The Practical CSM Academy Certification Syllabus

Business Fundamentals

• What is meant by the term “business fundamentals”

why an understanding of business fundamentals is essential to many (if not all) customer success managers

• Why businesses exist and how they fulfill this purpose

• How value is generated for the business’s owners

• Who (besides owners) businesses generate value for, and why this is important

• How businesses calculate both their expenditure and their profits in order to generate an “annual return” statement

• Understanding customer segmentation

• Understanding value propositions

• How customer segmentation relates to value propositions

• How businesses are structured and managed

• Management Levels and Decision Making

• A review of a typical company org chart

• What is meant by the term “business capability”

• How the concept of business capabilities can be used to define and understand everything that a business does

• Why businesses are constantly needing to change, with examples to illustrate how this works in real life

• Vision and strategy formulation and how it occurs in a modern business

• An overview of the BMM (Business Motivation Model), including discussion on each component of the BMM and how they come together to create meaningful change within a business


• What is PCSMF Phase 1: Preparation all about?

• Defining the customer engagement

• Accessing information

• Internal handover

• Customer information

• Solution information

• Initiative information and customer outcome requirements

• CSM outcome requirements

• Stakeholder information

• Third parties and project status

• Managing information gaps

• Formulating an engagement strategy and roadmap

• Tools for PCSMF Phase 1: Preparation

• Providing a Joined Up Customer Experience

• Sources for Researching Customer Information

• Selecting & Validating Customer Information

• Information to Research

• The Customer Research Checklist Tool: Overview

• The Customer Research Checklist Tool: Customer Tab

• The Customer Research Checklist Tool: Solution Tab

• The Customer Research Checklist Tool: Initiative Tab

• The Customer Research Checklist Tool: Stakeholders Tab

• The Customer Research Checklist Tool: Progress Tab

• The Customer Research Checklist Tool: Utilization

• Engagement Planning & Engagement Strategy Tool

• Engagement Strategy: Priority, Complexity & Maturity

• Engagement Strategy: Outcomes, Milestones & Measurements

• Engagement Strategy: Activities & Roadmap


• What is PCSMF Phase 2: Commitment all about?

• The customer commitment process

• Communicating with the customer

• The initial customer meeting

• Developing a stakeholder management strategy

• Tools for PCSMF Phase 2: Commitment

• Working With the Customer: Key Concepts

• Working With the Customer: Credibility & Rapport

• The Customer Success Proposal

• Meetings Best Practice

• Consultative Questioning

• Using the RACI Matrix

• Using the Stakeholder Management Matrix

• Creating a Stakeholder Management Plan

• Completing the Customer Success Proposal


• What is PCSMF Phase 3: Onboarding all about?

• Understanding onboarding

• Generic and customized onboarding models

• Onboarding as a professional service

• Tools for PCSMF Phase 3: Onboarding

• What is “Onboarding”?

• Why is Onboarding Important?

• Onboarding Vs Adoption Vs Value Realization

• Selecting an Onboarding Service Model

• Using a Generic Onboarding Service Model

• Using a Customized Onboarding Service Model

• Onboarding Services at Your Company

• Four Influencers of Onboarding

• The Customer Onboarding Scoring Matrix

• Onboarding Discussions with the Customer

• Customized Onboarding and Full Adoption Services

• Three Choices for Onboarding: Generic, Customized or Fully Bespoke

• Information for Generic Onboarding

• Information for Customized Onboarding

• Managing the Onboarding Process

• Developing the Right Onboarding Services

Adoption Planning

• What is PCSMF Phase 4: Adoption

• Planning all about?

•Understanding Impacted Users

• Research Techniques

• CSM Involvement in Adoption Research

• Working with multiple stakeholders
Step 1: Determine Adoption Requirements
Step 2: Identify Process Changes
Step 3: Define Impacted Groups (IGs)
Step 4: Document Practical Considerations
Step 5: Determine Communication, Training and Support Requirements
Step 6: Capture Adoption Barriers and Risks
Step 7: Create Outline Adoption Plan
Step 8: Create Adoption Proposal and Gain Acceptance
Step 9: Complete Full Adoption Plan and Publish Adoption Roadmap

• Activities and Outputs for PCSMF Phase 4: Adoption Planning

• Defining Adoption & the Importance of Adoption

• Adoption Pilots and Phases

• Adoption and Change Management

• The ADKAR Change Management Model

• Knowledge Skills & Attitude (KSA) Concepts

• Directly & Indirectly Impacted Users

• Research Techniques: The Workshop

• Getting the Adoption Requirements Agreed

• The Role of the CSM in Adoption Planning

• The Adoption Planning Process

• Adoption Planning Tools: Existing Tools

• Adoption Planning Tools: General

• Adoption Requirements

• Adoption Planning Tools: Capabilities & Processes

• Adoption Planning Tools: Impacted Groups

• Adoption Planning Tools: Adoption Activities

• Adoption Planning Tools: Practical Considerations

• Adoption Planning Tools: Adoption Barriers

• Adoption Planning Tools: Adoption Risks

Adoption Implementation

• What is PCSMF Phase 5: Adoption

• Implementation all about?

