Assigning 2 CSM's for 1 Account

Shari Srebnick
Shari Srebnick Member Posts: 111 Expert
First Comment First Anniversary Name Dropper
edited August 2023 in CS Org Conversations
Hi GGR Fam,

Has anyone assigned 2 CSM's for 1 account?  Does anyone employ a model/strategy where that might be applicable for some accounts and has it worked?  

Some context:

Sales has a prospect in the pipeline that's soon to close and it will be a large enterprise account.  We have plenty of big, key accounts in our book of business - but this one will have a particularly large engagement with us and their team(s) will be 60+.  There will be a lot of heavy lifting, especially in the beginning.  Therefore I am trying to decide the best path forward and create a playbook for this scenario since I believe we will see more of this in the future.

My thoughts:

1: Assign 2 CSM's to work in tandem on this account.  Account plans,  Joint Success Plans, onboarding, etc - would be a divide and conquer and ironed out prior to the start of the engagement.  I'd want to ensure that everything moves seamlessly through the customer journey.

2: Both CSM's attend all kickoff calls (internal and partnership), collaborate on onboarding, then transition to the 1 CSM who will own the account.

Any thoughts?  Suggestions?  




  • Clint Kelson
    Clint Kelson Member Posts: 8 Seeker
    edited November 2020
    Hi Shari,

    I've seen this done before - depending on needs you could explore a Strategic/Senior CSM partnered with a less experienced CSM that can help with follow through items (leverage as a great learning/mentoring experience possibly). Or you can look at using two rockstar CSM's if it's that important to you. Either way - having two CSM's on a deal like this can help keep them both on their A-game and holding each other accountable to the customer. My only recommendation would be to set clear expectations at the beginning that this set up is for a specified amount of time, etc so they don't expect this long term.
  • Madhur Choudhary
    Madhur Choudhary Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited November 2020

    Hi Shari,

    We do that as a standard practice for large clients i.e. one Primary and one Secondary CSM for each account and they are involved for the whole client life cycle. I personally think it's a good idea, but there are also things to keep in mind while getting into it:


    • Client Experience - For high touchpoint clients, it enhances the client experience with quick turnaround and almost no impact during the absence of Primary CSM
    • Workload Management - to manage high workloads like in your case
    • Team Growth - helps to foster a symbiotic and growth culture
    • Range of Skillsets - I also allocate the CSMs according to their range of skillsets so they can both learn from each other and come up with more creative solutions for client requirements
    • Expectations: As Clint stated rightly, it's really important to set the right expectations from the beginning. We also have a high-level division of work.
    • Communication: We have weekly sync up between primary and secondary CSMs to go over all their common clients and take a step back and reflect on them. I also bring this up always in my 1:1s to make sure everyone is heard about working with others - especially the secondaries. 
    • Feedback: We haven't done this, but I wish if we could have a feedback session where both the CSMs can provide valuable feedback to each other. Do let me know if you have any suggestions for this one!

    With time, we have also created a Product Consulting team that helps with heavy implementations and PoCs.

    Given that you are only going to have 2 CSMs in the initial stages and transition it to full ownership to 1 CSM, it should be fine. Hope that helps!


  • Shari Srebnick
    Shari Srebnick Member Posts: 111 Expert
    First Comment First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited November 2020
    Thanks both!  Definitely great insights and food for though.

    Appreciate it!
  • Doug Moran
    Doug Moran Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    First Anniversary
    edited November 2020

    Hi Shari,


    We've had a lot of success when key accounts have two CSMs each with ownership of different LOBs.  I've found that running a major account with various LOBs is almost like having a book with numerous accounts.  The team keeps each other cc'd on all comms so everyone knows what's happening across the org and often join the other's calls. Not only does this help with knowledge sharing but it makes up / cross selling easier by leveraging wins from different parts of the org.  


    Allowing each CSM to own a part of the business has helped inspire a sense of ownership and healthy competition. There is also a shared quota which creates a lot of collaboration across the pod.


    FYI this set up if specific to media sales so not sure if there might be some challenges to a set up like this when working in SaaS.