It’s time for another installment of our blog series where we spotlight a Customer Success professional and get their take on the industry as well as get to hear some of their top tips they’d like to share.
Today, we are going to be showcasing – Jason Conrad. Jason is an Associate Partner at Customer Imperative, responsible for overseeing the strategic consulting business. Jason works closely with Customer Imperative consulting teams to ensure that clients succeed at gaining, growing and retaining customers. His passion for customer-centricity allows him to guide clients through an outside-in approach to customer success and customer journey design, leading to revenue growth and a differentiated customer experience.
Jason previously held positions at PwC and Comcast, where he focused on helping organizations, people and products through transformative changes. As he moved into growth-stage SaaS at PeopleMatter and Snag, Jason pointed his focus to driving revenue growth and customer outcomes. His experience across sales, marketing, product and customer success have allowed him to help clients focus on customer-first experiences.
So without further ado, let’s hear what’s Jason’s take on the Customer Success industry as well as some trusted advice he’s used along the way.
Q: What drew you to working in Customer Success?
A: I have always worked in technology, whether in consulting, consumer tech or B2B SaaS. Through a variety of roles – product, marketing, professional services, sales – it felt like I could never declare a major. One day, I woke up and realized that in each of these roles, there was a common thread. I was passionate about driving customer experience and customer outcomes, regardless of role, which is the definition of customer success. That’s not a figure of speech, I actually sat up in bed with this realization and made my pitch to join Customer Imperative that evening at a Starbucks.
Q: What does your team look like at your company and how do you center around the customer?
A: Customer Imperative is a unique business in that our sole purpose is to help B2B SaaS customer success teams to evolve and succeed. Our clients are customer success executives, their CXO peers and their teams. We work with clients to create a customer strategy that drives the right outcomes and experiences, and we also help them manage strategic programs and the customer lifecycle on an ongoing basis. It’s ironic because our own customer success function – helping our clients achieve outcomes – is basically our entire business.
Q: What is your philosophy on Customer Success management?
A: Customer success is a cross-functional discipline – not a department, not an org chart, not a singular job. While there is always a great case for a customer success team, that team alone can’t yield the value that customer success offers to revenue growth and brand advocacy. Product, marketing, sales – heck, even finance – have a huge role to play in CS.
Q: Where do you see the Customer Success industry going?
A: I see a few trends emerging. First is product-driven growth. B2B SaaS is catching up to consumer tech, and product leaders are starting to understand that the in-product customer journey, time-to-value, adoption tracking and user experience are the keys to success. CSMs have a lot to look forward to here, as their jobs will become less manual and support oriented. I also think that customer success will expand outside of the tech world, into the consumer world, and intersect with consumer customer loyalty to create a new method for brand differentiation.
Q: What do you think is a common misconception about Customer Success?
A: The most common misconceptions: that it is support, or it’s a softer sales role for people that don’t hunt new logos, or that it’s just product training. I’ve seen customer success functions firing at full capacity, and it is powerful. At its best, it is a strategic function that not only grows revenue, but influences product, brand and marketing as well.
Q: What do you love the most about working with your customers?
A: Most of our customers are in the $5M – $100M ARR range, and they’re either PE or VC backed. To me, the most exciting work experiences are in that segment – there are so many stages of development. We have clients that just found product/market fit and figured out their go-to-market and selling motion, but don’t have a CS team yet. We have clients that have fully scaled a CS team but need to evolve to the next level and achieve the cool stuff. It’s a humbling, relieving reminder that we’re never done, at any stage.
Thanks to Jason for participating in our spotlight and we look forward to talking to and sharing insights from others in the Customer Success community!
Follow these links to check out tips from our previous spotlights.
- Brooke Goodbary, Customer Success Expert, dataxu
- Marcel Andrei, Customer Success and Product Marketing Manager, Paymo
- George Boyar, Head of Customer Success, Mentor Collective
- Brett Andersen, Director of Client Success, Degreed
Stay tuned for our next Customer Success professional spotlight!
Customer Success Around the Web
- Maximizing a Lean Customer Success Team at Your Startup – Learn how to engrain Customer Success in your corporate culture from the beginning.
- 7 SaaS Experts Share Their Tips for Customer Success – Hear what’s the #1 tip for maintaining long-term success from some of the biggest SaaS companies around.
- Align Employees to Customer Success Drive CX Excellence – See three ways to align employees around Customer Success.