At some point in their growth journey, every SaaS company starts thinking about scaling upmarket. What’s the key to pulling it off?
Few people have more experience with this move than Linda Lin, Director of Customer Success at the revenue intelligence platform Gong. Although Linda started her career in sales, she has spent the past twelve years scaling post-sales teams and moving hyper-growth companies like Zendesk, Slack, and now Gong upmarket into the enterprise realm.
Moving upmarket means larger customers and higher revenue, but it’s not without its challenges. Enterprise customers have specific demands, and you need to evolve your business to meet them in order to drive customer adoption, manage deep partnerships, and mitigate the risks along the way.
For Linda, it all comes down to your approach to customer success. A great customer success team will help you to better understand your customer’s needs, identify what “success” means to them, and in turn, help your customers realize the value of your services, creating a more successful outcome for both their team and yours.
We recently sat down with Linda to chat about how customer success matures as you move upmarket and which strategies can help you to better serve your customers going forward.
Here are some of our favorite takeaways from the conversation.
1. Growing your customers into partners
What “customer success” looks like evolves as your company and customers scale upmarket. There’s an increased level of complexity as you start dealing with enterprise companies, and you need to mature your positioning and playbooks to meet more demanding customer expectations. As Linda explains, this is the point where the relationship shifts into more of a deep strategic partnership. Your customer success managers need to be in tune with each customer’s business and challenges and work together to create a roadmap to meet their goals.
“Upmarket customers have different demands of you. You’re no longer a vendor that’s plug-and-play and a small spend. You’re a big part of their tech stack, you’re a big part of their investment strategy, you’re a big part of their spend. They look at you less like a vendor and more as a partner. As part of that partnership, they’re going to demand more from you in terms of roadmap and key integrations. They need a partnership on the kind of support they need, not just from their CSM, but from the company as a whole.”
2. Finding the right skillset
These evolving demands from enterprise customers bring with them different skillsets customer success managers need to hone. So how do you create a strong, enterprise-ready team? Sometimes, it’s by looking for people who don’t have traditional CSM experience.
From her time at Slack, Linda learned that assembling a customer success team with people from different backgrounds brings a diversity of views and thoughts that helps you find more creative ways to build sticky, healthy partnerships with your upmarket customers.
“Not only do I look for people with CSM high-touch enterprise experience, but I’ve also broadened out and looked for people with no CSM experience and no SaaS experience but who have deep consulting experience. Maybe they’ve worked for one of the big four consulting companies and worked in-depth on some of the things I touched on around stakeholder management, account strategy, deep discovery with their client, and understanding the business needs.”
3. Leveraging customer insights across your business
As you move upmarket, the role of your customer-facing teams becomes more essential than ever. Your customer success managers can bring unique value to both the customer and the business – they’re the bridge between the product teams and the customers, between the tech and the people it serves. This direct access to the customers makes customer success a true value driver, and at Gong, they make sure their feedback informs all the decisions they make.
“As our company’s strategy evolves, our customers are really the best voice of feedback for us in helping us understand what they really value. Customer success can be the conduit of all of that great customer input back to the company on these really strategic decisions. As you go upmarket, you don’t learn better from anyone than your customers on how they want to be sold to, how they want to use and how they want to partner with you to get value out of your tool.”
Caught your interest? We’ve gathered a list of articles, videos, and podcasts you can check out:
- Zero to one: Customer success with Gong’s Linda Lin, previously Slack and Zendesk
- Your first SaaS customer success hire
- The Davidson Hang Podcast with Linda Lin
- Not just support on steroids: How to build a customer success team
This is Scale, Intercom’s podcast series on driving business growth through customer relationships. If you enjoy the conversation and don’t want to miss future episodes, just hit subscribe on iTunes, stream on Spotify, or grab the RSS feed in your player of choice. You can also read the full transcript of the interview, which has been lightly edited for clarity, below.
