View the CSM Handbook homepage for additional CSM-related handbook pages.
CSMs will need to occasionally transfer accounts they have been working with to another CSM (e.g. a CSM changes territories, a realignment occurs in Sales, a need to equalize books of business, etc.), and they should use this handbook page to help guide them through important questions and topics during the handoff.
Below are checkpoints during the account handoff process that CSMs can use to keep track of information they will need in order to successfully transition accounts. For the sake of this page, most of this guidance is directed towards the new CSM but is helpful information for everyone involved.
The first step once you are aware of a handoff is for the new CSM to open an CTA in Gainsight. This is where you will track completion of tasks necessary to a successful handoff. Be sure to select the "Account Handoff" playbook and assign the relevant tasks to the previous and new CSM.
As you follow the tasks in the CTA and collaborate amongst each other, be aware of the following suggestions to ensure a seamless handoff experience.
Discuss the state of the customer's license, such as:
One of the most important parts of a handoff is excellent transparent and timely communication. It's important for the new CSM to have a thorough understanding of the communication channels used to interact with the customer.
Does a collaboration project exist? If not, discuss with the previous CSM to understand why not and evaluate if it would be helpful going forward or not. If yes, review all open issues and ask the previous CSM to update/close any that may be out of date. It may be worthwhile to skim closed issues to understand what types of initiatives or questions they've had in the past.
Pay special attention to the customer's product sentiment and their feature requests, and check if the list of feature requests is up to date, are they prioritized, how many have been shipped, etc. If there are any gaps, ask the previous CSM for any additional context they may have.
While all information in Gainsight is important, the below sections have been found to be the most useful to review when getting up to speed on an account.
Review the "Attributes" tab in the Gainsight account to get a high-level overview of account-related details.
Review their success plan to understand the strategic objectives the customer cares about. If it's out of date or empty, sync with the previous CSM to get their feedback and determine a strategy to build the success plan out.
Understand what stages the customer is using on GitLab or on other tools; if any stages are unknown, ask the customer once you've started cadence calls with them.
Review the open opportunities for the account; is there an upcoming renewal, or is there an upgrade potential? Additionally, by clicking into a closed-won opportunity, you can access the command plan that SAEs/AEs complete during the sales process.
If you're interested in past email exchanges, these can be found in the "Salesforce Activities" tab on the account, which if you click on the eyeball will direct you to Salesforce to view the contents. If there are several entries with the same title, choose the most recent one, as it will also show the history of the messages in the email thread.
Review the cadence call schedule, and the usual list of attendees. Also review agendas for recent cadence calls to familiarize on the topics that are currently being discussed.
Depending on the situation, it may be beneficial for both the new CSM and the customer to have a slower transition (1-2 months). In this case, for cadence calls, it's helpful for the old CSM to lead the cadence calls at first, while the new CSM shadows, and both CSMs pair on any questions or follow up, until the new CSM is ready to take over leading and be solo.
Meeting notes docs should be in the standard location in Google Drive; if there isn't a folder for the customer there, create one. If there isn't a notes doc in the folder, ask the previous CSM for a link to their notes and ask them to move the notes to the folder. Also do a search within Google Drive of the customer name to identify any other relevant documents or materials and move any to the folder if not already there.
Read through past meeting notes to get full clarity of the history of our engagement, and take special note of any meeting notes from past EBRs.
It can be helpful to look at the history of the types of calls the previous account team has had with the customer. This information most likely can already be found in the meeting notes and/or Gainsight timeline, but if you want to get a list for a high-level understanding of the face-to-face meetings the customer has been involved in, you can pull up the calendars of the SAE/AE, SA, and CSM and search for the customer name in Google Calendar to get a list of all meetings they've had with them in chronological order.
While not all customer calls are recorded, many are, and they can be a wealth of information. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, ask the previous account team if there are any impactful or informative calls to watch, and review any with a subject line that may be particularly interesting (ex. EBRs, product feedback, etc.) or that could help fill in some gaps from meeting notes.
Thoroughly understand the main technical issues the customer cares about and has had problems with. Take note of critical open tickets and collaborate with support as needed, and review any key technical issues the customer experienced in the past; for example, migrations, integrations, major upgrades, etc.
As the new CSM is finally responsible for knowing about important support tickets and its status, its recommended to subscribe yourself (in "CC") to all support tickets, the old CSM was watching. This will ensure, that the new CSM gets notified (as the old CSM will remove herself from the CC list).
Assess the environment where the customer's GitLab instance is hosted.