“Do a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
At some point in our lives, we’ve all heard something to that effect. And do you know what – it’s true! Every last word of it.
But that doesn’t take away from this: the amount of money you’re compensated for your labor drastically affects the type of role you take. It’s important to love what you do, but that doesn’t shake the fact that salaries play a central role in deciding on a job.
From an economic perspective, it's accurate to say that under capitalism, the value of an employee to a company is intrinsically linked to their labor productivity.
For a business function like customer success, every ounce of a Customer Success Manager (CSM) is responsible for value realization and sustained customer advocacy, generating brand and revenue growth. In a subscription business, dependent on renewals, customer success is king.
So what does it pay? Traditionally, this type of probing question has been discouraged for fear of impoliteness. But let’s let loose.
In this article, we’re going to flip the bird to that line of thinking and unearth the influencing factors on a CSM salary. We’ll consider how it's affected by:
So if you want to know whether customer success is the right avenue to pursue, or whether your current CSM salary is aligned with your regional average and level of experience, this article is for you.
How much does a Customer Success Manager make?
Before tax and without including bonuses and stock, the average salary for a Customer Success Manager is:
This is a global figure and doesn’t consider the influence of location, experience, education company maturity and industry into the equation. Let’s go into that.
Let’s first decipher how location affects Customer Success Managers' salaries. How does where you live affect your take-home pay?
Customer Success Manager salaries across the globe
There’s no questioning the fact that all CS professionals work insanely hard. The global community of CSMs to CS leaders is what supports the efforts of our global network, Customer Success Collective.
That being said, there’s no shaking the fact that some locations have much higher average salaries. You’ll find the cost of living in one country or city to be ludicrously higher than that in another and, as a rule, salaries are reflective of this.
It’s worth bearing this in mind when pursuing the following information and could be an influential factor if you’re thinking of relocating for your next job.
|Continent 🌍||Average salary 💰||Difference from global average (%) ⚖️|
- In Asia, a Customer Success Manager earns 66% less than the global average salary.
- In Australasia, a Customer Success Manager earns 5% less than the global average salary.
- In Europe, a Customer Success Manager earns 19% less than the global average salary.
- In North America, a Customer Success Manager earns 19% more than the global average salary.
How much does a Customer Success Manager earn in the U.S.?
In the Customer Success Salary Survey 2023, nearly two-thirds of our total survey respondents hailed from North America and 92.3% of all North American respondents were from the United States of America. That’s a pretty big margin.
Since this was such a large proportion of our overall survey respondents, and the North American region with the second-highest global salaries, it seemed only right to investigate how U.S. salaries varied on a state-by-state basis.
In the United States of America, the average baseline salary for a Customer Success Manager (before tax) is $91,879.
|U.S. state 🇺🇸||Average CSM salary 💰||Difference from CSM global average (%) 🌍||Difference from CSM U.S. average (%) 🌎|
- In the state of California, a Customer Success Manager earns 18% more than the global average salary, and 4% less than the U.S. average.
- In the state of Georgia, a Customer Success Manager earns 40% more than the global average salary, and 14% more than the U.S. average.
- In the state of Massachusetts, a Customer Success Manager earns 19% more than the global average salary, and 2% less than the U.S. average.
- In the state of New York, a Customer Success Manager earns 20% more than the global average salary, and 2% less than the U.S. average.
- In the state of North Carolina, a Customer Success Manager earns 9% more than the global average salary, and 11% less than the U.S. average.
- In the state of Texas, a Customer Success Manager earns 18% more than the global average salary, and 4% less than the U.S. average.
How much does a Customer Success Manager earn in the U.K.?
Across the pond over in the United Kingdom, a Customer Success Manager will earn an average baseline salary of $61,978, before tax. 🇬🇧
This is 33% less than the average CSM salary in the U.S., and 17% less than the global average CSM salary.
The gender pay gap in customer success
In recent years, there has been a growing push for increased transparency regarding pay in the workplace.
This demand stems from the alarming disparities that have come to light, exposing significant wage gaps between gender. It’s deeply concerning to discover instances where male individuals are paid more than their female, trans or non-binary colleagues.
Unsurprisingly, this revelation has compelled companies worldwide to critically reassess their compensation practices. Consequently, many organizations are now conducting regular pay reviews to ensure fairness and address any unjust discrepancies.
|Male CSM average baseline salary 🚹||Female CSM average baseline salary 🚺||Male to female % difference|
When writing up our findings in Customer Success Salary Survey 2023, we discovered that an overwhelming majority of our survey participants hailed from the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
Due to these countries contributing to a large proportion of our data, we decided to take a deep dive and look at the gender pay gap in these two countries.
