Monday Guest Ramneek Jutla-Y3-W11

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Get to know Ramneek Jutla

By: Mohammed Alqaq   |  March 11, 2024   |  Year 3  –  Week 11/2024

Thank you for inviting me to be a guest on Customer Success Middle East. It is truly an honour! My name is Ramneek and I am a Customer Success Leader.

I have been in the customer success industry for nearly 20 years having joined as an individual contributor and working up to leadership. I joined the profession just like many others did at the time it was not known as customer success but had similar principles to Customer Success now. I have enjoyed seeing the industry adapt and evolve as the technology landscape and organisational structures have changed.


I am currently the Customer Success Team Manager for EMEA at Avalara having joined in September 2022 and I am lucky to lead a fantastic team of Customer Success Managers!

I feel that I am always learning, via observing other leaders in my company and in the industry, from my own team, and also via intentional learning through podcasts, reading, and meeting other CS professionals.

Outside work, I live with my husband and our son just outside London. We make an effort to always intentionally plan and spend time together outdoors whether that is going on bike rides, walks, or playing some different or made-up sport in our local park. I myself enjoy traveling, relaxing with a good read, or playing netball and I volunteer every weekend as a coach for a local social netball team.

We asked Ramneek 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?

My career path has not followed a straight line and I have been open-minded when it comes to taking the next step in my career. I view opportunities with the growth potential they present as well as alignment to my passion and drivers.

I spent the bulk of my career working in the Intellectual Property field managing customer relationships post-sale, improving service delivery, increasing stakeholder relationships, and reducing churn. I found the evolution of this role into a commercial focus on retention and growth fascinating.

I have always been open-minded when it comes to opportunities presented to me and look at the growth potential in them. In 2017 I had the opportunity to lead a team which was my first experience in direct line management from which I took many learnings. It was a self-discovery I would say.

After that in 2018 I had the opportunity to move to an individual contributor role but with a twist: it was a CSM role with my first taste of a SaaS product. I played a key role in EMEA: shaping the strategy and KPIs for all EMEA customers of this SaaS product. This was a turning point for me as it was a mind-shift change moving from non-SaaS CSM to SaaS CSM. There was a strong shift to the commercial alignment of the role with a focus on mitigating churn via strong product adoption and advocacy strategies.

At Avalara I have brought with me the learnings from my SaaS CSM roles to shape the EMEA CS strategy. I work alongside an inclusive, open, and collaborative leadership team and an impactful and fun team of CSMs.

How did you join Customer Success?

As much as I advertise myself as a planner and I would say organisation is one of my key strengths, I did fall into customer success by accident, but would not regret it.

I studied Chemistry at university and was introduced to Intellectual Property which piqued my interest. I researched the industry and found it very interesting so I took a tangent and completed a Master’s in Intellectual Property Management. During my Masters, I came across an opportunity at a company aligned in that field and working with customers which I explored and I was successful in getting the role.

The role was a first-line customer service/success role, managing a portfolio of strategic partners and their customers which I really loved. I enjoyed building ongoing relationships with my customers and understanding how we aligned with their business values and growth direction.

How would you describe the ideal CSM candidate?

Having spent nearly all of my time in my current role recruiting for and growing a team, I have changed my opinion of what makes a good CSM but some traits remain constant as very strong and important.

I have seen that a good team is not made of individual CSMs who all come from a CSM background with years and years of CS experience. The perspectives a diverse team brings are important – an SDR can make a great CSM: they have good discovery skills and perseverance to help remove roadblocks for their customers. A CSM with a support background brings a focus on customer satisfaction and ensuring the customer receives the outcome they want. A CSM with a straight line CSM career will be focused on driving value for customers with an eye on the commercials – retention and growth.

Some of the strongest traits I look for are a growth mindset, adaptability, and empathy. CS is a fine balance between being empathetic and investing the time to have value-driven conversations with customers (the long game) vs. delivering revenue impact (NRR, GRR, CSQLs, and references) in the short to mid-term.

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

As someone in my team says to our new CSMs as they join: “Be a sponge”. Take the dedicated time to understand your company’s goals and metrics and how they relate to your team and role.

Understand the reason customers churn. Build out an internal stakeholder map of colleagues and teams you need to shadow to understand their goals and KPIs as well as the challenges they see from an internal and a customer perspective. Understand how your CS goals and KPIs align with other teams.

This is the support network you will lean on to work on a customer at risk of churn or an important customer needing a product enhancement. Remember, as a CSM churn doesn’t wholly belong to you, it is company-wide ownership and each department has a part to play in keeping a customer.


Take the dedicated time to understand your company’s goals and metrics and how they relate to your team and role.