Riding the hyper-growth wave
Dee: Linda, you are so very welcome along to Scale by Intercom today. We’re delighted to chat with you about your work as a true leader in the CS sphere. To kick us off, would you mind giving us just a little bit of background on yourself?
Linda: Yes, absolutely. First of all, thank you for having me, it’s such an honor to be on this podcast with you. I won’t go back so far in time as to my very first job, but in case you’re curious, I was selling bubble tea in Atlanta. On a more professional level, I actually started as an Account Executive at a company called Meltwater, through their hyper-growth period, and spent about five years there helping build out different teams, eventually becoming a director of sales, director of upsells and renewals, and then a director of CS.
From there, I took that experience of building hyper-growth teams and launched a new part of my career journey at Zendesk, where I was lucky to lead account management for AMER and corporate and mid-market account management in a post-sales commercial team for upsells and renewals.
“I joined Slack at a revenue stage of 50 million ARR. When I left, we were just bridging the $1 billion mark”
I took all of those learnings, pivoted, and went over to Slack, where I was pretty early on the ground as the first enterprise CS hire there. I got to see the team grow from maybe 5-ish people when I joined to about 300 in CS when I left. I think now the org is probably closer to 1,000 people. So, a really large, mature, world-class CS org. I joined Slack at a revenue stage of 50 million in ARR. When I left, we were just bridging the $1 billion mark.
With that astronomical growth came a lot of new customers, a lot of upmarket customers. Of course, we always excelled in SMB at Slack as well. It was really an incredible learning journey. My role there was leading CS strategic programs – owning the methodology and CS playbooks, as well as touching on some of the internal and cross-functional processes and programs that allowed us to scale.
Dee: Really amazing journey, Linda. I don’t think I over-introduced you when I described you as a true leader in the CS sphere. That brings us up nicely to your current role with Gong. You recently started there as Director of Customer Success. How is that going and what part of your strategy are you most excited about?
“I was thinking, ‘Where do I add the most value for a team and a company? What environment do I thrive in? What do I love?'”
Linda: After Slack, I was really thinking about exploring my next role and journey. I was thinking, “Where do I add the most value for a team and a company? What environment do I thrive in? What do I love?” I was so lucky to find this opportunity at Gong, which was the intersection of all those things. I’m incredibly excited about wrapping my first quarter at Gong. It’s such a culture of real vibrance, I think it’s the best way I could describe it. There are just great people, great energy, great customers, great customer love of the product. That makes it really fun as a CS leader to join the team.
I thrive in hyper-growth environments where you’re scaling fast and there’s still an opportunity to build, and that’s really where we are right now. At Gong, we have a fairly large CS org and we have a lot of raving fans, in terms of customers who invest in Gong and want to see ROI and value from Gong for their revenue intelligence and have entrusted to us their sales and CS team’s usage of Gong. What I’m excited about is creating a more prescriptive methodology for how we go about helping customers achieve and unlock that value, which is really the core focus of a CSM team.
Then, operationally, what’s challenging and exciting about this year and this next phase of growth for Gong is that we are doing it amid pretty intense hyper-growth. We’re doubling the team this year. That’s a lot of new people and new ideas and new energy injected in. It’s important to blend that maturation of our CS process and being more prescriptive with customers with ensuring that we execute it really well as we’re doubling the team and bringing on new CSMs on a monthly basis.
Going through all parts of the customer journey
Dee: Fantastic. You touched on something earlier there, Linda, where you talked about moving from Director of Sales to Director of Customer Success. Since then, you’ve spent over 12 years in post-sales leadership. Where did you see the opportunity for yourself and the company to scale by making that change?
Linda: Well, career journeys are funny because when you put them on a resume and you articulate it one way, you can say it was kind of calculated and planned, you hopped from one stone to the other and it makes logical sense. But really, none of it makes sense until you look back. Some of these things are about opportunity and business need and what happens to you, rather than choices.
