations, provide visibility into what and how, and ensure they feel comfortable moving forward.

Latest Posts