CCO School

Mar 5, 2024

Function: Customer Success

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Overview

With the rise of SaaS, access to capital, and ease of creating software came a proliferation of choice, low switching costs, and new pricing models that gave buyers the upper hand. 


The traditional GTM funnel used to end with “acquisition”, but with buyers in control, companies now need to invest more in post-sales value creation, retention, and growth in order to succeed.  


In this course, we will explore big topics such as the role of CS, building the success org, and scaling, as well as diving deep into some of the most important roles of a CCO and the departments that roll under a CCO.  


Classes will combine lectures with discussion topics and incorporate case studies and exercises.  The classes will be taught by leading CS operators at successful technology companies. 

Designer Bio

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Emmanuelle Skala most recently helped take Toast on an epic run from $30M in ARR to over $1.2B (from Q3’23 earnings) and an IPO in 2021 (NYSE: TOST).  At Toast, she led all post-sales functions and had a team of over 1500 customer-facing professionals.  During that time, NPS soared and service costs/customer reduced even while launching dozens of new products and integrating 3 acquisitions.  Prior to Toast, Emmanuelle held sales leadership roles at DigitalOcean, Influitive, Sophos, Vertica and Endeca.  


As an expert on the full GTM lifecycle, Emmanuelle also teaches GTM at MIT Sloan and is on the board of directors at Emerald Expositions (NYSE: EEX), Electric.ai and CastIron.  Outside of work, Emmanuelle is a mom to 3 girls in college/high school and is a health/fitness enthusiast. 

Information

Who Should Take

This school is designed for leaders in the CS organization who want to improve their skills and increase their impact.  It’s also a great course for sales leaders who want to go beyond acquisition and impact the full customer journey.

Results to Expect

By the end of this school, you will have the knowledge and skills to be able to:

  • Evolve CS from fighting fires to adding enterprise value that is recognized at the Board level
  • Measure the impact and value CS creates in an organization leveraging known GTM models that make sense to your exec team and board
  • Align your whole organization around the customer journey and position CS as the champion for the customer
  • Create a path towards monetizing CS - CS isn’t just a cost center. It can be a revenue center
  • Understand how modern processes and technology like AI can help scale CS, especially in times of economic uncertainty

Homework, Assignments, or Expectations

There is no additional work required outside of class.

Attendance Requirements

After completing 80% attendance and passing the final exam, you will receive a certificate to add to your Licenses and Certification Section on LinkedIn.

    

Outline

Class meets every Tuesday from 3:00 - 4:30 PM ET, starting on March 5th.


Session 1: State of Customer Success 

Led by John Gleeson, Founder & Managing Partner of Success Venture Partners

By the end of this session, you will be able to: 

  • Articulate the role CS plans in an enterprise
  • Quantify the value CS creates for an organization
  • Understand how CS interacts and aligns with other departments
  • Nail down the 5 key baseline concepts you need before determining your CS strategy or organization 
  • Apply these 5 baseline concepts to your organization


Session 2: Building the CS Mission and Function

Led by Emmanuelle Skala, SVP of Customer Success at Toast

By the end of this session, you will be able to: 

  • Understand all the roles in a CS organization and the extended CS team
  • Structure compensation for each role
  • Identify key hiring traits and criteria
  • Evaluate organizational structures from various companies based on company strategies so you can build the right org for your company


Session 3: Deep Dive Onboarding 

Led by Allison Tiscornia, CCO of Carrot Fertility

By the end of this session, you will be able to: 

  • Understand the important differences between Implementation and Onboarding
  • Discuss the importance of post-sale journeys and onboarding methodologies in successful adoption
  • Measure what matters and build a post-onboarding success plan


Session 4: Deep Dive CSMs/Account Management 

Led by Mike Lemire, VP of Customer Success at Overjet

By the end of this session, you will be able to: 

  • Articulate the importance of a strong CSM team within your organization
  • Leverage methodology to segment your CSM teams
  • Know the important metrics CSM teams use to manage their business, both at the leadership and IC levels
  • Better understand the tools teams are using to build scalable CSM programs
  • Use new tips and tricks on how to become a better leader of CSM teams 


Session 5: Deep Dive Customer Support 

Led by Sean Ilenrey, VP of Support at Dutchie

By the end of this session, you will be able to: 

  • Understand Support’s Role in providing 
  • Develop a Support Organization that balances Customer Experience, Employee Experience, and Profitability


Session 6: Customer-Led Growth: The Driver of Post-Sale Revenue 

Led by Sydney Strader, SVP of Customer Success at Catalyst

By the end of this session, you will be able to: 

  • Understand the importance and impact of CS’ role in driving revenue growth
  • Articulate the meaning and champion the practice of Customer-Led Growth (CLG)
  • Understand the revenue streams available to drive $ growth
  • Pursue implementing the required systems, processes and people required for CS to be a driver of company revenue (retention & growth) 
  • Have confidence in how to lead organizational alignment & change to operate as a CLG organization


Session 7: Strategies to Scale CS: The Tried & True and the New

Led by Seth Wylie, Director of Community at Gainsight

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Reduce chaos for CSMs
  • Provide customers a rich ecosystem of advice
  • Connect customers in ways that inspire them to act as CSMs for each other
  • Use AI to make your CSMs not just faster, but more inventive and resilient


Session 8: Why CCO is the Best Path to CEO 

Led by Emmanuelle Skala, SVP of Customer Success at Toast, with Allison Pickens, Director Board Of Directors at dbt Labs 

By the end of this session, you will be able to: 

  • Articulate what a board of director wants to see from a CCO
  • Document a roadmap for how you will drive customer experience across the whole company as the CCO
  • Understand how the CCO can play one of the most strategic roles in the company
  • Determine if you are on a path to being a CEO


Become the leader we know you can be

Develop your career alongside a powerful network of peers and enable your team to reach new heights