Dear SaaStr: Who Should I Hire First to Get Customer Success Going?


Q: Dear SaaStr: Who Should I Hire First to Get My Customer Success Function Going?

It’s easy — these days.

Just hire a veteran.

I don’t mean a true VP of Customer Success in the early days of revenues … you’re not ready for that yet.

But hire an experienced individual contributor with:

  • at least a few years of CS experience;
  • at roughly the high-end of your price point; that
  • you believe in and would trust with your hard-won customers.

Don’t hire someone without CS experience. You need that, and there are plenty of folks with experience now.  There’s no reason to take that risk any more in most cases.

And don’t hire someone to manage $250k ACV customers that did $2.5k ACV customers in their last job, no matter how much you like them.  They won’t understand your customer base.

Don’t hire someone you don’t intuitively believe in, no matter what their experience. They need to make you comfortable in the interview process with your product and processes. If they don’t make you comfortable — they won’t make the customers comfortable, either.

But to get off the ground, if you hire a vet you believe in, the customers will too. If she’s done a good job at the ACV of your largest customers … that will be a huge upgrade from an all reactive / support model.

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