For example, at Meltwater, I was leading a sales team for a specific product line, and we decided that, instead of having sales teams per product line, we were going to have a net new logo sales team and installed-based sales team that specialized in all the product lines and then a CS team that owned customer adoption and renewals. It wasn’t exactly a choice but an opportunity for me to go from selling to net new logos to selling to existing customers. That really translated into me enjoying working with existing customers, helping them realize the value of what they purchased and grow the relationship beyond the first 30 days or the first contract, and then me exploring post-sales leadership and falling in love with that.
“First of all, the go-to-market teams are all partner teams. There’s one customer and there’s just a customer journey”
The way I think about career growth is that you don’t always know, looking forward, exactly the right steps, but if you’ve been doing really well and the company gives you an opportunity to grow your remit and your experience, jump on that, say yes, be excited to learn something new, and it will always make you a better and stronger leader for it. As a result, I got to help the company scale because I got to take on additional responsibilities in new parts of the organization and new parts of the go-to-market team that I never even envisioned taking part in when I joined.
Dee: I love that, that’s such great advice. Do you think, Linda, that your experience in sales makes you a better post-sales or CS leader?
Linda: I do, absolutely. I don’t think it’s a prerequisite by any means, but I think it helps a ton. First of all, the go-to-market teams are all partner teams. There’s one customer, and there’s just a customer journey as they are led from prospect to customer to growing customer to renewing customer. Having an understanding of all parts of that customer journey, having owned pre-sales myself and having run a team carrying a quota, I understand and empathize with my pre-sales counterparts, and they understand that customer journey fully. I think that helps me and my team better execute on the post-sales delivery of closing that loop of why people buy into helping them realize the value of what they buy so that they want to continue to grow with the company. Also, skill-wise, I think one thing you really learn when you are in a sales leadership position in pre-sales is driving urgency. I’ve carried that into my post-sales leadership, where it’s always top of mind for me. So, I think it has served me well.
Dee: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I’m going to hone in on an area where you have such expert advice, and that’s moving upmarket. As Slack’s first enterprise hire, as you said earlier, you’ve helped companies grow from 50 million to 750 million ARR in both pre and post IPO. Where’s the first piece of the puzzle that leaders need to shift in making that move upmarket?
Linda: Yeah. Well, the first thing is, the companies I really admire are the ones that learn what they do really well and their core competency in the run rate business, thinking about where they’ve done really well in self-serve or in SMB and where maybe product-led growth has driven a ton of end-user adoption or even what we call shadow IT usage by end-users who just loved the product. The companies who understand what worked well there and then figure out how that lends itself to their shift upmarket. I think those companies really excel, like the Zendesks and Slacks and Gongs of the world. It’s not analogous, but there are learnings you can take in your SMB business as you think about going up or getting into bigger companies and bigger deployments.
“Upmarket customers have different demands of you. You’re no longer a vendor that’s plug and play and a small spend”
For the companies I’ve worked with, these products are seat-based. So, as we move upmarket, what that means is there’s increased complexity in your enterprise deployments upmarket because there are a lot more seats that are purchased for these larger customers. The first thing I think about is incorporating in your post-sale strategies a deep investment and a deep emotion of change management, which is really, really integral to success in launching an upmarket customer.
And the second is: upmarket customers have different demands of you. You’re no longer a vendor that’s plug-and-play and a small spend. You’re a big part of their tech stack, you’re a big part of their investment strategy, you’re a big part of their spend. They look at you less like a vendor and more as a partner. As part of that partnership, they’re going to demand more from you in terms of roadmap and key integrations. They need a partnership on the kind of support they need, not just from their CSM, but from the company as a whole – across products, sales, marketing, business development, et cetera. You really have to think about yourself in terms of how is your partnership working for these upmarket customers.
Dee: That makes a huge amount of sense because as these things shift upmarket, there are different demands from the customer. Do you think there are slightly different or even dramatically different skillsets that you’re looking for when recruiting CS teams to optimize for that type of client?
