Your CSM supports your customers as they transition from won customers to active product users. They focus on building loyalty and long-term client relationships, and the same rep will often stay with their customers as long as they are with your business.
To separate the CSM from sales a bit, think of it like this: your salespeople get customers in, and your CSM makes them stay with you.
So, why is customer success such a big deal?
Subscription is King
Freemium, pay-as-you-go, and tiered fixed fees are all different subscription models. There are more, of course, and it seems like they’re all here to stay.
Customers are drawn to the convenience and flexibility that’s offered through subscriptions, and they appreciate the hassle-free ways they access products and services regularly. Being able to also easily opt out of their plan if it’s not a good fit only adds to this.
And, from streaming services for $10 a month to dinner kits for $100 a month to B2B software for $100k a year – it is now a subscriber’s world.
Adapt or Die
Instead of panicking, many companies realized the power of subscriptions: they generate recurring revenue.
What these companies need to do now is to find ways to provide consistent value throughout their customers’ life cycle. If they provide a recurring impact, there’s no need for customers to change anything.
Voilà – recurring revenue!
But, just throwing customers onto a complex and difficult-to-understand product might not get them to derive that value. This is a particularly important lesson for B2B software companies.
They might not think the product is effective enough without proper onboarding and guidance. Or that it doesn’t cure their particular headaches. Maybe it’s just an ongoing conversation that’s missing – perhaps even a valuable one, full of important insights?
The sales rep promised them the world, but to realize this value, the user also needs to be able to use the product. And often.
In many cases, your recurring impact comes from one place: your CSM.
And, yes – many will cry out “No! It’s the product!”.
But with complex tools, in particular, you need the other side as well.
This Time It’s Personal
Think of your business as a gym. The salespeople and AEs are the ones making phone calls, sending emails, knocking on doors, and trying to sell gym memberships around town. Their job goal is to get as many new sign-ups as possible.
Your CSM team would be the personal trainers of your gym in this analogy, and their job is a little different. Instead of chasing new customers, they keep track of your existing customers’ progress and help them reach their individual goals.
Just like personal trainers push clients to complete that extra rep or lap, the CSMs keep customers motivated and informed on their progress, and ensure they’re using your product to their full potential.
As your CSM continues to support their customers, they will also get a deeper understanding of and can tailor their services better. Now, armed with greater knowledge, they can provide even more accurate coaching and advice for the customer and trust is built.
But your CSM is not merely selling. They understand their customer’s needs now and can give better advice. The addons, payment plans, package upgrades, or consultancy services they suggest are all things that will make a difference for the client.
And any success they have will be a shared one, as finding the right solutions at the right time will only strengthen the relationship further.
Understanding how to best work with your Customer Success and subscription offers will help you create better scalability. What’s more, being able to prove a recurring revenue will be attractive to any potential investors.
And speaking of subscriptions… don’t miss out on joining our founder Toni on Substack, where he shares his thoughts on B2B SaaS (and occasionally other things).