Restructuring a Customer Success Organization


As your customer success organization grows and you hire more CSMs, companies start to consider the structure of who will report to whom. As your business grows it is important to understand which roles are a part of each department. With the growth of Customer Success, more and more companies are starting to place a number of different roles in the Customer Success organization, including account management, professional services, and support. All of these departments are starting to become a part of the Customer Success umbrella. But how do you start to restructure your organization to fit into this new Customer Success department?

In this Podcast our host Anika Zubair chats with Nabil Dabbagh, Head of Customer Success at DeepCrawl, an SEO solution that bridges the gap between marketing and engineering departments by ensuring your website's code is Search Engine-friendly. He has been a part of the growth and scaling up of the Customer Success department at DeepCrawl for over 4 years and has a wealth of information to share, discussing how to structure and restructure your Customer Success organization to fit your growing business needs.

Initially starting his career in Marketing, Nabil moved into Customer Success by coincidence. While applying to another company, one of the requirements was to read “How to win friends and influence people”, by Dale Carnegie. This was his gateway book into the industry after realising that he enjoyed the one to one relationship building, leading him into the direction of account management and ultimately becoming the Customer Success Manager at DeepCrawl.

As one of the first Customer Success managers within the company, Nabil was hired to develop the Customer Success team based on the success in the US. Realising that the sales team were still owning the renewals, it meant they were losing business so they started specializing teams. They initially started by breaking down pre-sales and post-sales from their commercial teams. But they realised there was a need to break things up further on the post-sales side, introducing account management roles, support roles and Customer Success ops roles. This is still evolving and the next step is to eventually work with professional services.

The structure of the Customer Success organization is the most important element at the start of a business, as it enables you to have clear roles and responsibilities. Nabil is a strong believer in the RACI matrix (responsible, accountable, consulted and informed). The RACI matrix enables you to create a responsibility assignment chart that maps out every task, milestone or key decision within the team. His tip iis to have a clear structure and clear RACI, especially when scaling because you won't know what to change otherwise.

As businesses evolve and grow, they will change and mature. The only thing that is constant is change, and as a result you become a lot more sophisticated. As clients' needs change, the structure will ultimately change too.

Knowing when to restructure can often be confusing, but Nabil has several indicators which he bases his decision on. As Deepcrawl’s ACV grew, their customer needs changed. As most of their growth came from high touch customers, Deepcrawl shifted to cater to the high touch model. Other indicators that weren’t as easy to pick up included realising the team were overcome by work. A lack of clarity and understanding of their specific roles usually meant there was a skill gap and they needed more specialised roles. Shifting focus meant CSMs were better suited for specific roles. For example, a CSM who is more commercially minded made great account managers, and those who were good at value delivery were focused on success plans and the value of the platform.

DeepCrawl has executed several restructuring projects within the organization. The biggest roadblock has always been a resistance to change management. Nabil’s solution is to recognise the fact that nothing is permanent, change is inevitable. He suggests leading by example and taking the plunge with the team. He emphasises on building strong relationships within the team, as understanding and acknowledging a problem is easier to fix then not realising there is a problem at all.

Nabil shares with us how to initially structure your Customer Success organization and also how to restructure your Customer Success organization as your business scales and grows. Listen today to find out more.

Evolution of the CSM

Our host Anika Zubair chats with Ray Rauch, VP of Customer Success at Concord on the evolution of the CSM.

SaaS Customer Onboarding

The onboarding phase is, arguably, the most critical and here is why.

Building a customer advocacy program

Our host Anika Zubair chats with Alex Farmer, VP of Customer Success at Cognite on ways to build a customer advocacy program.

Learn more about

Drop your email and let us show you our platform!

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our site. Learn more

Get a Demo

We look forward to showing you Planhat.
Tell us a bit about yourself.

Thank you! 🙌

Thank you for your interest in Planhat.
You will hear from us soon!


Sorry, an unexpected error occurred. Try again later!