• Project Management and the Role of the CSM

• Benefits of a Multi-Phased Adoption Program

• Preparing for Project Kick-Off

• Managing People

• Managing Tasks

• Measuring and Reporting

• Handling Problems

• Dealing with Change

• Completing the Project

• Tools for PCSMF Phase 5: Adoption Implementation

• Activities and Outputs for PCSMF Phase 5:

• Adoption Implementation

• Adoption Implementation Roles

• Project Management Principles & Best Practices

• Preparing for Project Kick-Off

Managing People

• Managing End User Conflict

• Adoption Task Management

• Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

• Understanding The Critical Path Method (CPM)

• Using The Critical Path Method (CPM)

• Applying WBS and CPM to an Adoption Initiative

• Adoption Activity Measurement & Reporting Overview

• Targets, Baselines and Milestones

Adoption Reporting

• Handling Problems During Adoption

• Problem Handling Best Practice Steps 1 to 6

• Adoption Project Completion

• Readiness for Value Realization

Value Realization

• What is PCSMF Phase 6: Value Realization all about?

• Comparative Duration of the Value Realization Phase

• Balancing the Needs of Multiple Customers

• Helping Customers to Realize Their Value

• Maximizing Renewals

• Upselling and Crosselling

• Feedback and Advocacy

• Has Everything Been Done?

• Tools for Practical CSM Framework Phase 6: Value Realization

• Activities and Outputs for Practical CSM Framework Phase 6: Value Realization

• Promised and Anticipated Value

• Determining the Value Generated

• Direct Value (Direct Benefits)

• Value is Not Always the Same

• Consultative Questioning

• Selecting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

• Problems With Value Realization

• Where Does Value Come From?

Knowledge is Power

• Progress Towards Outcome Attainment

• Steps in the Performance Management Process

• Defining the Outcome Requirements and KPIs

• If Stakeholders Don’t Know What They Want…

• If Stakeholders Don’t Agree Between Them as to What They Want…

• Converting Indirect Value into Direct (Financial) Value

• Working to the Customer’s Agenda

Suppliers Need Customers to Remain as Customers

• Realizing Value Vs Attaining Value

What is the Customer’s Agenda?

Problem Solving: What if the Value is Not Being Attained?

• What is Root Cause Analysis?

• Root Cause Analysis Steps

• Five “Why?”s and the Cause and Effect Diagram

• The Role of the CSM in Sales Activities

• Using Consultative Questioning to

• Determine Outcome & KPI Requirements

• Reporting on Progress Towards Outcome Attainment

• Reporting on the Financial Returns from the Investment

Engagement Evaluation

• What is PCSMF Phase 7: Engagement Evaluation all about?

• The importance of reviewing CSM activity

• Increasing the customer success management knowledge base

• Updating personal and team best practices

• Templating common process steps

• Improving your own CSM practice

• Working with quarterly activity targets

• Improving your Team’s practice

• Celebration of Success

• Activities and Outputs for Practical CSM

• Framework Phase 7: Engagement Evaluation

• Overview of the Executive Business Review (EBR)

• Cadence & Attendees the Executive Business Review

• Structure of an Executive Business Review

• Executive Business Review Best Practice

• Getting Senior Stakeholders to Attemd

• What Value Has the Customer Received From this Engagement?

• What Value Has the Supplier Received From this Engagement?

• What Value Has the CSM Received From this Engagement?

• Using the Engagement Evaluation Tool

• Using the Personal Evaluation Tool

• The Customer Success Roadmap

• Example Customer Success Roadmap

Putting It All Together

• Who Benefits from Customer Success Management?

• Common CSM Traps and Pitfalls

• Customer Success is the Jewel in the Customer Experience Crown

• The Future of Customer Success

• Glossary of Essential Customer Success Management Terminology

• The Customer Success Knowledge base

• Using a Best Practice Framework

• Using Tools & Templates

• Customer Success Management as a Sales Feature

• The Partnering Approach

• The “Shared Risks, Shared Rewards” Model

• Pitfall 1: Doing Too Much for Each Customer

• Pitfall 2: Not Leaving Time for Continual Professional Development (CPD)

• Pitfall 3: Not Understanding Your Own Company’s Customer Success Strategy

• Pitfall 4: Focusing on Technical Instead of Business Issues

• Pitfall 5: A Lack of Insight Into Your Customer’s Business

• Pitfall 6: Too Much Time Spent Doing Admin

• Pitfall 7: Lack of Best Practice Resources Such as Frameworks, Tools & Templates

Individual Training Certification Syllabus will be published soon. Stay tuned!