The customer success gender pay gap in the U.S. 🇺🇸
In the U.S., the average baseline salary of a male Customer Success Manager is $88,139 – that’s 4% lower than the national average.
Comparatively, the average baseline salary of a female Customer Success Manager is $91,875. Our research indicates that women in the U.K. earn 4% more than men working as a CSM, and just 0.004% higher than the national average.
The customer success gender pay gap in the UK 🇬🇧
In the United Kingdom, the average baseline salary of a male Customer Success Manager is $81,142, a comfortable 23% higher than the national average.
Comparatively, the average baseline salary of a female Customer Success Manager is $61,365. Our research indicates that women in the U.K. earn 24% less than men working as a CSM, and just 0.9% higher than the national average.
What is the pay progression like in customer success?
Achieving a substantial salary right from the start is a stroke of luck that eludes most people.
For the majority, it takes years of hard work and accumulating experience to earn a higher paycheck. As you gain more experience in your field, you refine your professional skills, opening doors to new opportunities that often align with higher salaries.
By and large, our results in the Customer Success Salary Survey 2023 revealed a trajectory we anticipated – the more senior position, the more experience in the CS field, with the exception of Heads of Customer Success, who, on average, appeared to have less experience than their immediate junior positions.
The immediate jump from a Customer Success Manager role to a Senior Customer Success Manager position bears a salary increase of $8,967.
How does experience affect a Customer Success Manager’s salary?
A huge part of any job search and salary determination is experience. You might find yourself asking questions like, “Am I going to get X job and Y salary based on my current experience?”
“I’ve been working in customer success roles for the past four years – what kind of compensation should I be receiving for this length of experience?” is another astute query everyone should be asking.
Most Customer Success Managers we surveyed have had 1-3 years of experience in customer success. For Senior Customer Success Managers, most people have worked in customer success for 4-5 years.
Looking at global Customer Success Manager salaries, we deciphered that people who’ve only been working in customer success for less than one year earn, on average, $65,661 before tax.
As your experience in customer success increases, so does your salary; CSMs with 1–3 years’ worth of experience earn, on average, $72,744.
For those who’ve been in the game a little longer, and have worked in customer success roles for 4–6 years, these CSMs earn $86,842.
Interestingly, CSMs who’ve worked in the field for 7–9 years earn $74,660. One reason for this discrepancy in our trend could be that larger companies can afford to pay more, and they typically hire less experienced, but still qualified, individuals for these roles to save on costs.
On the other hand, smaller companies or non-profits, which might not have the same resources, often attract more experienced individuals who are willing to accept a lower salary in exchange for other benefits, such as increased autonomy or the ability to work in a more mission-driven organization.
How company maturity affects salary
Similar to customer success, the realm of business lacks a universal formula. When it comes to salaries, they hinge not only on experience, industry, and location but also on the company's size and maturity.
The growth stage of a company plays a vital role in determining the average baseline salary due to various factors. It serves as an indicator of the company's overall revenue performance. For instance, a well-established market leader is likely to have a higher annual recurring revenue (ARR), which tends to correspond to the size of their average salary.
Customer Success Managers working for companies in an early pre-product market fit bring home an average baseline salary of $61,516 before tax – 18% less than the global average CSM salary.
Comparatively, slightly more mature companies in an early post-product market fit, offer CSMs an average baseline salary of $64,519, before tax. This is 14% less than the global average CSM salary.
It would appear as a company matures, so do the salaries of its Customer Success Managers. A CSM working for a company in mid-growth with an established go-to-market team earns a salary of $69,744, making that 7% less than the global average CSM salary.
This trend continues, with CSMs working in a late growth/scale-up organization earning, on average, $82,633 before tax, which is 10% higher than the global average CSM salary. This trend dips off in companies that are well-established market leaders, as the average CSM salary here is $82,590 – $43 less than slightly less mature organizations, but 10% more than the global average CSM salary.
|Company stage 🧓🏼||Average CSM salary 💰|
|Early pre-product market fit||$61,516|
|Early post-product market fit||$64,519|
|Mid-growth with an established go-to-market team||$69,744|
|Well-established market leader||$82,590|
Carry on your financial investigation!
If you’d like to learn more about the different factors influencing a Customer Success Manager's salary, plus take a deeper dive into more senior job titles, you can find all of this and more by downloading the Customer Success Salary Survey 2023.
It’s the most comprehensive study into the behind-the-scenes economic action underpinning the customer success function.
You’ll love this report if you want to:
😍 Discover how much fellow CS professionals are earning.
😍 Identify your earning potential as you climb the customer success ladder.
😍 Verify if you’re being paid what you’re worth.
😍 Plan out your next career move – and decide on a suitable paycheck.