Linda: There are, yes. There are different types of CSM roles. Some CSMs run a more campaign-based approach, and they might be in a pooled model, or they might have a scaled portfolio of many, many customers. The skillset there is a little different than an enterprise CSM who is running a one-to-few portfolio. The enterprise CSM skillset is that they understand how to build a deep partnership with their set of customers. They understand how to do portfolio planning and plan for their entire portfolio or their book of customers and prioritize within that. They understand that account strategy involves more than just how the customer uses the product – it’s how we’re multi-threading across many executive stakeholders for that customer or how deep we’ve penetrated multiple lines of businesses or multiple use cases to create a sticky and healthy partnership. They’re also driving customer advocacy. So we’re really returning back to the business some value add on customer advocacy from our key customers.
“Not only do I look for people with CSM high-touch enterprise experience, but I’ve also broadened out and looked for people with no CSM experience and no SaaS experience but who have deep consulting experience”
The other thing I think a lot about is how you can bring diverse points of view and diverse ways of thinking onto the CS team as you go upmarket because you need to get creative, and you need to do things differently than when you were working with smaller customers. Not only do I look for people with CSM high-touch enterprise experience, but I’ve also broadened out and looked for people with no CSM experience and no SaaS experience but who have deep consulting experience. Maybe they’ve worked for one of the big four consulting companies and worked in-depth on some of the things I touched on around stakeholder management, account strategy, deep discovery with their client, and understanding the business needs.
I built out, at Gong, a team of people from both, and I think that really makes us much stronger in supporting our customer needs and of bringing diversity of thought to our team. That’s something I learned from my time at Slack, where we did the same thing and we had a great model of blending in people from all different backgrounds. And because change management was such a big part of our CSM playbook, we found huge success in hiring ex-consultants to join the CSM team.
“Why do you have playbooks? For the customers, that’s the consistent customer experience that always drives towards value add”
Dee: If you’re making that shift to where customer service is becoming more of a partnership, I suppose there are people on your CS team who are almost acting as consultants for your clients. It’s really interesting that you would bring people from that background. Are there particular types of leaders you think these teams need that you wouldn’t have needed before?
Linda: Yes, absolutely. It’s the same thing with diversity of perspectives for the CSMs – I want that for my leadership team, as well. When I think about filling out my management team, I want to promote people internally who have deep Gong experience, who understand our domain, which is in revenue intelligence and working with CROs and VPs of sales. And then, balancing that with people who have had longevity and are tenured CS leaders who’ve built out processes, specifically in hypergrowth, who understand CSM playbooks from different product lines or even different business models that can balance out our diversity of thought and make us a more creative and innovative team. And then, of course, those who’ve worked with a similar segment of customer types who can help us understand how we can drive success for a really fast-growing company that has more enterprise demands of Gong and of our team.
Dee: Then, presumably, with all these changes going on between your team and the customers, your playbooks need to change as well.
Linda: My daughter has strong opinions – you can hear her in the background. She’s very excited about playbooks. Yes, you do. Why do you have playbooks? You have playbooks so that you can be really prescriptive with your customers, so that, as you scale your team and have dozens and dozens of CSMs, you have some consistency of what they’re doing with customers. For the customers, that’s the consistent customer experience that always drives towards value add.
For moving upmarket, I think there are certain playbooks we really focus on. Right now at Gong, we’re launching our new adoption playbook. So, what happens after a customer buys? And I’m not talking about implementation and tech config and account set up – I’m talking about how you drive adoption of Gong across a global sales team of hundreds of sales reps and maybe even CSMs as well. What does that take? That takes having a champion program in your playbook. That takes having executive sponsorship in your playbook. That takes having a success plan of your key objectives and how that converts to Gong workflows. That takes having hard metrics of how we’re going to track the success of this adoption period. Those are the components of adoption that I’m really focused on now.
The other main playbook for moving upmarket that I would really focus on is your escalation and risk mitigation playbook. Being able to quickly have your field team unearth where there is risk, quickly escalate that to involve the right people and the right leadership or the right teams internally, and then figure out a quick plan to deescalate that risk is super, super important so that we don’t have dormant risk in our portfolio.
