I’m originally from India. A husband and a father. Have been an expat all my professional life. Been almost 9yrs since I started my professional career.
Love to travel and be active. Next trip is to London and I wanna start Brazilian Jiu Jistsu.
I live in Dublin, Ireland working as a Team Lead, Customer Success at HubSpot.
We asked Prashanth to take us through a journey telling us about his career path, how he spends his workday, what advice he can share with someone starting as a customer success manager, and many other questions.
Enjoy reading this interview
Tell us about your career path?
My career trajectory has been like a flywheel Product Marketing (Attract) > Sales (Engage) > Customer Success (Delight).
I have had the opportunity to work in 4 different countries (India, Singapore, Russia & Ireland). Currently, a CSM in HubSpot looking after the UK/I midmarket customers. I have a book of business of 130 customers currently.
How did you join Customer Success?
It was by chance really. After my sales role, I wanted to return to Product Marketing but couldn’t crack it in HubSpot. After which I chatted with my manager about what would make sense based on my skills and experience. Enter – Customer Success. Plan B was CSM, which worked out pretty well.
How would you describe the ideal CSM candidate?
An ideal CSM has a combination of consultancy skills, book of business management skills and a growth mindset.
I really look for excellent communication skills, empathy and relationship building, and the know-how of how to approach customers with both qualitative and quantitative data.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out as a Customer Success Manager?
Aim to figure out the 20% input that results in 80% output to double down on it. There are so many activities in your day-to-day that you would need to take, so it’s crucial to prioritize the most effective activities and be bold to say no.
Aim to figure out the 20% input that results in 80% output to double down on it. !
Can you take us on a journey describing what your workday looks like?
It always starts with a coffee 🙂
My workday is a mix of customer calls, team meetings, 1:1s with my manager, admin work, cross-collab with folks from Sales & Contract, more coffee, warm calling, forecasting, portal audit, loads of emails etc.
I recently became a Team Lead which has been really interesting. It includes forecasting for the team, interviewing candidates, 1:1s and coaching with the new hires, and working on interesting projects to help with team performance.
What makes you feel inspired or motivated?
Growth is what keeps me motivated. Knowing that I’m growing whether that’s professional or personal. Reminding myself of the Why behind what I do – my family is what keeps me going.
Specific to work, the autonomy and relationship with my colleagues keep me inspired and enjoy the journey. I like to keep moving even if that’s small steps.
What’s one thing that people are generally surprised to find out about you?
That I’m a taekwondo black belt 😀 and plan to take up BJJ next. I’m kinda skinny so people are often surprised but hey I’m working on bulking now lol
Who do you look up to the most?
It really depends on the topic but I look up to my parents for their hard work, strong marriage, generosity and so much more.
The journey that they’ve been on is just amazing. The resiliency, sacrifices, hard work, and unconditional love & support are what I admire.
What are your top 3 priorities now?
– Become a people manager by 2025. I believe it’s time and I feel ready.
– Soloprenuer business in the CS realm. I’m launching a CSM podcast in June 2023.
– Buy an apartment. In Dublin which is super challenging but fingers crossed.
What advice would you give to Customer Success Managers to grow and develop their careers?
Career growth is highly personal, and its definition differs from person to person. Here are a few things I’d suggest:
- Reflect on your goals. (Certain designation or salary)
- Get crisp on what tradeoffs you are willing to make (or not) in service of those goals. (Seasons of life: Single vs Family)
- Make your manager aware of what your goal is.
- Build strong relationships with your customers.
- Network with other CS professionals.
- Measure your success
What’s your favorite book, and why?
My favorite book is The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan because the principles about focussing on the one most important task in any given project has worked wonders for me. The domino effect that the book talks about is so effective. I would highly recommend it.
» 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?
Not yet! Hopefully soon 🙂
What should I have asked you but didn’t?
Can’t think of any.
Where can people go to find out more about you?
The best place to find me is on LinkedIn. and all day everyday. Feel free to drop me a DM.
Thank you, Prashanth, 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?