More companies are transitioning from a proprietary business model to a subscription-based one, which means there’s also a higher demand for best practices on how to do so. For a long time, there weren’t many sources available on the topic except for the well-known book “Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue” by Nick Mehta from Gainsight. While the book focuses on customer success, it still allows readers to look behind the curtain and see how companies made the transition to the new business model.

But in 2018 the situation changed. Tien Tzuo, the founder…


Customer success managers (CSM) are responsible for retaining a target percentage of their books of business. The number of clients in the book of business may be defined by multiple factors such as client size, growth potential, and personal work experience. CSMs who have relatively small books of business have the opportunity to build a relationship with every customer they work with. By doing regular check-ins, they make sure that their clients are maximizing the value they get from the product or service.

But how do CSMs effectively manage a book of business with several hundreds of accounts? Our Customer…


Building and managing an efficient team requires a unique set of skills. You should be able to coach and motivate your team, take advantage of each individual’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses, explain the importance and process of every initiative, and more. With so many responsibilities on your plate, it’s critical for leaders like you to constantly invest your time into personal development and growth.

Recently, I found a book that shared a collection of practical recommendations and exercises for new and established leaders. …


Today, it’s common for SaaS companies to have multiple customer-facing teams that cover different functions, such as customer success, support, renewals, account management, professional services, etc. Cross-collaboration is key to ensuring clients get exceptional service. A lack of processes can lead to duplicate work; excessive, repeated communication from multiple points of contact to clients, team members’ confusion on who’s responsible for what, and other problems.

We spent quite a lot of time building collaboration between our customer engagement team and other customer-facing teams. Certain mistakes and roadblocks were inevitable, but now everything is working smoothly. …


Creating a playbook for your customer success team allows you to have a single source of truth for the most common questions that both new and experienced team members ask. A playbook saves managers time and helps clarify processes and goals. After publishing my previous article on this topic, I received many practical questions on writing a playbook and tailoring it to the team’s needs. In this article, I’ll share my list of recommendations on what you should include in your CS playbook and why.

1. Identify the whys

Before describing your team’s processes, goals, metrics, KPIs, and more, spend some time reflecting on…


Account reviews are a type of call that customer success managers (CSM) conduct with their clients. One of the main differences between an account review and a regular client call is that a wide range of topics can be discussed during the latter, depending on the client’s needs. Account reviews, on the other hand, have a clear set of topics so the CSM can better evaluate the client’s situation. While the list of these topics may vary, the main goal of an account review is to confirm that the client is getting value from the product and, as a result…


At some point in our lives, we’ve all said, “If only I had more time.” We all have 24 hours in a day, but what really matters is how we’re using that time. As a productivity enthusiast, I’m always searching for insights on how to make the most of my time — both inside and outside of work. After scouring multiple books on time management and following their best practices, I’ve implemented valuable routines that have boosted my productivity. Thankfully, they’re easy to adopt and quickly show results. In this article, I’d like to share them with you.

1. Plan your day, every day

I always…


A playbook is a living document that contains descriptions and answers to FAQs of team processes. It serves as a single source of truth for every type of situation at the workplace that can potentially be confusing for the employee and reflects the experience of managers and senior team members. The level of granularity can vary — from a broad description of the most common activities to detailed, step-by-step guides. In this article, I prepared a list of six reasons why a customer success team needs a playbook and what challenges it can address.

1. It’s a repository for employees’ insights

Employees leave even from the best…


Looking back at my first year in leadership at Wrike, I can state with confidence that it’s been full of amazing experiences and insights. Our team underwent many changes, some of which were successful, and defined our processes for the next year. However, it’s important to not only celebrate the victories but also reflect on the things that we could’ve done differently. So I compiled a list of nine important mistakes that I made in my first year in leadership, and how others can learn from them.

1. Focusing on how rather than why

Prior to becoming a manager, I spent a lot of time not only…


As I continue to dive into the knowledge areas of leadership and management, I’m always on the lookout for new sources of information. I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing classic works on management by Peter Drucker, and wondered whether I’ve missed any fundamental books that would outlive many of the ones published later because those insights would always be actual.

Recently, I finished reading “High Output Management” by Andrew Grove, which was recommended to me by many management professionals. When I first opened it, I was a bit skeptical. The book was written in 1983, and even though Grove…

Artem Gurnov

Manager, Customer Engagement Global @Wrike

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