Does the white glove still fit?
Dee: Then, we often assume, I think, that upmarket needs or means more of a white glove approach. Do you think that’s true, or is that not really scalable, and it’s really about finding ways to automate and provide self-service support so that humans can actually focus on the most impactful areas for those clients?
Linda: Yeah, well, the answer is it’s both. For your Fortune 100 customers who are spending a ton with you and have a wall-to-wall deployment or whatever it means for your business for an enterprise account, they’re certainly going to want a more white glove approach. How that manifests sometimes is having one-to-one or one-to-few CSM access – someone very specific who owns a relationship, who co-ordinates across all of your internal resources on behalf of that customer.
“As you go upmarket and you have larger deployments, more humans are using that technology, so you can’t have a white glove approach with individual stakeholders”
In that way, it’s white glove, but I would say it’s a little different than one person being white glove. What white glove actually means is that CSM is quarterbacking for your customer across all of the resources. That could be your professional services team because that customer wants a tailored and bespoke and customized professional services engagement. It might be that they have a legacy tech stack because they are a Fortune 100 company, and you have to figure out how to configure your technology with their existing legacy tech stack, and you need your PS team involved there. That can be white glove in terms of having more elevated support offerings, where there’s around-the-sun or different SLA or different dedicated support, and so on and so forth.
That’s the white glove part, but as I mentioned, the products I’ve worked with are seat-based. As you go upmarket and you have larger deployments, more humans are using that technology, so you can’t have white glove with individual stakeholders. Your CSMs have to be aligned to a specific set of key stakeholders for the customer. That’s probably the executive sponsor, some subset of champions, some subset of systems admins, but you’re not scaling the CSM, or it’s not scalable to have a CSM work with all the individual end-users upmarket.
That’s where you have to really rely on self-service ways of doing customer education, change management, champion programs, automation, and in-product features that help drive that adoption of the product and help scale customer success beyond one human CSM to customer success at scale for that enterprise customer.
For your tenured customers, that might mean you have to reset some expectations of how you’re going to work together going forward.
Dee: There are so many different elements required for it to work, aren’t there? What’s happening with your previous customers? The non-enterprise ones. Because presumably they’re loyal customers, and you want to retain them as your organization scales upmarket. How are you coaching your CS team to do that?
Linda: Your first and early customers are important because they probably took a risk on you and maybe your go-to-market motion wasn’t so defined, maybe didn’t have as many features, maybe value was harder. Maybe they took a bet on you, and so it’s really important to think about how you’re supporting your tenured customers.
Sometimes, as the company grows and the CS team matures, you change the way CSMs engage with customers. For your tenured customers, that might mean you have to reset some expectations of how you’re going to work together going forward. Meaning, they used to have CSM run XYZ initiatives for them, but now that’s not out of the box anymore – that’s a bespoke professional services offering, or that’s an area where the CSM will coach them and teach them how to fish on their own. You might have to reset some of those expectations with your earliest customers and make sure that they are happy, but they understand how you’ll partner in this next phase of your journey together.
From cost center to value driver
Dee: Linda, with all this change that’s going on in how you address the world as a team externally, I’m curious about what happens internally within a company going through this hyper-growth stage. How do you manage this culture shift in how people view the CS team? Is it important to shift that understanding of your team from being a cost center to a value driver?
Linda: Yeah, I think this is really important and really challenging because CS teams evolve, the CS team directive can evolve, and even the CS team KPIs can evolve. Early on, how you might think about your capacity planning or your headcount allocation for CS is very much a cost-centric framework. You’re like, “Well, we have 15 million in ARR across the company and we need each CSM to manage roughly two million.” That means we need to hire this many CSMs to manage that business and retain that ARR so we can reap the benefits of annualized growth of ARR and so on in a SaaS environment. That changes when you think about it as “What is the value to the customer and to the business that is uniquely provided by CSM?”