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

I am quite intentional about tracking my projects and initiatives and blocking time during the week to work on these, but in the course of normal business other things do come in to take priority. I typically start a day reviewing what I want to achieve that day and recap on the rest of the week. I am intentional about not letting email and Slack messages dictate my focus at the start of the day. I am trying to get better at building in focus time in the day to bulk email and Slack responses.

The day starts with a briefing meeting with our leadership team on key initiatives, followed by 121s with my direct reports on their progress to KPIs, blockers and personal development. Afternoons are normally spent aligning with my US colleagues and working on key initiatives.

I like to track my calendar and projects two weeks out to be as organised and prepared as possible so I am able to manage those urgent or unexpected matters that drop in.

If i am lucky I get out for a walk in the day to let myself reset that creativity button but this is dependent on the British weather!

What makes you feel inspired or motivated?

I enjoy the satisfaction of helping people grow and get the best out of themselves – behind every role, there is a unique person with their own skills, strengths, and personal drivers.

I like to see a project coming together, especially where there is cross-functional collaboration and alignment.

Team time is always at the top of my list. I enjoy having reflective and creative time with my team with time for team building so we can all understand each other more deeply and be respectful and considerate of each other.

Balancing my personal and professional life is also important. Being a good role model for my son and finding the right balance between being impactful in my professional life and personal life.

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

I would say something I do keep mostly to myself is that I am a deeply spiritually motivated person. As a family,  we are quite involved in our local community through different initiatives and this is something quite dear to my heart, especially more so since I became a parent. I am now at a stage in my life where I actively look for opportunities where I can contribute back to my community.

Who do you look up to the most? 

I would be remiss if I didn’t say it is my parents and they are the people I look up to the most. My parents are immigrants from India, having moved to the UK in the 1970s. Working their way up to where they are in life at the moment, on the cusp of retirement, from having only pocket change and both working whatever hours they could each get has drilled into me a strong work ethic.

My mum approaches everything in her life with empathy and grace and my dad has been a strong provider and the rock of our family. Without them, I would not be the professional, partner and parent I am now and I strive to incorporate their traits into every aspect of my life.

What are your top 3 priorities now?

These are my top 3 priorities:

  • Personal growth and development through reading, networking and learning from the Customer Success community

  • Supporting my team be the best they can be by providing them with the right support and resources to do exceptional work

  • Mental and spiritual health through intentional focus on meditation and yoga.

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

Bring intentional about your developmental pathway. A career pathway does not have to be a promotion to team leader or manager, it can be growth in an IC role as a specialist or a lateral move. Reflect on what you enjoy and what your drivers are. Speak to other leaders and managers in your field and company on their career pathways, what they enjoy, and what obstacles they have faced.

Be vocal about what you want in your career, stay open-minded to opportunities, and seek them out if they do not present themselves – find ways to craft these into your role. For example, if you want to move into leadership, start by deputising for your leader, take on coaching for junior colleagues in your team, and start and lead a cross-functional project with a clear business outcome. Put yourself out there and ask for support from your leader.

Don’t present problems, help your leaders with solutions and suggestions.

Work on what is in your control and what is not.

I have made the mistake of not discussing my career pathway in the past and hoping for opportunities to come my way. Being intentional to explore and try things to assess what you enjoy and what is good.

Use some of the many CS Slack groups, and mentorship channels and follow some of the thought leaders in the CS space to learn more. Build this into your weekly routine so you are focused and intentional.

What’s your favorite book, and why?

In 2023 I set myself a goal to read a book a month and I slipped off the wagon. I started back up in December 2023 and I am making an intentional effort to read for 15 minutes a day (something my Senior Director suggested they were doing). I am currently reading Atomic Habits which I can see will be impactful for not just my professional life, but for my aim to be better in my personal life and my role as a parent.

In relation to business and teamwork, I think Patrick Lencioni’s Ideal Team Player is very impactful and has been influential to me when shaping my recruitment strategy

» 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 don’t have such a goal as an “I’ve made it”. I work on the basis of setting myself weekly and quarterly goals and making incremental improvements towards them. I also am intentional about taking advantage of opportunities presented to me and being open-minded towards them if they align with my personal and professional drivers.

What should I have asked you but didn’t? 

“What would you have done differently if you had the chance to go back in time”

My answer to this would be to be more brave and bold – seek out challenging opportunities sooner in my career.

Where can people go to find out more about you?

I am active on LinkedIn – that is the place to find me. I enjoy connecting with people and you can always reach out and send me a message for anyone who wants to connect and share ideas!

Thank you, Ramneek, 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?