Customer Success: Is it the right time? Written By: admin | Posted On: 03-26-2024 | Category: SaaS

Customer Success: Is it the right time?

An early-stage SaaS business is a rollercoaster at the best of times, so knowing where and when to direct your Go-To-Market efforts is a big problem for founders. While the Top and Bottom of the funnel are oftentimes the areas of focus, with pipeline as king, Customer Success often isn’t on the radar.

Enter 2023, the SaaS landscape is barren, new logo acquisitions are down and spending budgets are slashed. The importance of retention for your current clients is more important than ever. Nurture and care for the customers who believed in you in the past to pull you through the hard times.

If you are navigating the Seed – Series A journey Every. Single. Hire is crucial to the success of your business. You might be thinking “Is it too early for us to hire a CSM?” or “Can we justify the investment at this stage?” Let’s break down the why, when, and how of bringing a CSM on board.

Why a CSM? Now.. Really?

Absolutely. Here’s why: SaaS businesses thrive on recurring revenue, and that revenue is directly linked to customer satisfaction, retention, and ultimately, expansion. A CSM ensures that your customers aren’t just satisfied but are getting maximum value from your product. They’re the ones turning your solution into a can’t-live-without tool for your clients, identifying upsell opportunities, and, importantly, mitigating churn by addressing issues proactively.

In the early days, founders often wore the CSM hat, but as your customer base grows and product offerings become more complex, the need for a dedicated CSM becomes undeniable. They become key in translating customer feedback into actionable insights for your product team, ensuring your SaaS solution evolves in lockstep with your clients’ needs.

Timing is Everything

So, when is the magical moment to hire a CSM? Here are a few signs:

  • PMF & Customer Growth: If your business is consistently successfully landing net-new logos.
  • Growth vs. Support: If the founders or the core team are spending more time on support rather than on strategic growth.
  • Churn Rates: An uptick in churn or difficulty in upselling could signal the need for a more personalized customer success approach.
  • Feedback Loop: When customer feedback starts to feel overwhelming and isn’t systematically used to improve the product.

How to Scout and Secure a CSM Superstar?

  1. Define Success
    Before going to search, outline what success looks like for this role. Is it reducing churn by a specific percentage? Or increasing customer satisfaction scores? Have clear KPIs.
  2. Look for a Passionate Problem-Solver
    Ideal CSM candidates for early-stage SaaS are not just experienced in customer service; they are passionate about solving problems and can wear multiple hats.
  3. Evaluate for Adaptability
    Startups evolve rapidly. A great CSM needs to adapt quickly to changes in both the product and market.
  4. Assess Communication Skills
    They should be able to communicate effectively with both customers and internal teams. Their insights can bridge gaps between user experience and product development.
  5. Use a specialized boutique agency
    Leverage a partnership that understands how to find your perfect CSM with the following qualities: ICP Exposure, experience with a similar product, industry knowledge, and demonstrated history of success.


Now What?

Do you want to explore your options and this is causing you a headache? There is a solution… a Cognatio Solution.