Enterprise Software - Vice-President Operations
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About the Company
Our client is the largest software company in its sector in North America. The firm’s products its clients with the vital tools to thrive in today’s highly competitive and fast-changing market. They also serve as a blueprint to drive their customers’ businesses, from infrastructure to user experience and ultimately a healthy, profitable enterprise – all backed by our client’s commitment to client success. Thousands of businesses utilize our client’s feature rich, fully integrated windows and web based software solutions.
Our client continues to grow rapidly and its investment in people, innovation, and acquisitions promises to fuel significantly more growth. Meanwhile, the firm’s commitment to the well-being of its employees, customer satisfaction and trust-based relationships remains steadfast and unwavering. The combination promises to maintain our client as the undisputed leader of the pack.
Our client is a Canadian company headquartered in Southwestern Ontario. The firm is well established, profitable, privately owned and backed by one of the most successful, software focused private equity firms in the world.
Our client’s difference:
- Collaborative, creative and energetic team environment
- Employee recognition programs and fun company activities and events
- Comprehensive health benefits plan, a competitive compensation package, and a free gym membership
- Tuition reimbursement program for continued learning and development opportunities
- Diverse, inclusive, work-life balance and a relaxed, healthy work environment
Scope of the Position
Customer success is a critical function for any growing SaaS company and like other fast growing successful technology companies, our client considers customer success to be mission critical to achieving its overall strategic growth. Accordingly, our client is now looking to bring on board a proven, customer focused software executive to assume the challenging and rewarding role of Vice President Operations.
Reporting to the CEO, the VP Operations is responsible for ensuring that every customer is successful at generating value from the firm’s suite of products and services and remains a loyal and happy customer.
- Onboarding: Ensure every new customer is quickly and efficiently educated and launched with the company’s offerings to ensure long term success;
- Account Management: Manage each customer to share best practices; ensure they stay focused and on track to meeting their goals; stay alert to issues and concerns and ensure they are proactively addressed;
- Support: Resolve all customer problems quickly and efficiently before such problems escalate so that clients can focus on leveraging our client’s solutions to best effect; Seek opportunities to provide differentiated levels of support to meet differing customer needs. Implement best practices including KPIs for the function;
- Services: Ensure services are well defined and articulated technically and commercially. Refine services’ commercial terms and conditions. Ensure processes, policies, procedures and manuals are developed to help professional services team build capacity; Evolve a portfolio of commercial value added professional services that are complementary to the product portfolio; Develop, monitor, and act upon appropriate utilization and contribution metrics.
- Inspire and lead a talented group of customer-facing employees, helping them manage their careers and grow as professionals
- Participate as an engaged, open and committed member of the Senior Management Team; contribute to and support SMT initiatives and strategies.
- Develop and manage the services budget including developing methods and criteria to report on effective profit and loss of all services that flow through the organization.
- Focus on evaluating, motivating and sustaining the service level of the professional services team by building and maintaining trust.
- Work with key stakeholders to help develop client-specific solutions as appropriate.
- Instill a culture of innovation within the customer success team to ensure the team is effective at managing the existing customer base for maximum value
- Represent the perspective of current customers and the operations team at all executive and leadership team meetings
- Serve as a partner to the sales team to ensure new accounts are handed off smoothly;
- Ensure accounts nearing end of term are renewed with additional up-sell and cross-sell revenue where possible (i.e. grow the accounts)
- Serve as a partner to the product team to ensure that the right product feedback from customers is provided and is incorporated into the company’s product roadmap; this means advocating hard for customers when it makes sense, but not overwhelming or distracting the product team with every customer ‘ask’
- Recruit highly engaged, high achieving individuals to join the customer success team as the company continues to expand its customer base rapidly
- Continue to build and deepen the intensely customer-centric and innovative culture of the customer success team
- Devise ways to scale customer service/support operations as the company grows, so that when the company has 10x the number of customers it does not require 10x the spending and human capital resources in Customer Success.
- Manage customer retention, churn and other key SaaS metrics to top industry standards and ensure that Customer Success objectives align and meet those of the organization.
- Provide feedback to software development/product marketing on product issues that impact the customer experience and ensure that continuous improvement and best practices are in place.
Key Performance Deliverables
In light of the identified responsibilities, the following are deliverables that the position is designed to achieve.
- Specific performance measures will include BOSS (implementation of Salesforce.com to replace all ticketing systems); Drive Professional Services utilization; Customer Retention (ie. Implementing proactive measures).
The following competencies listed below define the role of Director Operations.
Focuses strongly on achieving agreed upon outcomes and ensures that key objectives are met. Conveys a sense of urgency and drives issues to closure. Aims to improve upon past performance. Establishes aggressive personal targets and strives to achieve them.
Develops a strategic plan to realize the vision. Revises strategy in light of changing circumstances. Takes a long-term view of organizational success. Works to clarify long term organizational goals. Able to stand back from immediate problems in order to focus on more far reaching ideas.
Establishes and communicates clear priorities and sense of direction. Clarifies roles and responsibilities. Adapts management style to achieve optimum results.
Applies appropriate commercial and financial principles. Understands situations in terms of costs, profits, added-value and return on investment. Appreciates the commercial impact of own work on the organization's total expenses and revenues.
Strives to provide customers/clients with personalized and efficient service. Anticipates customers'/clients' needs. Quickly follows up on customer/client contacts and complaints. Monitors and acts on measures of customer/client satisfaction.
Draws parallels across situations and contexts. Divides problems into their individual elements. Develops several explanations or alternatives. Separates the core of a problem from its symptoms and can identify cause and effect.
Helps to create a sense of team spirit and harmonious relations through cooperation and support. Balances personal goals with those of the team. Fosters collaboration among team members.
The following indicates specific industry, and functional experience/qualifications that are important to the successful achievement of the identified responsibilities and performance deliverables.
- 10+ years’ experience in customer success/support/services in the software industry
- Experience in a SaaS company is preferred
- 5+ years’ experience in Customer Success leadership, ideally running this function
- Proven ability to coach and mentor teams in a software company
- Demonstrated ability to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty, preferably in a start-up company environment
- Engineering, business or accounting degree
- Experience in transitioning a fast-growing entrepreneurial company to one characterized by industry best practices
- A strong sense of urgency and ownership
- Detail oriented, with an eye for numbers and logical with broad business acumen
- Highly competitive compensation package structured to the needs of the successful candidate.