Where does Customer Success "live" within your organization and why?

Devin Carrier
Devin Carrier VP, Customer SupportFounding Member | Scholar ✭✭

Acknowledging that Customer Success culture should ultimately span the entire organization, when we look at the Customer Success function (the folks ultimately responsible for supporting the customer journey) there are options in terms of alignment. Where does it sit within your organization? Within Sales / Account Management? Within Services? Within Support? An independent branch? It would be interesting to understand what alignments have been most successful.

Best Answers

Answers

  • Devin Carrier
    Devin Carrier VP, Customer Support Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    Thank you both for the insight! I was thinking that alignment to revenue was key for the purposes of quantifying impact and justifying functional investment. It sounds as though that's still prudent from a metric perspective, but that the organizational strategy needs to support C-level accountability for the customer. Much appreciated.

  • Joe Thomas
    Joe Thomas Analytics Evangelist Founding Analyst | Scholar ✭✭

    we have a CCO that reports to our CEO, the CCO owns CMS , training and our professional services org.

  • Joe Thomas
    Joe Thomas Analytics Evangelist Founding Analyst | Scholar ✭✭

    we have a CCO that reports to our CEO, the CCO owns CMS , training and our professional services org.

  • John Loiacono
    John Loiacono Head of Customer Solutions (Success) Management - GSI Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    At AWS, the customer success function lives with our Customer Solutions Managers (CSM). Our CSMs are part of the sales organization, and work side-by-side with our Global Account Managers (GAM), and our Global Solutions Architects (GSA). This trio are considered the proverbial "three legs of the stool," and make up he core of our global account teams. These global account teams are focused on our largest and most complex customers, their desired outcomes, and their journey to (and within) the cloud.

    At present, we do not have a single-threaded global functional leader for the CSM team. When we do, this leader will report to our VP of WW Sales. In my opinion, this is precisely where customer success should live at AWS, along with our global leader for Solutions Architecture, as our SAs and CSMs work very closely together, and both functions have a technical as well as business focus, with the CSM being less technical and more business focused than the SA.

    In the interim, we have formed a virtual global team of CSM leaders to provide direction, clarity, and alignment across our various CSM teams, and to provide senior leadership with focal-point for communication with the CSM community.

    Given our size, customer success lives in other places too. For instance, we have Partner Success Managers (PSM) who, as you might have already guessed, focus on the success of our partners. For those account teams who lack a CSM, our Account Managers and Solutions Architects often draw on the various mechanisms, metrics, training programs, and best-practices that reside within the CSM community, to infuse their account plans and customer cadence with the elements of customer success they feel are most impactful for their customers.

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