Becoming a CS Team Lead

Adam Beaton
Adam Beaton Member Posts: 1 Navigator
edited February 2022 in Strategy & Planning

Hey Gain Grow Retain Community! 


My name is Adam, and I'm a new member to this awesome community I found thanks to Jeff! I have a question regarding the path to CS leadership, and steps people have taken to put themselves on top, and a recognized member of your organization. My company is moving from an Account Management model, to a Customer Success focused team, and I have implemented some early ideas with leadership that put me on a fast track to team lead. 

My question is, what are some successful things you can share with me to better myself entering a team lead position? What ideas, strategies, and playbooks helped you early on in your career to drive change in the organization to focus on retention and existing business?


Thanks in advance for your advice!

Comments

  • LouiseC
    LouiseC Member Posts: 8 Seeker
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Comment Photogenic
    edited February 2022
    Hey Adam,

    Congratulations! My biggest piece of advice is not to try to tackle too much at once, otherwise, you'll quickly become overwhelmed and not be able to deliver good work on anything as you're spreading too thin.

    Start with getting an overview of what is actually expected in your first 6-12 months in this new role, why has the business shifted to this model? What is your functional director looking to achieve and from this break it down into priority - i.e. what's the biggest challenge - retention/onboarding/implementation? 

    Sign up to all the webinars you can, listen to podcasts and subscribe to blogs.  All of the success software providers typically have great relevant blogs you can subscribe to.

    Good Luck!

  • Jeremy Donaldson
    Jeremy Donaldson Member Posts: 71 Expert
    Office Hours Host 2022 First Anniversary GGR Blogger 2021
    edited February 2022
    @Adam Beaton - I'm a relatively new team lead myself. Happy to share my experiences. Drop time on my calendar

    https://totango.chilipiper.com/book/me/jeremy-donaldson?type=jeremys-meeting-room

    You can also connect with @Julie Ziegler @greg watkins at Tipalti and @Dan Ennis at monday.com. 
  • Arnab Mukherjee
    Arnab Mukherjee Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    edited February 2022

    Hey Adam- Firstly congratulations on your new role! Below would be a few pointers that helped me:

    • Explain the GOAL to your team - communicate specific and measurable goals/tasks that the team has to achieve within the timeframe.
    • Communicate the company's expectations from the team
    • Provide Support for the team members to open up
    • Create a safe and trustable working environment 
    • Demonstrate Ability - As a leader don't try to be authoritative 

    I am sure that the best teacher will be time since we all learn from our mistakes. Keep rocking!


    Regards,
    Arnab 
    Manager - Success Guide
    Salesforce

  • Harsh Shah
    Harsh Shah Member Posts: 40 Expert
    Name Dropper First Comment
    edited February 2022
    Hi Adam, warm welcome to this amazing community!

    As rightly said by @Louise Cunningham, try to find the reason why this new model is introduced and what were the challenges with the previous model. At the same time, don't get overwhelmed by a lot of information out there instead start with little things that actually matter for your organization at this point in time.

    Build strong leadership and a clear vision of how to achieve team-wide success. Accordingly, start new pieces of training to achieve common goals based on your strategy. For every stage of the customer journey create a scalable process by communicating with your team. Based on the activities, track and analyze important metrics for your customers. Lead, coach, and empower your team to be successful in their roles with best practices. Later, you could also collaborate with cross-functional teams to ensure visibility and alignment with the company's vision.

    I hope this would be helpful in your path to CS leadership :)

    Best Regards,

    Harsh Shah

    Customer Success Manager, Woliba

    Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/harshshah-15/

    Email: hcshah15.hs@gmail.com

  • David Jackson
    David Jackson Member Posts: 36 Expert
    First Comment
    edited March 2022
    Adam

    I have hired, promoted and managed many TL's/managers.  I ask then to focus on four things:
    1. Develop your people: As a manager, you achieve through others.  You have the privilege of leading them and they need and deserve your support for their development of both performance and career.
    2. Deliver the numbers.  Know what performance is expected of you, stay on top of it and make sure your team deliver.
    3. Contribute to the improvement of your function and the wider business.  
    4. Live the values.  Leaders are judged by they what they do, not what they say.  If your company has values, make sure you are a role model.  If your company doesn't have or doesn't plan importance on values, find another company to work for.
  • James Conant
    James Conant Member Posts: 37 Expert
    First Anniversary
    edited March 2022

    Congratulations Adam! I see you've been given some excellent advice! I hope to offer some as well. 

    First - seek advice and counsel from others. Obviously you've done that here!! That is a great sign of future success. I've found over time that those who ask questions are usually the smartest. Additionally, find a trusted and candid mentor. You'll need objective counsel and support from those who've "been there and done that".


    Second - as others have said, ask your leaders WHY they've changed the model. You must know what RESULT they want to accomplish, the TIMEFRAME of such, and HOW they plan to do it. As a upcoming leader I'd expect that they have already set the strategy and steps for you but then again, maybe not. You must know that either way.

    Third - In conjunction with number 2 above, develop your strategy to meet the business' objectives and then develop the measurable goals that your team needs to achieve it.  Be SPECIFIC. Your goals and strategy need to be aligned with the business' overall objectives and your team needs to know what specific actions they will execute to meet it. They need the WHAT, WHY, HOW AND WHEN. Team buy-in is critical and a clear path will assist. Also, CELEBRATE success! Change happens in small steps and those steps need to be recognized.

    Fourth - Over time,  determine what skills your team needs to achieve your objectives and then assess the present capabilities of your team. If you find gaps then develop a plan to close them via training (internally and externally). Eventually new hires will help.

    Fifth - Don't reinvent the wheel. You'll find plenty of resources in the cs community that can help you such as tools, tips, info, do's and don'ts…..etc.

    Sixth - find and read every resource you can regarding leadership and management. You will find plenty for each level in your new journey. Read, read, and read. Of course, you'll find plenty of courses on LinkedIn, Coursera, and even YouTube. 

    Seventh - You'll find that it's easier to just do it rather than delegate it. Big Mistake! Although it takes much extra time to teach, you'll be rewarded over time with the ability to leverage skills and accomplish a lot. There is much more to learn regarding this…..as you move forward seek advice. 


    Eighth - meet regularly with your manager to ensure you and your team are on the right path. 


    Ninth, there is much more to know, and this is a lot already. Relax. You will make mistakes. That's where learning meets wisdom!!

    Good luck on your journey!


    Hey Gain Grow Retain Community! 


    My name is Adam, and I'm a new member to this awesome community I found thanks to Jeff! I have a question regarding the path to CS leadership, and steps people have taken to put themselves on top, and a recognized member of your organization. My company is moving from an Account Management model, to a Customer Success focused team, and I have implemented some early ideas with leadership that put me on a fast track to team lead. 

    My question is, what are some successful things you can share with me to better myself entering a team lead position? What ideas, strategies, and playbooks helped you early on in your career to drive change in the organization to focus on retention and existing business?


    Thanks in advance for your advice!