Key Insights from G2’s State of Customer Success Survey

April 26, 2024

Customer success has been an increasing focal point for businesses.

Given the difficulty of acquiring new business, companies are shifting to ensure that existing customers maximize business value to enhance renewal and expansion opportunities.

Totango and Catalyst, both leaders in G2’s Customer Success Software category, announced their merger in February 2024. They announced their plans to combine offerings to create an enterprise-ready solution for organizations to maximize revenue from existing customer bases and reduce churn.

Anecdotally, organizations are beginning to view customer success departments as more of a revenue center and a leader in driving retention. To substantiate this, G2 surveyed customer success professionals to learn their feelings on the customer success role and where it’s heading.

This software uses detailed analysis of past behavior to create a "health score" to predict a customer's future satisfaction. This allows companies to systematically grow an established customer base, identify any red flags, and increase customer retention rates.

The role of customer success is evolving

Traditionally, the role of customer success has been associated with managing customer satisfaction, which has been the domain of customer service professionals. However, subscription-based business models require businesses to maintain a healthy, attentive relationship with their customers to reduce customer churn and maximize customer lifetime value (CLV). 

Suddenly, due to the difficulty in acquiring net new customers, business leaders are recognizing customer retention, upselling, cross-selling, and expansions as key factors for driving revenue rather than just responsibilities for a customer service-adjacent role. 

By leveraging technology, such as customer success software, businesses can more systematically understand customer behaviors, usage patterns, and their likelihood of renewing.

G2 conducted a survey to better understand how customer success professionals view their organizational role. Our survey data shows customer success professionals recognizing the change in their role and their influence on company outcomes. 

Over half (53%) of professionals understand their roles as having a strong sales focus with equal or greater priority than their customer service functions. The breakdown of the 53% shows that 11% see their role as strictly sales-oriented, and 42% see their customer support and sales responsibilities as equally important.

The structure of customer success teams and their position within organizations have also evolved to have a permanent voice in C-suites. Roughly 25% of respondents have a chief customer officer representing their department’s interest and contributions to business strategy meetings. A smaller percentage of respondents are recognized as being in sales-adjacent roles, with 3% of them being led by a chief commercial officer and 2% being led by a chief revenue officer. 

Regardless of what business structure their department falls under, over two-thirds (67%) of customer success professionals report having a sales quota to maintain as part of their job responsibility, showcasing a greater emphasis on maximizing customer lifetime value and the evolution of the customer success role.

The merging companies appear to share this sentiment regarding customer success’ role in driving retention and its evolution, as Alistair Rennie, CEO of Totango, said:

“Now is the moment for customer success to cement its value to the C-Suite by protecting revenue under management, owning retention and renewals, and accelerating expansion with precision.”

Edward Chiu, co-founder and CEO of Catalyst, echoed this sentiment by saying:

“In today's environment, every business must master a go-to-market motion that drives efficient, sustainable revenue through its existing customer base.”

The future of customer success

While customer success departments have received much-deserved recognition for their impact on business goals, many professionals are optimistic about the future outlook of their roles. Despite the current economic climate, our respondents report expansions in department headcount and job responsibilities. 

In the last year, 65% of respondents reported department expansions, while only 11% reported headcount reductions. Furthermore, organizational leadership is coming to see the potential utility of customer success in improving business performance. About 45% of professionals report having an expansion of their responsibilities in the last year, while 53% report no change, and only 2% report reductions in responsibility. 

As businesses seek to become more efficient, customer success professionals may be tasked with more responsibilities to manage customer relationships and drive retention.

When respondents were asked, “How do you see the role of Customer Success developing when you look into the future?” they anticipated expansion of role/responsibilities, greater customer focus, increased utilization of AI, and a need for greater technical knowledge. 

These are all examples of how businesses are likely to lean on customer success when seeking greater efficiency. See below for additional insights on how customer success professionals view the role expanding in the future.

Customer success will continue to be an increasingly important business function, with expanded responsibilities

While it may have come as a surprise to some to see two customer success leaders, Totango and Catalyst, merge, it shouldn’t be alarming or an indication of the future of customer success, which, as evidenced above, is a growing profession. 

As businesses seek to maximize CLV, more so than new customer acquisitions, change management is a critical piece and must be thoughtfully approached as new selling motions and new responsibilities are introduced.

As evidenced by G2’s survey, customer success departments have been increasing in size due to the refocused efforts on retention and the demand for additional responsibilities of customer success professionals. 

Additionally, as new GTM strategies become increasingly adopted, such as product-led growth, customer success professionals may continue to see increased responsibility for managing customer relationships and up-selling non-paid users to become paid users. 

The future of customer success is still unknown, but customer success professionals will continue to be a priority for SaaS businesses, given the ever-increasing competitive business environment and the desire to deepen customer relationships.

Learn about proactive customer retention software and the impacts of using it.

Headshot-JeffreyLin This article is co-written by Jeffrey Lin, G2 market research analyst,  customer service.


Edited by Jigmee Bhutia

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Key Insights from G2’s State of Customer Success Survey A look into G2’s Customer Success Survey, the future of customer success, and the Totango and Catalyst merger.
Blue Bowen Blue is a senior market research analyst at G2 concentrating on sales software. Blue utilizes his genuine curiosity and background in market research to further build subject matter expertise in the B2B software space. Blue grew up in a military family moving all over the world, from South Korea to Germany to Virginia, where he now calls home. He received his B.B.A in Marketing with a Professional Sales concentration from James Madison University and in his free time enjoys traveling, trying new foods, watching and playing sports, and hanging out with friends and family.