The Principal Customer Success Manager (CSM) role focuses on maximizing customer value and accelerated adoption of their supported solutions. This role coordinates across sales, pre-sales, services, and channel teams to lead customer success strategies. The incumbent analyzes the environment including customer expectations, competitive landscape as well as the customer's technical requirements and define actions to be performed in the solution lifecycle.
The Principal CSM develops and maintains strategic relationships with Sales & Services Management of the customers they support and is seen as a trusted advisor to grow business.
The Principal CSM is expected to be a subject matter expert in multiple families of solutions.
The Principal CSM is responsible for driving a variety of initiatives and projects, coaches and/or mentors others CSMs; and strategically works with sales, partners and customers to uncover and increase emerging business opportunities.
The Principal CSM takes a lead role in defining new customer success management strategies and business processes; prepares the team to be successful through proactive training, sharing knowledge, and communicating best practices.
Key Areas of Responsibility
- Acquires deep technical depth in their role; Is the "Go To" person for the solution, both technically and strategically; is on the forefront of their solution(s) and the implications for CDW offerings.
- Performs a lead role in executing the "Go-to-Market" for new offerings.
- Recommends services that complement and/or round out proposed solution.
- Operates beyond a ‘self’ focus for the benefit of the team and the practice to better CDW’s technology leadership, execution, and overall relevance to our customers; develops standardized templates of deliverables, including the success plan framework, business review templates, and usage reporting; provides leadership to equip CDW to drive adoption of the solution at a high level of quality.
- Develops training materials for team members to use with CDW audiences.
- Promotes a culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration by organizing knowledge bases, contributing regularly, and encouraging team members to contribute.
- Coaches and mentors team members to improve their technical, consulting, and sales skills.
- Conducts skill evaluations during the candidate selection process.
- Assist managers with new hire CSMs’, leads shadow assignments; proactively provides assistance and guidance to new hires to accelerate productivity.
- Follows up on implemented solutions and identifies new opportunities that complement the work that was completed.
- Advises team members and sales prior to customer calls and/or sales strategy sessions.
- Looks beyond the current infrastructure/problem toward a three to five year roadmap.
- Articulates to customers the S3 Practice (Strategic Solutions and Services Practice) value proposition to customers, account managers, and partners and uses it to generate additional revenue opportunities to CDW.
- Initiates new event ideas; collaborates with Partners and Sales to design events that can be replicated by other CSMs; secures funding to support CDW customer events.
- Delivers presentations and conducts sales conversations with confidence and credibility to C-level clients, both in small meeting and large group formats.
- Develops presentation content for the team
- Operates in a regular cadence with partners to educate, plan, and execute on joint strategies in collaboration with multiple stakeholders.
- Shares best practices and effective customer success management approaches with peers to leverage successful approaches across the team.
- Shares best practices and tactics for enhancing profitability and closing deals.
- Acts as subject matter expert for marketing activities (e.g., marketing blog, content, references, videos, etc.); produces marketing-type documents and materials (e.g., data sheet, presentation, demo video) to use throughout the Practice
- Establish a trusted/strategic advisor relationship with each assigned customer and drive continued value of our solutions.
- Work with clients to establish critical goals, or other key performance indicators and aid the customer in achieving their goals.
- Advocate customer needs/issues cross-departmentally.
- Engage with customer executives and other influential stakeholders to identify, define, track and measure the overall impact of your aligned solutions to an organization.
- Ensures customer creates value through defining and achieving business outcomes
- Navigate easily in traditional complex Enterprise environments
- Demonstrates advanced insights and understanding of customer’s business/industry.
- Escalate critical customer issues and ensure escalation ownership with internal resources
- Act as Voice of the Customer and provide feedback to Services, Sales, Operations and Channel teams as appropriate.
- Ensure customers are actively participating as a reference in support of the field winning new business
- Drive customer readiness for service updates, ensuring they are aware of and prepared for potential impacts
- Responds to questions about partner registrations, associated registration issues, and customer engagement history.
- Manages competing priorities and sets expectations with sales and other stakeholders through proactive communication, planning, and potential for return on investment.
- Leads the development of Statements of Work, RPFs, RFIs, and proposal content for cross-technology solutions with high levels of accuracy and quality.
- Maintains pre-sales pipeline data, develops plans, and takes actions to move opportunities to closure.
- Develop and deliver “success plans” to key customers identifying stakeholders, milestones, metrics, and risks inherent in an implementation.
- Partner with the Sales organization in select competitive sales cycles to drive revenue opportunities in new and existing accounts
- Ability to orchestrate and gain strong buy-in with multiple external (e.g. Channel Partner) and internal teams (Account Manager, Field Solution Architect, Customer Engagement Manager) and be highly connected to solution Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) throughout the customer’s lifecycle.
- Measure and the report the impact of the offerings currently in place, so that the customer and CDW have a common understanding of the value they are receiving toward achieving their expected outcomes.
- Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience
- Seven-year minimum technical pre-sales or technical architecting experience
- Prior experience in Customer Success or equivalent history of increasing customer satisfaction, adoption, and retention.
- Demonstrated subject matter expertise in specific technology
- Proven ability to drive continuous value of solution(s)
- Experience working with enterprise customers
- Impeccable written and verbal communication skills
- Detail oriented and analytical
- Strong team player but still a self-starter
- Thrives in a multi-tasking environment and can adjust priorities on-the-fly.
- Stay up to date on products, applications, technical service, market conditions, competitive activities, advertising, and promotional trends through the reading of pertinent literature, seminars, and online training
- Knowledge and proven success of engaging and working with sales teams
- Strong interpersonal and presentation skills, including consulting skills
- Strong passion for learning and teaching others
- Ability to think creatively and come up with proactive ideas that will increase sales
- Strong problem solving skills
- Must be able to communicate effectively and in a constructive manner with management, peers and coworkers
- Proficient in Microsoft office applications