How to Become a Customer Success Manager?

Are you thinking of becoming a Customer Success Manager or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Customer Success Manager, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Customer Success Manager job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Customer Success Manager

Customer success managers guide consumers through the sales process and help them understand how to get the most out of their experience with your company. Learn the key things you need to become a customer success manager with these steps:

Take inventory of your soft skills.

An increasing number of businesses are focusing their revenue streams on technology products. This trend drives the growing need for talented customer success managers in every marketplace around the world.

These agents fill traditional sales roles and a more modern responsibility profile, like a mentor or an inside consultant. For that reason, a successful customer success manager offers employers a long list of appealing natural attributes, like:

  • Persuasiveness and the ability to cross-sell products.
  • The ability to build a client's trust.
  • A customer-first mindset.
  • Active listening skills.
  • A strong desire to cultivate mutually beneficial business relationships.
  • Well-developed communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Strategic planning and excellent time management aptitudes.
  • The experience to bring fresh, creative ideas to your end-users or shoppers.
  • A willingness to advocate for your firm's clients.
  • Composure and a calm demeanor under stress.

Consider earning your degree.

Most companies are looking for a rock star to fill this multi-faceted role. While some job postings for customer success managers indicate a bachelor's degree requirement, many firms value job experience as much as academic success. As a result, those companies may be more willing to train you from the ground up, especially if you've earned a few years of experience in a previous sales or customer service role. However, If you're looking to top out in this career, consider earning your degree.

Not only does this education open up opportunities for earnings, but it may also land you a better job right from graduation. For example, a quality candidate with a four-year accounting degree will stand out from a prestigious financial services firm's other interviewees. Another model features an aspiring customer success manager who brings a degree in computer science to their interview. They may be just what that start-up IT company needs to launch its new platform.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Customer Success Manager?

77% of people working as a Customer Success Manager earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Customer Success Manager?

  • SaaS
  • Excellent Communication
  • Excellent Customer Service
  • Written Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • CRM
  • MS Office Applications
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Customer Success Manager in the United States.

Continue growing your skill sets.

There's a fine line separating top-performing customer success managers and those who are constantly updating their resumes. The better you understand your client's industry and overall operations, the easier it is to earn their trust. Always stay open to new opportunities to grow and learn, such as:

  • Improving your technical skills with an online class or course at your community college.
  • Ask for additional responsibilities at work, including challenging accounts from high-profile clients.
  • Apply for internal promotions, such as supervisory roles.
  • Mitigate any soft skills gaps by networking or taking advantage of a mentor's feedback.
  • Practice interviewing and thoroughly prepare for common customer success manager interview questions.

Customer Success Manager Career Path

Customer Success Manager

5 - 7Years of Experience
$84K - $140K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More
59% advanced to

Senior Customer Success Manager

2 - 4Years of Experience
$108K - $180K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More

Lead Customer Success Manager

5 - 7Years of Experience
$82K - $133K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More

Total Pay Trajectory

Customer Success Manager Career Path

Customer Success Manager I
Customer Success Manager
Senior Customer Success Manager
Customer Success Manager Manager
Lead Customer Success Manager
Senior Manager of Customer Success
Principal Customer Success Manager
Assistant Director of Customer Success
Senior Principal Customer Success Manager
Head Customer Success Manager
Vice President of Customer Success
Senior Vice President of Customer Success
Are you paid fairly? Get a free, personalized salary estimate based on today's job market
Get Your Estimate

Related Careers in the Customer Services & Support Industry

Interested in other Customer Services & Support careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Customer Success Manager skills. Discover some of the most common Customer Success Manager career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Customer Relations
38% skills overlap
32% transitioned to Customer Relations