Monday Guest Cinthia Silva – Y3-W1

Spread the love

Get to know Cinthia Silva

By: Mohammed Alqaq   |  January 01, 2024   |  Year 3  –  Week 01/2024

Hey everyone, this is Cinthia Silva coming in hot from NYC! I’m an East Coast gal who loves to travel and experience other cultures which is why I’ve lived on both coasts and internationally. Because what’s more fun than taking a risk and meeting new and interesting people?

I’ve been in client-facing roles for the bulk of my career, primarily on the Sales side of finance and tech. In 2021, I pivoted to Customer Success and joined Nasdaq’s fintech division to help launch a CSM program for our trade surveillance solution. 


My time at Nasdaq has been an incredible journey of collaborating with some of the smartest and motivated people in the business. It’s also allowed me to test ideas, iterate and ultimately implement new frameworks that positively impact our customers. This aligns with my larger goal of leveraging my learnings from the CS community and putting those strategies into action.

We asked Cinthia to take us through a journey telling us about her career path, how she spends her workday, what advice she can share with someone starting as a customer success manager, and many other questions.

Enjoy reading this interview  

Table of Contents

Tell us about your career path?

I spent the early part of my career sitting on Derivative trading desks at banks in Seattle and NYC. I learned 2 valuable lessons during that time: always keep cool under pressure and pay close attention to the details (a mistake on a trading desk can cost money!).

I later pivoted to sponsorship sales for an events company in the UK and then to NYC to cover events in the Latam region. This was one of my most interesting and rewarding roles since it gave me the opportunity to polish up my Spanish and work with clients from Chile, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, and Panama.

But as much as I loved traveling to the region and interacting “con mi gente” I felt strongly that tech was where I wanted to take my career. So, I pivoted again to sales roles at fintech companies like IHS Markit and Refinitiv and eventually Customer Success which brought me to Nasdaq.

How did you join Customer Success?

As I’ve moved through my career, I noticed that my favorite aspect of working with clients was the ability to help them grow their business and strengthen our relationship to achieve mutual, long-term goals. However, many sales teams in tech are structured to encourages sales pros to close a deal, pass it along and move on to the next customer. This was a quandary for me, so I consulted mentors and coaches and leaned into my network to ponder my options.

I came to the realization that the post-sale motion was the most sensible next step for me. Customer Success provides the runway to work with clients with a long-term view to help them achieve their goals and thoughtfully grow their business. I decided to lean into my finance and tech background and landed at Nasdaq and I haven’t looked back!

How would you describe the ideal CSM candidate?

A lot of factors play into the ideal CSM candidate. Factors such as complexity of product, stage of business (start-up vs. public company), industry, etc. However, setting those variables aside I would say that someone looking to enter the Customer Success world should have a keen appreciation and understanding of relationship management, problem-solving, planning, and self-direction.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out as a Customer Success Manager?

I would recommend taking charge of your learning journey. If you focus on reading books, attending events, and following thought leaders, you’ll learn how to focus on impactful value-adds that help your customers realize their goals.


Take charge of your learning journey

Can you take us on a journey describing what your workday looks like?

Like most CS pros, one day is often different from the next. In my case, I have a strong focus on strategic goals for our growing team so I’m typically looking at ways to transform data into actionable insights. Some of my ongoing projects include refining our Customer Health Index, Voice of Customer, and developing a Customer Success Roadmap (scheduling priority projects based on customer segments, journeys, project plans and impact/benefit analysis).

I’m also a strong advocate of collaborating across teams so I’m always on the lookout for ways to work with our Marketing, Product and Sales partners to better serve our customers and provide a unified customer experience.

What makes you feel inspired or motivated?

I’m a big believer in communities and the power of networking which is why I’ve made a concerted effort to thoughtfully expand my network. I attend events or schedule virtual chats to meet new people and as a result, it’s provided countless opportunities to learn from peers or support others on their journey.

What’s one thing that people are generally surprised to find out about you?

Believe it or not, I’ve successfully completed 7 Sprint triathlons during my time in the UK. To be clear, these were not Ironman challenges. Sprint triathlons are on a smaller scale but a lot of fun and I would highly recommend trying one out!

Who do you look up to the most? 

There have been a lot of influential people and mentors over the course of my career, but I would have to say that my strongest role models are my parents. They are 2 of the smartest and strongest people I know and I’m incredibly lucky to have had their guidance and influence. Their example of the power of grit and determination has impacted me in the best ways as a professional and a human being.

What are your top 3 priorities now?
  • Mind/Body wellness: I have a keen focus on fitness which is why I go to the gym regularly, practice yoga (meditation in motion), and participate in charity races.

  • Continuous upskilling: Taking charge of your development is the key to staying motivated, relevant, and advancing your professional goals. I’m always on the lookout for webinars, peer groups, and certifications to help me improve as a Customer Success Leader and happily share my knowledge with others.

  • Community building: The importance of community for professional and personal development cannot be overstated and remains a priority for me.

What advice would you give to Customer Success Managers to grow and develop their careers?

There are a lot of ways to grow your career but here are 3 starting points:

  • Maintain a growth mindset: Stay open to learning opportunities with peers inside and outside your company and don’t be shy about sharing your ideas with your leader and team.

  • Join and leverage communities: Communities are a great place to learn from peers, flesh out ideas and stay motivated on your career journey.

  • Focus on your career vs. a job: Don’t let an existing role limit you from considering outside opportunities that align with your longer-term career goals. Making strategic moves is often the linchpin to varied and interesting opportunities for growth and advancement.

What’s your favorite book, and why?

Tough question but I have to go with Never Split the Difference. This is a must-read for client-facing professionals in any industry. Chris Voss masterfully translates his FBI negotiation skills to professional and personal scenarios that will be relevant until the end of time. Pick it up now!

» Check out the 10 Books a CSM should read to advance and improve their skills.

Have you had your “I’ve made it” moment yet?

I’ve had MANY “I’ve made it” moments such as: cooking a delicious meal for friends, finishing a charity race, visiting a new country, implementing a new strategy, coaching a new CSM, and sharing impactful content.

I will always reach for new goals and challenges in order to stay inspired and avoid “standing still”.

What should I have asked you but didn’t? 

What’s in store for the future?

Answer: More of the above!

Where can people go to find out more about you?

I’m happy to connect on LinkedIn. 

Thank you, Cinthia, for sharing your knowledge and for the opportunity to know you more.

Do you have a Customer Success Leader, Expert, or Influencer you would like to know more about?