POLL: Where should customer success live within a SaaS based company?

Options
Alejandro Sanchez
Alejandro Sanchez Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
Name Dropper First Comment First Anniversary
edited August 2023 in Strategy & Planning
I posted this poll on LinkedIn and have seen a wide array of opinions. I would like to gather more data and was wondering if my CS peeps here can help. since there is no Poll format here, I just put the options with numbers. Just comment with the number and if you want to add a comment feel free to do so.

The discussion is the following. Despite Customer success being an area and philosophy that has existed in SaaS for almost two decades, its role is still misunderstood across many organizations and therefore, CS teams don't have a standard place within orgs. Some are housed under Revenue, others under Ops, others in Services, others within PM and/or Engineering.

Calling my CS colleagues. What do you think? vote below.

1. Sales/revenue (under CRO)
2. Operations (under COO)
3. Customer service/services
4. Under PM and or Engineering?
5. On its own (Chief CS reports directly to CEO)
Tagged:

Comments

  • Ross Reitman
    Ross Reitman Member Posts: 14 Thought Leader
    Name Dropper First Comment First Anniversary
    Options
    5 - the work and methodology leads to a different toolset/skillset/mindset and collaboration model that is inherently different than the other departments listed above. It is important that CS gets to focus on its need and have an equal seat at the table to discuss company initiatives, customer needs and what their department needs.
  • weems_katrina
    weems_katrina Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Comment
    Options
    I agree with  @Ross Reitman , 5.  It is a very important function and when it gets lumped in with other departments it doesn't have an equal seat at the table and it should. So many times I have seen when it is lumped with another department it gets overtaken and our CS goals and objectives are sidelined for the larger department the CS team is sitting under.  
  • Harsh Shah
    Harsh Shah Member Posts: 40 Expert
    Name Dropper First Comment
    edited September 2022
    Options
    Based on the company size and other parameters, you can define the hierarchy. For me, there could be 2 ways to set it up based on company size.
    1. Small and mid-size companies: CS lead or VP of CS report to the CEO so option 5.
    2. Large enterprise companies: CS lead or VP of CS should report to CRO (same as sales) so option 1. 
    Apart from this, there is a third scenario for enterprise companies. In which the CS lead or VP of CS report to the CCO.

    Best Regards,

    Harsh Shah

    Customer Success Manager, Woliba

    Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/harshshah-15/

    Email: hcshah15.hs@gmail.com

  • Alejandro Sanchez
    Alejandro Sanchez Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
    Name Dropper First Comment First Anniversary
    Options
    Thanks for your engagement. I've been thinking a lot about this and I am aligned with @Harsh Shah. It depends. And after many conversations with CS professionals and other colleagues within SaaS companies and extensive research, I've simplified the variables and have concluded that it depends on two variables. One is the complexity of your product and two is the size and type of customer you have. I'll explore more on this in a future Linkedin post but wanted to throw this out there.