For example, when you create a champions program and you drive raving fans with NCS, that has force-multiplying value to our business because those raving fans and those champions are going to be force multipliers for the CSMs so they can do that work on our behalf and advocate on our behalf within their companies. Those people also go to new companies and take that excitement for Gong and drive and champion Gong at new companies. When we drive customer advocacy, when we are able to have customer testimonials and customer case studies and customer wins and success stories, we’re able to drive value for our business by bringing that to prospective customers.
“As you go upmarket, you learn from your customers how they want to be sold to”
Our business and our go-to-market motion are always changing. So, as we want to test different product features or different positioning in the marketplace, and as our company’s strategy evolves, our customers are really the best voice of feedback for us and how that resonates, how they would embrace that in helping us understand what they really value. And so, CS can be the conduit of all of that great customer input back to the company on these really strategic decisions. As you go upmarket, you learn from your customers on how they want to be sold to, how they want to use your tool, and how they want to partner with you to get value.
Dee: Yes. I love that because you’re essentially creating the opportunity for your team to close the feedback loop between the product side of the organization and the people that are actually using it. Are there other ways that organizations can go about making sure that the feedback loop is as smooth as possible? And what cross-functional relationships do they need to be advocating for to make that happen?
Linda: Yeah, absolutely. I think that the companies that have the longevity that most of us admire figured out a great loop between the go-to-market and product teams, and they’re customer-centric in their approach to how they build and enhance their product roadmap and their go-to-market motion together. Those internal cross-functional relationships between CS leaders and product leaders are really important. The feedback loop you establish as early as you can is super important in how you build that into your company DNA.
Tactically speaking, for example, having Gong snippets, where a customer talks about the pains they’re feeling and why they’re asking for certain feature functionality by tagging a product manager who owns that piece of the roadmap on that snippet in Gong is a real value add because they can hear directly from the customer – the customer’s voice is being brought into the room on what they need and why and what pains we’re trying to solve for them. You can also feed into a Slack channel real-time requests from customers so that product managers and product leadership have eyes on what’s currently top of mind for customers. Those are things that you can do on the ground on a more day-to-day basis to just bring the customer voice literally in front of your product teams.
“We have to make decisions based on metrics. Is there potential net new ACV that we’re losing because we’re not building certain things? Is there potential ARR that we’re losing in terms of churn and attrition?”
More systematically, you want to have a cadence where there’s a time in each quarter where your post-sales team and your sales team together are bringing reports and dashboards and insights to product leadership on here are the one, two, three biggest rocks that we’re hearing in pre and post-sales from prospects and customers alike. Here is the business impact to the customer or prospect’s business of what we think this could solve.
And then also attach it to numbers. We have to make decisions based on metrics. What is the scope of impact here? How many customers and in which segment is the impact? To what extent? Is it a lot? Is it a little? Is it recent? Is it a consistent ask? What is the revenue impact of that? Is there potential net new ACV that we’re losing because we’re not building certain things? Is there potential ARR that we’re losing in terms of churn and attrition? Is it potential future ARR? Is it expansion revenue that we’re not unlocking as a result of this? Those are ways you can present the themes and the business impact on products, so they can have those inputs when they make decisions on how they want to prioritize that on the roadmap.
Dee: That’s fantastic. I suppose it goes back to your earlier point around these being more partnerships than anything else. When customers start to see the benefits of their feedback actually becoming something real within the product that they can use or that speaks to their needs, it really copper-fastens those partnerships.
Linda: Yeah, absolutely.
Customer centricity at the heart of the business
Dee: How do you and your team go about maintaining and building excitement around customer success within an organization?
Linda: That’s a great question. Well, it’s not me. It’s a company ethos at Gong. When I pick new roles for myself, I really intentionally pick companies where I can tell in the interview process there’s a top-down, across-executive team commitment to customer centricity and customer success. That’s really important to me because it would be really hard for me to be successful as a CS leader without that being built into the DNA of the companies I work for.
