A customer success masterclass | How to design, build, and scale a CS org | Stephanie Berner (LinkedIn)

01 Feb 2024 • 71 min • EN
71 min
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Stephanie Berner is a Customer Success Executive at LinkedIn. Since 2018, Stephanie has spearheaded all post-sales functions at LinkedIn Sales Solutions through its period of rapid growth. With a background in building and scaling customer success teams at Box, Medallia, and Opower, Stephanie has extensive experience in delivering exceptional customer experiences across various company stages. — In this episode, we discuss: Common customer success mistakes Creating a world-class customer success org Tactics for hiring exceptional talent How to structure compensation packages Where customer success fits into the wider org Key early-stage customer success metrics and rituals Successful strategies from Box, Medallia, and LinkedIn — Referenced: Aaron Levie: https://www.linkedin.com/in/boxaaron/ Box: https://www.box.com/ David Love: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-s-love/ Gainsight: https://www.gainsight.com/ Jon Herstein: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonherstein/ Jonathan Lister: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanlister/ Ken Fine: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmfine/ Medallia: https://www.medallia.com/ Nick Mehta: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickmehta/ Opower: https://www.oracle.com/utilities/opower-energy-efficiency/ — Where to find Stephanie Berner: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanieberner/ — Where to find Brett Berson: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brett-berson-9986094/ Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/brettberson — Where to find First Round Capital: Website: https://firstround.com/ First Round Review: https://review.firstround.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/firstround YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@FirstRoundCapital This podcast on all platforms: https://review.firstround.com/podcast — Timestamps: (00:00) Introduction (02:21) Formalizing customer success at a startup (05:01) Hiring ICs before CSMs (06:22) Tactics for hiring standout talent (11:39) 3 questions to ask candidates (15:38) Fail-case patterns among customer success hires (17:49) Considering candidates with non-traditional backgrounds (21:21) Indexing toward a bias for action (24:17) What v1 of customer success looks like (26:03) Key early-stage customer success metrics (28:21) Whether customer success or sales should own renewals (30:40) Where customer success fits into the org (32:14) Why customer success doesn’t report to an executive (33:48) Distinguishing a product problem from a customer success one (35:18) Simple way to deal with customer churn (39:21) Tactics to get customers to give honest feedback (40:58) What happens when customer success and product teams collaborate (44:14) Rituals for zero-to-one customer success (48:23) How to structure an early customer success team (52:01) Structuring compensation packages (54:35) Aligning customer success with the business model (60:14) The role of customer success in B2B software (62:17) Common customer success mistakes (67:44) People who had an outsized impact on Stephanie

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