Finding a new job in customer success can be challenging.

Despite the upturn in available Customer Success roles available over the last few years, finding the right one for you can be a tricky task.

There are so many variables to consider, from a companies stage of growth and how this impacts a CS function, through to what a CSM is responsible for and how this reflects your skillset.

A CSM’s responsibilities can vary greatly from company to company and once you get beyond the title, the requirements are sometimes completely different from one another.

Customer Success is still a relatively new career and many companies are still trying to figure out how to integrate CS into their business.

There are many moving parts which makes it a real challenge to narrow down your search to the ideal position where there is a great fit for both sides.

However, there are some steps you can take which will help identify and secure the right role for you.

1. Are you growth or customer service focused?

Make sure you are clear on your motivators and strengths.

Are you comfortable in commercial roles where you can expect to be focused on sales, retention and up-sell targets? Or are you a “Trusted Advisor” where you’ll be better suited to a relationship building, customer service environment.

In some companies, particularly early stage, you may be expected to be all of these if it’s an early hire in a new team.

Make sure you identify which elements you enjoy the most and play to your strengths.

2. Is the company and product right?

Before you apply make sure you understand the product and can get excited about it. You’ll most likely be the one responsible for evangelising so if it doesn’t spark some degree of excitement, or at least feel you can see a genuine business case or problem it solves then it’s probably not right. There are thousands of B2B SaaS companies in the market and some categories are exceptionally crowded, so product fit is important.

The stage of company growth may impact on the maturity of a CS function. Very early stage companies can be chaotic, lack process and you’ll be expected to roll your sleeves up and work with a high amount of ambiguity and figure things out. Some will love that and thrive, where others will prefer the structure and resource you’ll find in a more mature organisation.

Working in a start-up sounds cool and exciting, but make sure you understand what that means with respect to the day to day job and expectations.

Also, make sure you get clear on the company culture and why people perform well. If you can identify familiar traits that match your own behaviours this will help.

3. Assess the focus of the CS team.

Invest time in researching the Customer Success function at your target company. Job descriptions will rarely give you the full insight you need to understand the fit with your strengths. You can get a feel for the company culture from a website and blog, YouTube, LinkedIn or Glassdoor. This is the minimum you should be doing ahead of making an application; however, I’d suggest taking it a stage further which will save you time and make you stand out against competing candidates.

You need to get under the skin of the specific department you’re applying to and understand if the focus matches your commercial growth or customer service orientated skill-set.

Get proactive! Don’t be afraid to make contact with a hiring manager or existing team members to find out more about the department and their objectives.

Contacting a current team member is great as there is no one better placed to give you an understanding of the day to day role and how Customer Success is viewed internally. You’ll be surprised at how receptive people are to this kind of approach.

Plus, you’ll be in the minority as very few applicants are this proactive. It will make you stand out and could work in your favour at the interview stage.

Equally, if the role you’re applying for is via a recruiter they should be in a position to offer you good quality insight; however, there is nothing stopping you taking the initiative and adopting a more direct approach to assessing suitability.

These few simple steps will help arm you with the information you need to make better applications that are well received by more relevant and well-matched companies. Not only that, once you get to the interview stage, you’ll already have a great foundation to build on with the interviewer given the inside knowledge you’ve gained.

You’ll also be able to tailor your applications with clear reasons as to why you’re suitable and the company is a great fit for you.

If you would like to discuss how you can improve your search for a new role or need help hiring, I’d love to chat!

alan@pie-recruitment.com / 07850739178