What do you do in the first 2 weeks on the job...

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[Deleted User]
[Deleted User] Posts: 260 Expert
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edited July 2020 in Strategy & Planning

As a new leader (at any level), there is a need to come in and do a few things...

 

? Listen and learn

? Provide quick wins

? Set a new tone, direction and strategy

 

If you were stepping into a new role in a Customer Success organization...

 

What would you do in your first 2 weeks?

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 260 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    @Matt Myszkowski Feel free to expand!

  • Ronald Krisak
    Ronald Krisak Member Posts: 48 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    hi @Jeff Breunsbach, it is balancing the listening/learning versus making an impact.  You were hired/promoted to that role for a reason.  You have to quickly absorb data, the situation, & the environment, then rely on some of the lessons learned from past experience to start to chart a new course for the organization.  I find having some good 1:1s with other key leaders that can highlight some pain points and/or voids that CS can help fill, is a good start.  I also have some good dialogue with my boss of what is keeping him/her up at night....how can I potentially solve that issue.  One of the things I try to avoid is sitting on the sidelines for too long with the excuse that I am still learning.  Be bold & take some action with the best data you have to make some decisions.  

  • gurd3v
    gurd3v Member Posts: 70 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    • 1:1's with leaders in my org and outside my org, where appropriate
      • Ask what 1 mistake may be that they encountered when they started so you know what not to do
    • Organize the data you need to be measured against to define success - get buy in from your manager
      • Maybe you're not collecting the data you need? How do you collect it? Who do you engage to get this data?
    • Refine a short term, mid term and long term strategy and build consensus among leaders to execute against that

    I'm sure there are about 100 other things one could do, but this would be a good starting point based on what your role is

  • Ryan Creamore
    Ryan Creamore Member Posts: 9 Contributor
    edited July 2020
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    @Jeff Breunsbach 

    Map the customer journey.  

    Even if a journey map already exists I want to map it for myself because each stage of the journey is a opportunity for me to learn where we have processes, KPI's, ownership and accountability.  

     

  • gurd3v
    gurd3v Member Posts: 70 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    Doh - in hindsight this certainly should have been on my list...

  • Matt Myszkowski
    Matt Myszkowski Member Posts: 143 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    Hi @Jeff Breunsbach  - your question is very specific to that first 2 week period. And for me, those two weeks should be nothing more than listening (and learning). In interview processes as much as you are selling yourself to a prospective new employer, they are also selling themselves to you so what they share with you will only tell part of the story. Even being as honest and transparent as they believe they are, nothing prepares you for that first 90 days so you need to learn first hand, and quickly.

    What I would add though, is that your vision and beliefs that saw you through the interview process can and should be displayed in those early stages. Talk passionately around what Customer Success means to you, why it is important to the company and your (new) team. You have to sell yourself as someone credible and who will take their team on that journey with you.

    Open up the question to the next 90 days and we can talk more about taking the vision into a strategy, how you communicate & interact, how you engage & build relationships, how you need to change & improve things, and how you ultimately execute based on all you have learnt. 

  • Shelby Czarnota
    Shelby Czarnota Member Posts: 11 Contributor
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    edited July 2020
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    You need to understand the top challenges, systemic issues and barriers to outcomes, intimately.   I would say this is information gathering internally from the direct team you are leading as well as key stakeholders that work directly with your team.    Hopefully there is intel on health and health drivers, current state of the business, churn, etc.   You need to understand from your team what they believe makes them successful, makes customer successful and what is engaging and what is not.    You then need to form a PoV.   

  • David Ellin
    David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    Couldn't agree more with the comments already posted. 1:1's with execs, peers, and direct reports are key. Listen and absorb.

     

    Preparation before the 1:1s is key. Create a list of probing questions to spark conversation.

    • What are the greatest challenges you're facing?
    • What resources are you lacking?
    • What were your greatest wins in the past 12 months (something to duplicate)?
    • Who have been your greatest resources inside the company?

    I'd recommend ending with these two questions:

    • How can we best work together?
    • What can I do to assist you?
  • Gabriel Fallas
    Gabriel Fallas Member Posts: 53 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    I absolutely agree with you @Matt Myszkowski .

    I love the mentality and strategy behind the "quick win" approach but it has to be taken with a grain of salt. I think quick wins within the first two weeks should be narrowed down tools; spreadsheet improvement, building out inexistent documentation, or recommendations (I.e., your team has no meeting scheduling tool and you introduce them to Calendly). 

    Besides that, your goal for those first 15-30 days should be to be a sponge and learn as much as possible from your team, your product and your clients. It is unlikely you can provide a best-fit, sustainable solution if you don't have a deep understanding of those three subjects.

     

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 260 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    "Be bold and take some action with the best data you have to make some decisions" - This is great advice Ronald, thanks. 

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 260 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    Data is a big piece of the puzzle here!

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 260 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    Good one Ryan!

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 260 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    @Matt Myszkowski I like how you mention that you need your beliefs and values to start showing through. As much as you're listening and learning in those first 2 weeks - your colleagues are doing the same in return...so you need to make sure they know what you stand for and believe in

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 260 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    Any go-to questions when it comes to interviewing stakeholders and 'listening'? 

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 260 Expert
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    edited July 2020
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    @David L Ellin I like that ending you mention, need to make sure and start forging relationships from Day 1. You may not be able to always "deliver" what they ask for but if you can hear them and potentially find a solution down the road then that will pay dividends. 

  • Thomas Fortier
    Thomas Fortier Member Posts: 15 Thought Leader
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    edited July 2020
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    I haven't put this into practice, but it came up recently and think it would be good question to ask stakeholders: "How can you help me to help you to help me?" It sounds convoluted, but the point is that the CS team will be relying on every team in the company in one way or another. How can the CS leader ensure that the CS team is communicating with each internal stakeholder group in the most effective and efficient way possible in order to deliver for the customers.