CSM certifications

EvaS Member Posts: 18 Navigator
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Do you believe a CSM with a 2 years tenure should look into getting certified? I see quite a few offers like SuccessCoach etc and wondering how worth it is to invest that amount of money.

Shall I invest it in other certifications/courses that add more value?




  • Andrew Shoaff
    Andrew Shoaff Member Posts: 25 Thought Leader
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    Hey Eva,

    I think the question is what exactly were they doing in those two years and in what areas do they need to grow professionally to serve your company/customers the best? For example, I've found that if a CSM has experience with SMB customers and SMB CS execution they may struggle initially when put in a CSM role where they are expected to develop relationships with C suite execs at very large companies. The person may fully understand the basis of CS, but executing with a different caliber of customer requires more specialized enablement.

    I try to break things down by the skillsets necessary per customer segment and per CS seniority/advancement. A person with 2 years experience may not need SuccessCoaching level I, for example, but they might well benefit from deeper enablement on things like negotiation and crisis management.

    So my 2cents here is to figure out the skillsets necessary at each step and then look for resources (certs, etc) that address those needs. Your team will likely embrace the process when it feels like it's curated thoughtfully for their role.


  • Chitra Madhwacharyula
    Chitra Madhwacharyula Member Posts: 20 Contributor
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    I have always invested in CS certifications to create a baseline of knowledge and understanding of the CSM role within my teams. Most times, people in CS come from different backgrounds and experiences. So creating this baseline helps with standardizing the practice and increasing operational efficiences. The team also seems to appreciate these formal validations of their skills, something they can put on their LI profiles and consider the time spent on certifications to be a worthwhile investment.

    Chitra Madhwacharyula

    Customer and Partner Success Executive


    Author of 'Scaling Customer Success': https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-1-4842-9192-4

  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 96 Expert
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    I am a big fan. I like to assign these a Personal Development initiatives

  • DbradyScaledCS
    DbradyScaledCS Member Posts: 9 Navigator
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    You might have asked this already... but I am curious, what is the certification for? and, who is it for?

    If it's for signaling that you know a thing, then it might be for a future hiring manager who cares about that. There are some that do, and some that don't.

    If it's for learning and acquiring new skills, there could be cheaper (and free) options out there that give you that experience.

    Having said all that, I'm a bit biased.

    I don't have a college degree, and I'm a bit of a contrarian. @Andrew Shoaff would be the first to attest to that ;-) (good to see you here, btw!)

    Though... Seth Godin, if you find his work thought-provoking, has some fun ideas on this subject and here.

    I love this question, @EvaS ! Thanks for asking!

  • Natasha Alsaffar
    Natasha Alsaffar Member Posts: 1 Navigator
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    I'm a big fan and encourage my team members to pursue these to build domain knowledge and learn best practices. I just completed the Customer Success Leadership Certificate from The Success League. Highly recommend. They also have a CSM Certification.

  • EvaS
    EvaS Member Posts: 18 Navigator
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    @DbradyScaledCS thanks for sharing the content. I haven't been to college either and I'm also a bit intimidated by colleagues who collected a lot of paper....

  • DbradyScaledCS
    DbradyScaledCS Member Posts: 9 Navigator
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    I keep my kindergarten diploma on my wall because it covers the essentials: I play well with others, I show up on time... I still don't color in the lines very well yet. LOL. Thank goodness I don't post my report card.

  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 181 Expert
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    Which ones are legitimate? So many look like money grabs that have little, if any value.

  • DJSargent_CLD
    DJSargent_CLD Member Posts: 4 Navigator
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    I agree with some of the other posts here that creating a baseline of CSM skills and certified knowledge is a benefit to the organization. It can also be used by Sales as a lever that "all our CSMs are certified experts in our product but also in your success".

    There is also a personal development and employee motivation factor at play as well, as by the organization investing in training for those individuals it shows that we want them to succeed and that we value their own professional growth.