Any job search platform these days will show that there are thousands of Customer Success (CS) positions waiting to be filled. According to a study by Gainsight, a customer success software platform, “companies that invest 10% or more of their revenue in the CS function have the highest net recurring revenue (NRR).”
This supports the argument that it is necessary not only to have CS jobs, but to have more of them. Simply put, these jobs play an important role in technology companies today.
Like most features, CS continues to evolve and is not a “one size fits all” model. Implementing the right archetype requires careful consideration to ensure that CS teams are focused on the right activities, offer a seamless experience across the entire customer engagement model, and deliver value to end users. Successful companies realize that CS is not just a job or even an organization; it is an organizational mindset that involves action, investment, and coordination across multiple departments, including product development, management, marketing, sales, and technical and customer support.
Customer Success Job Archetypes
In the XaaS model, net recurring revenue (NRR) is a key success metric. It measures the overall impact your existing customers have on generating revenue – in simpler terms, it measures the expansion of the network from churn.
NRR depends on maintaining and expanding your footprint. If the customer does not accept and realize the value of your solution, they will not renew or extend their contract. That’s why technology companies achieved customer success to drive adoption, use and value realization about 20 years ago. Since then, many companies have implemented one or more types of customer success roles.
Companies should not design their customer success roles in a vacuum.
Initially, most customer success roles were adoption or service oriented and filled by talent from the service organization. However, the adoption sales movement naturally leads to customer retention and sales expansion. Today, many companies are creating more commercially oriented customer success roles that focus on renewals and bids, and some even focus on scaling.
Companies most often apply two or more customer success archetypes. These typically vary by customer segment, business vs. technical focus, and sales movement focus: adoption, renewal, upsell, and cross-sell.
While these jobs can vary from company to company, there are three main customer success role archetypes:
This role focuses primarily on adoption. It also typically provides information to help the primary salesperson or renewal role drive expansion or support renewals.