680 Partners Recruits Head of Customer Success for Celtra

May 18, 2016 – New York City-based executive search firm 680 Partners has placed Christopher Contreras as senior vice president of customer success at Celtra, a user experience platform for digital display, native and video advertising. Ross Freeman, 680 Partners CEO, led the search.

Mr. Contreras served as SVP of Operative Media’s customer success group, where he was responsible for developing the customer strategy, growth, adoption and operations of the company’s products with its customers. He also served as VP of sales operations at Visible Measures during its hyper-growth stage, and ran digital strategy, analytics, pricing and planning at Univision Interactive Media and NBCUniversal.

“We have a phenomenal best-in-class SaaS product for addressing one of the biggest digital advertising challenges,” said Mihael Mikek, founder and CEO of Celtra. “The potential for growth is enormous and a superb customer experience that can scale globally is the second ingredient that we need to deliver on our promise. Chris will play an important role in our plan to establish Celtra as the leading ad user experience platform for digital advertising.”

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The customer success leader is a relatively new position within organizations. A search on LinkedIn of the title only generated 1,245 results. But a growing number of technology companies currently have one, or want one, including NetSuite; Findly; Proofpoint; SPS Commerce; Echo360; Cisco; Bullhorn; Benefitfocus; Gigya; Oracle; PeopleMatter; Marin Software; Coretelligent; Calypso Technology; MAXDigital LLC; BlackBerry; Salesforce.com; ServiceMax; and Genesys.

“We have found that the vast majority of the customer success candidate pool grew up within professional services as well as sales,” said Mr. Freeman. “Fundamentally, the question for all SaaS companies is how do you build and grow an account once the customer has been on-boarded vs. just being focused on initial implementation,” he added.

Mr. Freeman said the role should have a revenue number associated with it and as well as a fundamental understanding of how to quantify and benchmark the usage of a given product post sale. “As an example,” he said, “we found that the best people can benchmark all milestones from onboarding, training, renewals and churn, customer lifecycle value, platform usage and overall happiness with the product. Sales people should never have to walk into a contract negotiation again without an understanding of how each client is using their product and the value they’ve derived over the past year.”

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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