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CSM capacity and resource planning

May 1, 2020
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  • Buckets of work to consider that ties to a customer - who are you assigning to do the work in each? 
    • Commercial
    • Business Domain
    • Technical
    • Relationship
  • Consider launching customer support and making sure that it is working before you consider scaling the efforts of customer success. You need to make sure the “reactive” is taken care of. 
  • Typical planning process for headcount based on the group discussion:
    • Build the engagement model - i.e. what activities are we asking for the CSM to do? How long will it take them? 
      • Then back into how many customers a CSM could take on in that segment of the business
      • Remember to take out about 20% capacity for PTO, personal time and general admin when you associate a CSMs time
    • Put together your ideal scenario based on your engagement model broken down by segments of the business
      • Activities to be performed
      • How long will each activity take
      • Technology overlay
    • Refine the model with FP&A as you look at budget implications
    • As the leader you need to ask yourself: 
      • What is of most importance? 
      • Where does risk lye that I need to make sure and cover?
  • We need to get the mindset away from ARR into something that relates back to ‘Needs’ of our customers business
  • When you begin to expand outside of North America, there are several differences with customers in EMEA, Asia, South America, etc. They expect different levels of service and the markets are at different maturity levels. Be considerate of this within your engagement model. 

David Madeo had a different perspective: 

  1. What’s the minimum base layer of customer success that all customers will get? 
  2. Which customers are at risk and what level of customer success will they need?
  3. Which customers will see growth and what level of customer success will they need?
  4. If you can establish the base layer of customer success - it opens the door for a conversation if a customer wants *more* from your team
  5. Analogy: 
    1. Gym analogy for SaaS companies
      1. Professional Services are physical therapists - they work on specific problems
      2. Customer Success are personal trainers - every week we do something different (what we do changes, but the goal is always the same)

The big question: How do you justify the addition of another headcount? 

  1. Need to have a clear and established model that is agreed upon by the executive team
  2. It makes the conversation ‘easier’ when that is established - you all have the same reference points to work from as you refresh the data
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