We recently had a chance to talk to Liron Saar, CSM (Customer Success Manager) Team Leader here at Keywee. We chatted about her career journey at Keywee from a recent grad to a team leader, what she learned along the way, and her advice for new grads starting out in their professional journey.
Hi Liron, tell us about how you found yourself at Keywee.
I joined Keywee just over two years ago, upon graduating from Tel Aviv University with an undergraduate degree in political science and communications. During school I had worked in a student position in an HR support role in a big technology company.
As I was nearing graduation, I started thinking about what’s next. Initially, I had thought I wanted to work in the public or political sector. However, after an internship in the space, I changed my mind. Then other students and some relatives told me about campaign management, and I thought it could be interesting. I saw a posting from Keywee on Facebook about the Customer Success Manager (CSM) job opening, and the rest is history!
What do you do now, and what’s been your career progression to date?
Today I’m a Customer Success Team Leader. I manage my team and my own accounts.
I started as CSM. Initially, I did a lot of campaign optimization – not the most glamorous work, but so necessary to learn. After five months I became an account manager, managing customer relationships directly. Later on, around my one-year mark, I became a Senior Account Manager, and started managing other CSMs.
Your progression has been quite fast! What sort of training did you receive?
Back when I started, there wasn’t a ton of formal training material. There were a lot of training sessions by my manager and our team lead – they went over the tech ecosystem, industry terminology, and Keywee’s platform. In terms of customer interaction and account management, it was mostly on the job training – learning from watching my manager on his calls. I would take notes on everything from how he ran his calls, how he responded to customers, how he’d write an email to a customer. When it came time for me to email customers, he reviewed my first emails and provided feedback. Same with calls – at some point I started leading customer calls, with my manager getting on the same calls and providing feedback afterwards.
Today we have more structured processes, though they’re far from being complete, and there’s still a strong element of self-learning. For example, we have a process for training on running calls – we role-play with me or my manager playing the customer, a new CSM who runs the call, and a group of CSMs who listen in. Then the call is ranked by various parameters.
We also have more management training today – initially, there wasn’t much beyond “make it work.” Today, there’s more coaching in the form of 1:1s with my manager to talk about management challenges and get advice, tips, and help. Still work in progress!
What do you like most about your role?
I love my interaction with customers – I love getting on customer calls. Initially, it really scared me. I wasn’t sure about my English, wasn’t sure I’d understand the customer, it was quite stressful. Over time things improved, and it became much more fun to get on the phone. I also had the opportunity to meet my customers face-to-face when I came to the NYC office, about three months after I had started working at Keywee.
I also love the fact that work is never boring – no day is like the other.
Sometimes I wish things were a bit more “standard,” but most of the time I really appreciate the variety, challenges, and even the pressure.
What have you learned at Keywee?
Wow, tons of things! Starting with knowledge of the business world – how it works, what’s the terminology. Also the startup world – what’s a board, what fundraising means.
Lots and lots of industry-specific knowledge around the Facebook advertising ecosystem.
I can look at any page on the internet now and understand what’s going on behind the scenes – how it works and how it makes money.
From a personal skill standpoint, I gained so much confidence. I’m now comfortable presenting to customers, building an argument I believe in and convincing others. It’s a skill I use every day to demonstrate our value to customers and get them to keep working with us.
Keywee is one heck of a school.
I also learned how to deal with pressure, manage people, deal with failure. Most of what we do doesn’t work, at least initially. You can do everything for the customer, do all the preparation, get on your calls, and then one day they can leave – sometimes for reasons completely unrelated to your work. You learn how not to take it personally and to understand that’s part of the business.
What’s been your most exciting moment at Keywee?
When Camille, the first Keywee I managed, became a team lead. Looking back at when I just started managing her, I can say now that I didn’t really know what I was doing. To watch her grow and develop, and then get that ultimate seal of approval and become a team lead herself made me really happy – for her, and also for me.
When comparing yourself now to the Liron who started two years ago, what are the main differences?
Today I have a stronger feeling that I can. Two years ago, I didn’t know or believe what I was capable of. I didn’t believe I can dream big and make it happen. Today I’m more confident – in saying what I want, and at least trying for it, even if it doesn’t succeed. I’m not afraid of trying.
I gained a lot of industry knowledge, and also a new way of thinking – I now have a problem-solving mindset, and I’m able to effectively manage customers – talking to people, knowing how to work with Americans.
What kind of people would succeed in your role?
People who are motivated, hungry to succeed, their career is important to them and perhaps even more important than their personal life for the next few years. People who are hard workers, who have big goal for themselves.
Skill-wise, people who can both communicate with customers effectively, and also be comfortable working with numbers and performing analysis.
What advice would you give someone who’s just graduating from college / university and looking to break into tech or digital media?
I would advise them to look at startups and small companies with junior positions. Starting there, you can grow and develop. Try to understand what you want but have an open mind – sometimes people without a lot of prior work experience think they know what they want, but end up liking something else.
Don’t be afraid to try one field, make a mistake or not like it, and move to another field.
Thanks Liron for sharing!
Keywee Greenhouse is accepting applications from recent college / university graduates, both for Keywee’s Tel Aviv and New York offices. To learn more and apply, check out Keywee Greenhouse.