SaaS Job Titles - What do they all mean?

Tammi Canelli
Tammi Canelli Member Posts: 5 Seeker
edited August 2023 in CS Org Conversations
I've spent almost two decades in state/local government and 7 months into a role with a SaaS company - actually we have two divisions: hardware and software.  The hardware side has been around since 1980 with software being fairly new (last few years).

Our organizational structure for software is just starting to grow and job titles/functions are being mentioned that are a bit confusing.  I was hired as a Public Safety Manager with the understanding I'd be handling customer success.  Well what does that mean?

The reality is I find myself handling: onboarding of new clients, account management of established clients, coming up with a customer engagement plan, and sometimes even being asked to help in a pre-sales role.  Don't get me wrong - I am really enjoying what I do but as we grow I want to see us line up the correct positions in the right areas.

Currently we have a GM over SaaS and under him there are: Sales, Product, Customer Success and Engineering.

So what are the distinctions for these and where should they fit in an org:
  • Onboarding/Implementation (are these same/diff?)
  • User Enablement (is this training?)
  • Engagement (should this be its own role?)
  • CSM vs Account Manager vs TAM
  • are there other roles I should know?


  • Victoria Shapira
    Victoria Shapira Member Posts: 3 Seeker
    edited February 2022

    Hi Tammi,

    Usually when companies just start with the Customer Success department there are not a lot of people hired and they are expected to do everything you mentioned from onboarding, training, review adoption usage etc...

    As the company grows and becomes mature the different roles are clearer and sometimes you have within the CS department an Onboarding group - people that intervene only for the first steps of the customer, and Customer Success managers - people that intervene once the customer is set up that can be divided between Enterprise CSM vs SMB CSM.

    Every company defines CS/TAM/AM differently some will be technical roles and sometimes it will be sales oriented.
    Where I work CSM & TAM do not handle sales and the difference is that TAM handle only a few strategic customers while CSM have much bigger portfolio with different segmentation and Account Manager are for Renewal & Expansion (the selling part).
    In other companies CSM are accountable for renewals. There are many models for software companies and you need to find the one that works for yours.

    In addition training and implementation can be part of CS or you could create a Professional Services department.

  • Harsh Shah
    Harsh Shah Member Posts: 40 Expert
    Name Dropper First Comment
    edited February 2022
    Hi Tammi, as per my understanding it seems your organization is quite young when it comes to the software side. Now, the roles and responsibilities which you've mentioned like customer onboarding, training, engagement, CSM, account manager, etc. are all responsible for a dedicated segment of a customer journey. So, it is very common that you've to manage all these activities during an early stage of your organization, and as it grows more dedicated roles will be assigned. I also have gone thoughts this path and it helped me to learn all these segments in detail. This would really help any individual who is starting their career in CS rather than getting involved in only 1 particular segment.

    Best Regards,

    Harsh Shah

    Customer Success Manager, Woliba