Hiring the right customer success manager can significantly impact your business. The right customer success managers gracefully balance their own goals and customer relationships. It’s in their nature to be proactive and sensitive, but also to develop deep understanding for products and methods. Eventually, they become a customer’s most trusted advisor.

So, how do you make sure you pick the right one?

Let’s take the most common backgrounds for someone interested in customer success as a career: sales, support, and project management. Each background offers a unique benefit for customer success, and the ideal customer success manager combines the best of each role. Here are the top benefits to look for (and pitfalls to avoid) when finding the right customer success manager:

Background In Sales:



  • Strong relationship management
  • Comfortable with revenue targets


  • Managing customers as a pipeline
  • Might reach out to accounts too often

Background In Support:



  • Excellent problem solvers
  • Strong teachers/advocates


  • Focusing on customer issues
  • Might be reactive, not proactive

Background In Project Management:

project management


  • Deep technical knowledge
  • Solid organizational skills


  • Lack strong relationship skills
  • Might not think long-term

Above all else, find the right candidate for the specific role at your company. With the right customer success manager, both executives and customers will be happy with your business outcomes. Once they’re hired, make sure they read Farm Don’t Hunt and check out our Resource library.