Evaluating CSM performance!

Sanjayan Arulsakaran
Sanjayan Arulsakaran Member Posts: 1 Navigator
edited August 2021 in Metrics & Analytics
Hey All, 

I am familiar with NRR and MRR For the bottom-line measurement of CSM performance, what other metrics are/can be taken into consideration? Specifically, I am thinking about the value that's not captured by the metrics above ... 
  • A customer contact refers new logos
  • A customer contact is a key reference for a New logo deal (% of your portfolio that is reference-able is measured, but not the impact of that reference)
  • A customer contact joins a new company and reaches out to you the CSM about procuring your solution. 
  • You (the CSM) outbound based on where your customer contact or personal contact is now employed [Follow your contacts on LinkedIn :) ]
Could there be an ARRI / NRRI (Annual/Net Recurring Revenue Influenced or Impacted)? 

Or are these value items outside of their performance as a CSM and should be measured separately?


  • William Buckingham
    William Buckingham Member Posts: 39 Expert
    5 Insightfuls First Anniversary First Comment Name Dropper
    edited August 2021
    Hi @Sanjayan Arulsakaran,

    I think the ones you mention are good.   I think the following are interesting to consider:
    1. Percentage of portfolio is Advocates(Referenceable).
      1. Challenge: IF you have zero/few advocates, you might need to track number of Advocates created, and then track the percentage once you stabilize a foundation of advocates.  Another challenge is whether you are doing this on a contact(individual) or account(company) basis - that aspect can get a bit unclear.
    2. Advocacy Event Actually Happens( to your second point)
      1. This could be whether the customer actually speaks with a prospect who signs, actually creates a case study with marketing, actually speaks at an event, etc.  The key difference between this and Advocacy as a status^ is that it typically takes some action on Sales or Marketing for actually driving the event over the finish line. 
    3. Controllables.  The other aspect you can track for performance is the controllables:  Number/Percentage to goal of recurring Check Ins, Customer Business Reviews, Executive Business Reviews, ROI presentations, etc.  
      1. One nice thing about tracking these leading indicators, in addition to lagging indicators/outcomes, is that it can help identify where you need more training and/or different approach.  For example, if everyone is delivering QBRs, EBRs, and ROI but expansions aren't happening you can start to ask more specific questions as to why this is.  Do the customer not believe the ROIs?  Are the right people present at the BRs?  Are our skills in pitching and discovery question insufficient to uncover expansion opportunities?  Etc.  
    4. New ARR that is CS-Influenced:  You can absolutely track ARR/NRR/ New ARR that was CS-influenced. I would think tracking New ARR that was CS Influenced would make most sense.  CSMs fully own the retention and renewal of ARR so that should already be a heavily tracked metric.  You could add how much New/Expansion ARR was CS-influenced.  I think best practice here is to put in a process in which the CSM and Sales Rep closing the deal have a conversation and some checks and balances on each other.  
      1. Challenge: With this, make sure the "CS-Influenced" doesn't detract from the goals/metrics of the Sales Rep - otherwise you'll create a massive distraction for both the CSM and Salesperson as they fight for being the "lead source".   A well-oiled SaaS machine is one which CS activities generate/accelerate/remove roadblocks for expansions - don't make best practices a source of tension internally.  
    5. Customers Buy at New Company:  I like the idea of tracking whether or not customers who move companies buy the product again, but I worry about how to metric and evaluate off it.  I think it's something to track at company-level and give kudos to CSMs when it happens, but the rate of customer employees leaving and joining companies in the position able to make that buying decision can be wildly inconsistent portfolio to portfolio.  If a CSM-contact leaves for a prospect business, the CSM should reach out to THAT contact, and let the Sales Rep on the account know they are doing so.   CSMs having bigger and better fish to fry than outbounding through prospect businesses in my opinion.  Plus, if already a contact you'll now have someone in Sales and CS cold calling lead contacts - I find that muddies the prospect experience.
    6. Adoption Milestones/Metrcis:  Lastly, I'll add that if you can identify key adoption/value metrics which really drive customer retention and perceived value, you can track and reward for achieving these within a given time frame in the customer journey.  For example:  Customer deployed XYZ feature within first 6 months.  Just make sure it abides by the Roles & Responsibilities set for CSMs and Onboarding.  
    Hope this helps.  Happy to chat more about it.

    Will Buckingham

    Customer Success Operations Manager, Enablement