How to Compensate CSMs

Palette Team

In their roles helping make customers successful, customer success managers, or CSMs, have a wide range of responsibilities. This can range from complex technical product knowledge to sales and relationship building skills. The needs and requirements of each customer success team can also vary significantly from company to company. Given this wide scope of responsibilities, there are a number of different approaches to compensating CSMs. Determining the best approach for your business requires careful consideration of your business goals as well as the needs of your customers from their success team. There are 3 basic models for compensating CSMs: 

  1. Base salary: this approach works well when you need CSMs to be neutral resources for your customers
  2. Base salary and bonus: the addition of a bonus can help focus CSMs on specific outcomes or metrics
  3. Base salary and commissions: commissions make sense for CMSs when they have responsibility and some control over renewals and revenue expansion

Our new guide on the types of CSM compensation structures has detailed information on each of these approaches, along with considerations on which might work best for your particular circumstance.

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