Books/resources to help CSMs push back on customer requests and reframe conversations

Lindsey Kemmerich
Lindsey Kemmerich Member Posts: 8 Seeker
Third Anniversary Photogenic
Hi all - 

We're making a big shift internally in terms of focusing on the roadmap and moving away from ad-hoc, custom work, and weekly triaging/prioritization of suggestions. This of course has ripple effects to CSMs and how they're able to balance customer-centricity and telling them no.

The good news is our Product team is collaborating with us to do a roadshow of the roadmap and help with positioning overall, but I'm seeking additional resources to help build confidence in the team with this change in operations.

Are there any books, articles, etc. you have found useful in enabling CSMs to push back and challenge customers? Even better if it relates to product suggestions.

There are a few I can think of but curious to hear from the community.

Thanks in advance!


  • Andrew Marks
    Andrew Marks Member Posts: 54 Expert
    Second Anniversary 5 Comments Office Hours Host 2022 5 Likes
    edited April 2021


    We just launched a new public training program delivered with our partner, @Anita Toth, around having difficult customer conversations. It's a combination of online learning and live instruction/workshop. It might be just what your team needs. We're also offering it as a private program as well. You can learn more at this link.


    Andrew Marks

  • Ed Powers
    Ed Powers Member Posts: 168 Expert
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Insightfuls 25 Likes
    edited April 2021
  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments Photogenic
    edited April 2021
    @Lindsey Kemmerich  Happy to talk with you about what you need specifically and how I can help you find the answers you're looking for. I'll send a message through the system here.
  • Brian Hoffman
    Brian Hoffman Member Posts: 6 Seeker
    Third Anniversary Photogenic
    edited April 2021
    Full disclosure--I'm on the sales vs. CS side of the house, but a book I loved that I think applies to CS as well is 'Never Split the Difference' by Chris Voss.

    Has great insight on the importance of empathy, and tactical ways to approach difficult conversations.