Customer Success Cases

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Glenn Hummel: Leadership Transformation & CSPD

Coaching Type:   CS Career Crusher

Coaching Length: 3 months

Goal:   Improve as a leader & help his direct reports improve as a team

COACHING SUCCESS FACTOR PLAYBOOKS: Leadership Transformation Pilot & Customer Success Professional Development Pilot

I highly recommend Dana Soza as both a Leadership and Customer Success Management coach. Dana really took the time to learn what I wanted to get out of the engagement and where my starting points were. She crafted an individual response plan and worked with me to improve very specific areas. Dana has many ideas and tools to help along the way. 

 

She is very personable and action-oriented. Dana will push you to be a better version of yourself, which is what a great coach should do! I benefited greatly from working with her and remain a big fan/supporter of Dana and her methods." 

 

Glenn Hummel, Senior Manager, CSM, Global at AVEVA

COACHING QUICK FACTS

Many unknowns as OSIsoft went through the process of merging with, and being acquired by, AVEVA. Desire to improve leadership skills and retain his “rockstar” team.

CHALLENGE

Glenn desired continued improvement of his leadership skills, while finding a path forward to mitigate any employee churn of his “rockstar” team.  These goals were even more significant as OSIsoft was facing some unknowns with the acquisition by AVEVA happening in tandem.  So, he also wanted to demonstrate in a marked way that he was the right person to be leading his top-performing team through this transition.

Based on his goals, we developed two pilot programs using two assessments given anonymously to his direct reports and direct manager (provided pre- and post-coaching): a (1) Leadership Behavior Questionnaire, and (2) Team Excellence & Collaboration.

RESULTS

With Dana’s iterative process, guidance, and insights from the surveys, Glenn achieved several successes.  (1) He transformed as a leader, becoming more transparent with his team, as this was a time of great uncertainty.  (2) He also created a Leadership Committee comprised of several top performing team members.  (3) Together, Glenn and his Leadership Committee met regularly to brainstorm and develop ways to push his team to greater heights.  

And there were two direct outcomes his team responded very favorably to: (1) Pooling the team’s collective knowledge with autonomous team-driven collaboration meetings to discuss customers challenges & brainstorm solutions together.  This has proved to be a huge hit and has made them closer as a team.  (2) Rolling out Microsoft Planner to better prioritize and track tasks, which gave team members greater visibility on key items.  Secondly, the team themselves developed their own meeting cadence and sessions to discuss their own challenges and customer concerns.  

 

  1. Promoted to global leadership role in less than 6 months of coaching

  2. 80% retention rate of team – top performers

  3. Team Excellence Survey response increase from 3.68 to 3.82 (scale 1-4)

  4. Leadership Transformation Survey response increase from 4.5 to 4.8 (scale 1-5)

  5. Anonymous comment from one of Glenn’s team in response to the Team Excellence survey: “Our team has excelled in the changing times under Glenn's leadership. Glenn has shown his sensitive side during the challenges we all face during these times and has provided great leadership during the pandemic and the AVEVA acquisition.” 

CUSTOM DELIVERABLES

  1. Pre- and Post-Questionnaires

  2. “Leadership Behavior Questionnaire” and “Team Excellence & Collaboration Questionnaire”

  3. Leadership Transformation Plan - pilot

  4. Strategic Framework, Final Playbook template, WIP Playbook, Strategic Framework, Data Score Report & Insights 

  5. Customer Success Professional Development Program - pilot

  6. Strategic Framework, Final Playbook template, WIP Playbook, Strategic Framework, Data Score Report & Insights

  7. Final Go-Forward Plan

  8. Final Coaching Success Summary to direct manager

 
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Bertil Weil - CSM Career Transition

Coaching Type:  CS Career Newbie

Coaching Length: 3 months

Goal:   Pivot from Sr. Account Manager his first CSM role in SaaS with ideal/right-fit employer

COACHING SUCCESS FACTOR PLAYBOOKS: “Raise CS IQ”, Job Search strategy, CS Community Thought Leadership and Engagement

Dana helped me create MY story as I was pivoting into Customer Success.  You need to be ready to go down the rabbit hole...all the way down, because she makes it her personal mission to get you where you need to go. ”

 

Bertil Weil, Customer Success Executive - Global Strategic Accounts

COACHING QUICK FACTS

Pivoting from Account Management at a Research & Consulting Firm into Customer Success at a SaaS Ops organization.  

CHALLENGE

After over two years as a Sr. Account Manager at Gartner, a Fortune 500 and NYSE Research and Consulting Firm, Bertil wanted to focus more on delivering value and achieving his client’s desired outcomes, and knew customer success was where he wanted to be.

 

This goal was even more significant given his future aspirations of landing a promotion within 24 months, and potentially a Chief Customer Officer position within 5 years, therefore achieving results quickly was of utmost importance. Further, because of economic conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he faced a substantial amount of competition, and a finite amount of time to demonstrate he was the right person for the job…READ MORE

 

Based on his goals we focused on three areas:  (1) Navigating the customer success job-hunting process quickly and in a strategic way, (2) Raising his “CS IQ”, and (3) Becoming a well-known figure in the customer success community.

RESULTS

With Dana’s guidance, Bertil achieved several successes: (1) He received 3 job offers in a 2-week time frame, including his #1 company choice, and (2) Leveraged these offers to secure a comp package that was commensurate with his experience and value, and (3) Gained a Customer Success Executive  at his #1 preferred SaaS Ops company, BetterCloud, in 6 weeks time. 


