In customer success, as in life, you can go through multiple transitions.

A career transition can mean a multitude of things. It could mean moving into a leadership role i.e. going from a Customer Success Manager (CSM) to a Director of Customer Success within your organization. It could also mean joining an entirely different organization, like a startup, and starting a customer success function from scratch.

However, this article will instead examine how we adjust when we become leaders, specifically:

  • The best practices for how to move into an already-established team
  • The challenges you’ll need to overcome in your new leadership role

What does being a customer success leader mean?

I've had the fortune of being a CSM. I’ve also built a customer success organization from scratch, and in my last two roles as Director, I was able to build up an existing team. If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re deeply interested in customer success, and I have a feeling you’re going to be in a leadership position at some point.

Becoming a CS leader can mean a few different things. It can mean taking responsibility for either building an organization or growing an organization that already exists. We can address those responsibilities by thinking about transitions.

Now, as you’ll know if you’ve been through a leadership transition or moved into a different job, it can be complicated. However, they don’t have to be. We can take a few pointers and use them in any type of career transition that we go through.

A CSM’s transition from an individual contributor to manager
The transition from individual contributor to management isn’t exactly the simplest one; there are some fundamental shifts that you need to make when you go from dreaming about this career move to making it a reality.