At Pulse 2016, SaaStr's Customer Success for Start-ups track was one of the most popular series of sessions in the entire conference. This is a transcript of a really valuable panel featuring Jason Lemkin (SaaStr), Nakul Mandan (Lightspeed Venture Partners), Blaire Fernandez (Talkdesk), and Jennifer Bantelman (Zapproved).
Jason: Okay, this is a fun one. It'll probably be even more fun than the title, but, "Customer success is a single digit hire." This is a theme that we've chatted a lot about. I screwed this up, everyone screws this up, and I think there's a couple reasons for it. I think we'll hear a few case studies from Nicole and the panel here. But if you're early stage or even if you're not in the single digit; even if you're in the double digits, especially these days, a lot of first-time founders, a lot of driven founders think they can hack customer success longer than they should. The simple answer is make sure it's a single digit hire, don't get to more than nine employees before you hire a customer success lead. But whatever you do, make sure that the CEO, the founders, the executive team is not hacking this function just because they know the product longer than they should.