Meet The Customer Success Manager of the year

4 min read

Being a Customer Success Manager means being a jack of all trades. You cover a variety of roles and skills that put you in a great position to move across any organization. An ability to deliver value, navigate stakeholders, speak with decision-makers, and influence operations with a clear vision of long-term goals combined with a structured mind to help keep the wheels moving.

And while being a jack of all trades, a Customer Success Manager must be the master of all.

So how do you do this?

Well. We asked one of the world's best Customer Success Managers what it takes to become one the world's best Customer Success Managers – Gurprem Sagoo at Planhat.

And this isn't simply what we think. Recently, The Customer Success Excellence Awards had a big gala in London, and Gurprem Sagoo was actually awarded "The Customer Success Manager of the year".

All of us at Planhat were more than happy for him, but as it so often is within the CS community, Gurprem Sagoo took it all with ease:

– It's a humbling feeling; there are so many people to thank, from my personal board of directors to my colleagues where the standard is high, and we push each other to be better. All of their support and guidance are critical to this. I stand firmly on the shoulders of giants.

What characterizes an outstanding Customer Success Manager?

- For me, a great Customer Success Manager is empathetic and can understand what the customer is trying to achieve, relate that back to their business goals and most importantly drives action. Oh, and the never give up attitude!

What is your favorite part of being a Customer Success Manager?

– I love speaking with customers and making them successful. Relating our conversation to how the work positively impacts their business gives the gravity to what we do in Customer Success.

Gurprem Sagoo, Planhat (in the middle) with fellow winners from The Customer Success Excellence Awards in London in June 2022.

What are the essential skills to have?

– I think one of the essential skills in this role is perseverance. This is a difficult role as it's fundamentally a communication between people, how we interact, being empathetic, and championing their causes. And also drive towards action. As every CSM knows, insight is not enough, action is what matters.

What are things you have developed since joining Planhat?

– Planhat has such an entrepreneurial mentality which means we're always pushing forward. The standard is very high, which brings out the best in us. It's not always comfortable, but operating outside of the comfort is where the growth is happening, and that's certainly the case for me. At Planhat, I'm being pushed to be the best that I can be, which is what is most important to me.

When you joined Planhat, did you think you’d be awarded the world's best CSM?

– Honestly, of course not. But, in hindsight I can say that it is a world class line-up in the team and there are several that could qualify for this as well. I believe the collective strength and how we are able to develop each other is what set’s Planhat apart.

Now, Gurprem Sagoo wouldn't be considered one of the worlds best Customer Success Managers, if he didn’t put his time and effort into building the community and sharing his knowledge. He does this in his very own webinar series - The CSM Corner. In this, Gurprem Sagoo meets with influential people from some of the most exciting companies (looking at you Tessian, Box, Pipedrive, Permutive, Zone and Slack). A world-class source of inspiration, moderated by a world-class Customer Success Manager.

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