Customer Success

Moving From Sales to Customer Success | Everything You Need To Know

If you work in software sales, you're probably wondering if the grass truly is greener on the other side. With the rise of the subscription-based business model for software companies, customer success is one of the fastest-growing jobs in software. Customer success managers seem to have it easy - no monthly or quarterly quota, no prospecting and cold calling to land new logos, and the ability to bounce around to various customers. Easy, right?

Not so fast, my friend. Customer success roles have their share of challenges as well. Plus, moving from sales to customer success is easier said than done. If you're thinking about making the move, keep reading this article. We'll walk through the major differences in the job, skills required, and what the customer success career path looks like. Then, we give advice on how to make it happen. We'll touch on how to make your resume "customer success friendly", some interview tips, and more. If you're looking to move from software sales to customer success, read on!

The Difference Between Sales and Customer Success

If you're looking to move from sales to customer success at a software company, you should be aware of the major differences between the two roles.

Day to Day - Sales vs Customer Success

The customer success job itself is very different from traditional sales roles. While both are customer-facing in nature, sales is focused on transactions and upsells, while customer success is focused on client growth and adoption.

Usually a customer success manager gets involved during the late stages of a sales cycle or immediately after the transaction is booked. By getting involved, a customer success manager is looking to drive adoption of the new technology or to ensure the existing technology stays in place at the customer

Because of the difference in tasks, the day to day for a customer success manager can look completely different than the day to day for a salesperson. Here are some tasks that a typical CSM will focus on that are exclusive to the role:

  • Monthly or quarterly meetings with customers to help resolve any adoption or support issues
  • Proactive outreach and meetings with new customers to ensure adoption of the new technology
  • Meet with sales counterparts to discuss new customers who just signed up, or prospective new customers who are about to sign up

Skills Required to Move from Sales to Customer Success