CSM and Product Manager working relationships

adamgibson Member Posts: 2 Newcomer
edited August 2023 in CS Conversations

Hi All,

Im hopeful someone may have a documented workflow or table that outlines the ways in which Product Managers and CSMs work both internally and with customers.

Specifically here it would be good if there was something that outlined where PMs roles stop when it comes to interacting with them? I joined a business to build CS for the first time and to date PMs have held the customer relationship. The business understands the need for CS but product still want a large role in working directly with customers.

I can put something together myself but really keen to get something from the industry that outlines industry standard rather than my opinion.



  • Javed Maqsood
    Javed Maqsood Member Posts: 31 Contributor
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    edited April 2023
    • Product should parter with CS in delivering value in an accelerated fashion. Existing product features working seamless, accelerating time to value, innovation, new features that can be upsold - all on product
    • CS would own the relationship / adoption etc. CS would also create a partnership with Product to journey the customer towards new product innovation, product roadmap, evangelism, design partnership type of programs and activities
    • Lastly, CS facilities bug fixes and feature requests to be submitted by customers. Product owns collecting, prioritizing and communicating a path to resolution to CS and eventually to the customer.

    Hope this helps.


    Javed Maqsood
    Advisor, Mentor
  • Marc Phillips
    Marc Phillips Member Posts: 13 Contributor
    Office Hours Host 2022 Name Dropper First Comment GGR Blogger 2023

    Here is a recent blog post more around the "philosophy" than the practice. In general a practice that has worked well is for PMs to view CSMs as customer proxies since we spend so much time with the customer base. When they have questions about product usage and business challenges/goals, it works well for them to ask the CS team first to harvest the existing information. This doesn't interrupt a customers' day, not risk repeating questions they already answered during conversations with CSMs. It gives the chance for PMs to form initial hypotheses, and identify knowledge gaps. This increases the value of their direct conversations with customers, both for them as well as the customers.

  • Chad Horenfeldt
    Chad Horenfeldt Member Posts: 57 Expert
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    Sounds like you need to take a step back and start with the company goals. What is the focus for 2023? Revenue growth, retention? From there, sit down with the head of product and discuss their goals vs yours and what are joint goals. Then map out how the teams will work together. Don’t rely on industry best practices. This requires cross-functional alignment. 

    Also - due to the cultural norms that exist (Product heavily involved with customers), it can take time for a new CS team to find its footing. Work together on a plan and lead with empathy.