And in less than a year he has become a well-known and respected member of the customer success community.  He’s been named a Top 25 North America Customer Success Leader Watchlist by SuccessHACKERS, became a BetterCloud Certified Admin, completed a Winning by Design Customer Success Certification course, is a Volunteer Coach for Practical CSM, and more.

 

  1. Landed a Customer Success Manager, Global Strategic Accounts role

  2. Hired at his #1 choice company

  3. Received 3 job offers in a 2-week time frame

  4. Hired in 6 weeks 

  5. Leveraged offers to receive a comp package that was commensurate with what he brought to the table.

  6. Named Top 25 North America Customer Success Leader Watchlist

CUSTOM DELIVERABLES

  1. Crafting and updating resume,  +3 design options

  2. Creation of custom 150-word “Uniquely You” statement 

  3. Redesign and complete resume revamp

 
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Elizabeth Whalen: Professional Identity Assessments

Coaching Type:  CS Career Climber “Tune Up” 

Coaching Length: 1 month

Goal:   Determine whether to stay in current CSM role or look elsewhere for better opportunities 

COACHING SUCCESS FACTOR PLAYBOOKS: Professional Identity & Interview Mastery

...my lack of clarity was around how I perceived myself professionally, how much I doubted my instincts that I could be doing better, and my tendency to choose roles at companies that couldn’t offer what I needed. Our engagements gave me the momentum I needed to stop screwing around and start asking for what I deserved.” 

 

Elizabeth Whalen, Customer Success Manager

COACHING QUICK FACTS

Unsure of next steps professionally within customer success career.  Desired more clarity on what her next move should be.

CHALLENGE

Elizabeth was at a crossroads.  As a strong performing CSM at her current company, she was on the leadership track, but wasn’t sure if it was where she wanted to “hang her hat”.  She knew her tendency was to take the path of least resistance, but wanted to stretch herself professionally and personally, shake things up, and try something new.  

 

Her goals were even more significant given the fact that her current employer valued her talent and was potentially looking to promote her, so feeling incredibly confident in her final decision was imperative.

 

Based on her goals we focused on: (1)  Completing and analyzing a number of self-assessments, (2) Providing and completing several signature job-searching templates, and (3) Awareness of the value she brings to the table.

RESULTS

In Elizabeth’s own words: “Our engagement set me up for success. Something that was really helpful for me was realizing that I wasn't "bad at interviewing". Instead, I wasn't well-prepared for interviews. Leaving our engagements with solid interview resources set me up for success long term.”

  1. Received 3 job offers in 4 weeks.

  2. Accepted offer at her #1 company choice “dream employer” (an extremely competitive and desirable place to work in healthtech, with an intensely thorough interview process.)

  3. Leveraged other offers to negotiate a very attractive comp package.

  4. Offered a promotion at current company, but ultimately chose to move on.

CUSTOM DELIVERABLES

  1. Several self-assessments, analysis worksheets and workbooks

  2. A number of Dana’s signature “Learn Your ABC’s” templates

  3. Employment Success Framework and Playbook

 
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Lois Aji: CSM Knowledge & Training

Coaching Type:  CS Career Climber

Coaching Length: 3 months

Goal:    On-the-Job CSM Training

COACHING SUCCESS FACTOR PLAYBOOKS: Pass the first 90 days as a CSM with flying colors, and Raise CS IQ

Dana helped me feel comfortable and at ease as I transitioned into a new role with new responsibilities. I am grateful for the time, dedication, encouragement and overall professional expertise she shared with me which, in turn, helped me to quickly and simultaneously bring value - and, therefore, success - to my team and my customers. 

Lois Aji, Manager of Customer Success: Enterprise & Mid-Market Strategic

COACHING QUICK FACTS

Promoted within the same company into a customer success role.  No Customer Success knowledge or experience. Unsure what would be expected of her.

CHALLENGE

Since being promoted internally from a Sales Development Representative (SDR) to to CSM, Enterprise Accounts, Lois discovered numerous personal strengths, as well as critical barriers to success in this new role.

 

These qualities are even more significant given her goal of excelling in her new CSM role quickly. While doing so, she was expected to hit the ground running with her first account and navigate the murky waters of CS delivery, while quickly upskilling in customer success in order to “talk the talk and walk the walk” with all internal teams.

 

Her success was dependent upon quickly understanding how to manage her assigned accounts using customer success principles/methodologies and determining what they already have in place, and what she needs to create, as well as what they (and Lois’s customer’s) are expecting of her.

 

Past success in the company as an SDR along with her strong relationship-building skills served her well. However, in this CSM role, she must manage customers strategically throughout their entire lifecycle and do so with the appearance of ease. Further, she had a finite amount of time to demonstrate that she’s the right person for the job.

RESULTS

Lois did indeed pass her first 90 days with flying colors: She was promoted to Strategic Accounts within 3 months and hit 100% of her comp plan. She was also praised by leadership for her ingenuity, and developed more confidence in running internal team alignment calls. Within her first year as a CSM, Lois was tapped for a leadership position by upper management and ultimately promoted into a team lead, and she was approached for a seat on an Advisory Board for a CX program at UCSB.

  1. Promoted to Strategic Accounts within 3 months.

  2. Tapped for leadership opportunity within less than 1 year by upper management.

  3. Praised by leadership for her ingenuity.

  4. Confidence in running internal team alignment calls.

  5. Hit 100% of comp plan.

  6. Approached for an Advisory Board position