Maximizing Your First 90 Days in a CS Leadership Role

Episodes of the Success/ful Podcast are available on:

Stepping into a new customer success leadership role is equal parts exciting and daunting. In the latest episode of Success/ful: Winning Ideas From the World of CS and Beyond, Lizzy Rosen, VP of Customer Success at Vendr, provides a roadmap for acing the first 90 days.

For Lizzy, it all starts with trust-building on day one — setting up those first meetings, knowing the right questions to ask to get the full picture, and developing a sixth sense for when to shake things up.

But that’s only the beginning! Drawing from her experience taking the reins at Vendr, Lizzy gets into the nitty-gritty of the first 90 days that are make-or-break for new leaders.

Listen now to hear:

  • What to do during your first 30 days as a CS leader 
  • Advice for setting strategy and building trust
  • Insights into structuring KPIs and compensation plans
  • How to evaluate your first 90 days in the role
  • And much more...

Guest Quotes

Lizzy on building trust quickly and driving change:

“The biggest quick win, no matter what company you're at or role, is quick trust. Coming into a new role, I don't want to go into a role and maintain the status quo. I want to change things. I want to build things. I want to create things. You can't do that unless you have trust behind you, team members trust you, and the organization trusts you and is willing to go on that path with you. And so, I think the first thing that you have to do is build that trust.”

Lizzy on the importance of patience and understanding when integrating into a new role:

“In the beginning, you want to be a fly on the wall. I'm from Boston, and I can't help myself sometimes, but I've made the mistake at some companies by coming in hot with a ton of ideas. Threw them all on the table at once and it caused some panic and chaos. So as I've matured personally and in my career, I’ve tried to slow down, listen, and understand before prescribing. That being said, there are sometimes fires that need to be fixed right away. So I try to understand what those things are and figure out how we can diffuse some of those situations.”

Lizzy on valuing team members' perspectives in leadership:

“I like to meet with every person on the team, no matter the level, which honestly terrifies people when you first do it. I'm a person, I just want to meet with you! I want to understand what your life is like and what your day-to-day is like. But the key thing I want to know is what is not working. I also want to know the one thing I should not touch - something they love and that works great for them. Too frequently people come in and they rip up everything all at once, or they try to change everything all at once, and sometimes forget the stuff that people love. I try to make sure that I understand that.”

Taylor’s Takeaways

  • First off, it's so important to keep that fresh perspective when you start. Dive into the data right away to avoid any initial biases. 
  • Also, don't shy away from asking tough questions to uncover and address any tensions between departments. It might be uncomfortable, but it's necessary. 
  • Once you have your strategy in place, do a "roadshow" to share the vision with every department and get everyone on the same page. 
  • And finally, while you should definitely be mindful of the company's needs, don't be afraid to make some asks during your first three months on the job.

Links and Resources

Ready to Follow Along?

Episodes of the Success/ful Podcast are available to listen on:

About the Featured Guest

Subscribe for Updates

Be the first to hear about new Vitally Success Network blog posts, resources, events, and more.

Ready to Put Your Data To Work?

Take a live look at Vitally's Customer Success Platform to learn how your data can help your teams and customers achieve greater success.