Specifically, at Gong, I’ll give you a couple of examples of where I see this manifesting. First of all, we’re constantly celebrating our customers and talking about them. We tag executives in certain calls where we have customer input or customer wins or product feedback or whatever it might be. Our executives are committed to our customers – they actively speak to them. Our CCO sends out a form every month where he tends to speak to a big subset of customers on a monthly basis to connect with them. And it’s not just when they’re at risk or when they have an upsell or renewal but just to hear about their use case, how they’re feeling about Gong, what value they’re deriving from it.
“It’s part of our company’s ethos of centering around customers and their voice. People are genuinely excited about seeing customers succeed”
We have an NPS channel where everyone in the company can see the good, the bad, and the ugly from what our customers are saying about Gong. Then, we talk about these in our company All Hands, in our department meetings, where we showcase customer wins and customer stories. It’s just part of our company’s ethos of centering around customers and their voice. People are genuinely excited about seeing customers succeed and unblocking customers where they’re facing hurdles.
Another example, and this is where the top-down commitment is so important. Our CCO, Eran, recently sent out an email to all of pre and post-sales leadership around customer centricity and what to do when we have challenging customer scenarios. For example, if a customer comes into post-sales with false expectations or expectations that we can’t actually meet for their particular use case, we have to make decisions based on what’s best for that customer. It could be that we give them some extra resourcing. It could be that we make some concessions around their contract terms, or it may be that this just isn’t the right fit for them and we need to own that and possibly figure out the right solution for them going forward, which may or may not involve Gong.
We try to do things that favor the long term, that are customer-centric in nature, and make the right decisions as a business. That very much stems from the top down, which helps us to build this sense of customer centricity across the field team and across all departments, this sense of doing things for the long term, and the sense of doing the right thing for the customer experience and the customer success.
Dee: I love that, there’s a lot in those examples that are actually actionable advice for people listening to the podcast, which I always think is really useful. Before I let you go, Linda, what’s next? Have you any big plans for the team at Gong in the second half of 2021?
Linda: Well, firstly, it’s a year of scale – we are hiring a ton, so if you know of great people or you’re a great CSM and or CS leader, we’re looking to grow our team, and we are looking for rock stars. Secondly, I mentioned we’re maturing our business, we’re maturing our CS playbooks and our way of working with customers, and there are some exciting things we have in the works there. For me, personally, my second baby boy is en route in a couple of weeks. That’s my big plan or project for the rest of the year.
Dee: Super. Congratulations and very best of luck with the new arrival.
Linda: Thank you.
“Your career growth is going to happen at the intersection of your interests, what you want to grow and what the business seat is”
Dee: Before we wrap up, this series is really all about hearing how companies scale their growth. I’d love to know if there was a key event in your career that helped you scale professionally.
Linda: When I reflect back, your career growth is going to happen at the intersection of your interests, what you want to grow and what the business seat is. Just look for those opportunities, be someone positive, be someone who’s a rock star, that can always take things and hit them out of the ballpark for the team. Be someone who is not overextended and who has capacity to take on interesting projects and interesting scope and remit and make it clear how you want to grow your career.
And then, at the right time, if you’re at a hyper-growth company, there will just be opportunities that will present themselves where you will be the right person. You just say yes when those opportunities come up, and you learn new skill sets and new experiences and new responsibilities, and you’re going to grow yourself. Looking back, that has been the key to all the most fun things that I’ve been able to take on in my career that have made me who I am today.
Dee: I love that. They’re words to live by. Lastly, where can our listeners go to keep up with you and your work?
Linda: People can find me on LinkedIn, under Linda Lin, and connect with me there. I look forward to hearing from you.
Dee: I would definitely recommend that. I noticed on your LinkedIn that you have these great posts where you start brilliant conversations between other CS leaders, which are really, really interesting to read.
Linda: Thank you. Feel free to connect with me there.
Dee: It’s been such a pleasure chatting with you today, Linda.
Linda: Thank you. That was so fun. Thank you, Dee, so much.