How to make CSMs less busy

In this context, "busy" is a feeling, one that leads CSMs to feel overwhelmed and eventually burnout.

Busy isn't about the performance of activities, per se. You can have two CSMs, both spending 75% of their time on customer-facing activities, but the one performing efficiently won't just NOT feel "busy" but will feel productive and satisfied with their job, while the CSM operating inefficiently is suffering and looking for a way out.

Here are a few ideas for you to make your CSMs feel less "busy" and actually be more productive:

Control the Controllables - The things that are in your control can probably be done more efficiently, so that the things you don't have control over don't overwhelm or bog your CSMs down (think doing the job of other teams, being the glue for a broken product, etc.).

The reality of being a CSM is that you're probably doing things that aren't "your job" so make sure the things that ARE your job are done as efficiently as possible.

Everything can be More Efficient - You just have to know what to look for AND be willing to look (and make changes). Meetings are the most expensive thing we do with customers (cost of the CSM's time, opportunity cost of dedicating time to one customer, etc.), and yet meetings - and CSM calendars - are often highly inefficient, if not downright ineffective. Fix this and "busy" doesn't work here any more.

Focus on High-percentage Activities - CSMs often spend a lot of time and effort on activities that produce limited results. In our Retention training that starts on Monday 17-June, for example, we talk about spending less time trying to save customers who are trying to churn (low-percentage) and more time upstream trying to make them successful so they don't want to churn in the first place (high-percentage).

Obviously, right? You'd think, but FAR too many companies have CSMs spinning their wheels on very low-percentage activities, having poor results, hurting morale, and leading to turnover.

I hope those ideas help.

~ Lincoln

BTW: Our 2-week Retention Training program starts next Monday, June 17, 2024. While we talk about ensuring your focus on retention is upstream, we know that a lot of CSMs are working downstream, trying to save customers. And since anything - even low-percentage activities - can be made more efficient, we show you how to do this Reactive Retention in a way that's higher-percentage.

Learn more about the program and sign-up here.

Lincoln Murphy

I help SaaS companies Maximize LTV through Customer-centric Upselling

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