The Head of the Customer Success Managers Department is Vladimir Alekseenko. He began his career at CIENCE as a researcher, and he was hired in late May and began working on the FiveStars project along with other teammates on June 2. Vladimir got his Master’s Degree in English Teaching.
He’s patient, clever and persistent. As the Head of the Department, Vladimir has an overwhelming volume of work, but he’s always ready to help.
“I was 27 when I joined CIENCE as a researcher in late May. Previously, I had worked as a school teacher for three years and a salesperson for a family business. We manufactured work uniforms. I would be driving all over Kyiv searching for clients. Due to the crisis, the business wasn’t doing well, so my wife began sending my CVs to various organizations.
Expectations and a tough start
When I came to CIENCE (then Leadware), I was told that I’ll be communicating with clients. I was looking forward to it since I wanted to practice my English. I also wanted to make calls. However, afterward, it turned out that I had to do only research. It was very hard at the beginning.
I had never thought I’d ever work in the office, especially since I wasn’t used to working so much with a computer. In addition to that, I didn’t know how to use many software tools. I am a very active person, and I wanted a dynamic job. However, data enrichment requires diligence, patience, and attentiveness.
On my very first day of training, I only managed to generate 12 leads. I went to the managers and told them that I’m not a good fit for this job. I’m responsible, so I didn’t want to let them down with my poor performance. However, they told me that they trusted and believed in me. They persuaded me to try more.
Working as a researcher
I would come to work at 6 AM. We received lists for data enrichment on a daily basis. I worked overtime because I didn’t manage to hit quota in time. When I ran the family business, I had much freedom. It was hard to tune in for Data Enrichment. Working in Customer Success Management fits me better.
It was the first day we worked on the FiveStar project. Suddenly I heard the bell. We rang it to call everyone for team-building or for special announcements. When I came to the kitchen, I saw pizza and Coca-Cola. Everyone congratulated me because it was my birthday.
It’s on June 2, just like the birthday of CIENCE. I’ve never told anyone about it. I’d been in this team no more than for a couple of weeks. When you’re a newcomer to a company, nobody pays attention to your anniversaries or any other special dates.
The congratulation and attention from the team melted my heart. I was very surprised and pleased.
Changing role and career growth
When we acquired the new clients, the need for SDRs emerged. It was an opportunity for me to change the type of work I was doing. We had a big grammar test, and I was one of the best at it. This is how I became a Sales Development Representative.
I liked it much more because I had more communication. It’s interesting because I rarely initiate contact myself. However, I like talking to people as a part of my work.
Since the company developed, a fast career growth was natural. Managers told us about career opportunities and some of us leveraged them. I became a Team Lead and eventually a Team Manager of SDRs. At some point, the company decided to open several Customer Success Manager positions here in Kyiv.
Previously, we had had them in the US, but it was more convenient to have them in Ukraine, so that we’re closer to SDRs and researchers. In May 2017, the company opened a position of the Head of CSM Department. I took it.
Our first great challenge was to gain new clients. Then, it was hard to handle the growth. For example, at some point in time, we had to work remotely because the office was too small to fit in all the people.
It was interesting to see the company development. As you grow, you gain new challenges, study new people and organize the working process. I’ve learned and understood many things here. I know that despite difficulties, you can achieve success if you work hard. I am also pretty sure that being close to a fail means you’ve almost achieved a tough goal.