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The Top 5 Trends In Customer Success Compensation Heading Into 2023

As CS leaders and executives make plans for 2023, here are the top five trends in customer success compensation.
Stefan Palios
December 13, 2022

Studies plainly show that compensation is not the only reason someone might choose to stay or leave a position, but it’s typically one of the most important factors. Similarly, compensation alone won’t determine if someone is laid off in tough economic times, but expensive employees might be at a higher risk of being let go.

As CS leaders and executives make plans for 2023—and as CS professionals look around at the landscape—here are the top five trends in customer success compensation.

PS—Want all the data? Read the NEW 2022-2023 Catalyst State of Customer Success Compensation report.

1. The average raise is shrinking

When it comes to how much of a raise someone received, the general trend is that the average raise went down: of those who got them, fewer people received raises of 15% or more, with more people receiving raises between 5-15% compared to 2021. 

But a shrinking percentage may not be cause for too much alarm. In 2021, raises in CS were significant. As a result, this data could be a return to normalcy after a pandemic spike. Or, even if percentages are going down, they are applied to larger bases because of larger 2021 raises, suggesting CS professionals are still getting relatively large raises in absolute terms.

2. Compensation is evaluated more frequently

When it comes to compensation review timelines, the trend suggests that it’s becoming more frequent. While reviews every six months are still a minority group (10.4%), that’s up from 7.9% in 2021. Further, reviews every 6-12 months are more frequent (37.1% in 2022 versus 34.2% in 2021). 

A possibly troubling data point is that 7.7% of respondents say there is no formal compensation review—they get nothing if they don’t bring it up. This is down from 9.9% in 2021, but still a significant number of people. Finally, a further 7.7% in 2022 report never getting compensation reviews, up from 6.9% the year before. 

3. Pay transparency is increasing

The broader trend of pay transparency seems to be increasing, which makes sense given that multiple US states have begun to mandate it. In 2021, only a quarter of respondents knew what their peers earned; in 2022, that number has nearly doubled to 42.5% of respondents. However, more than half (57.5%) still don’t know, suggesting pay transparency has a long way to go before it’s a majority movement. 

4. (Slightly) more people feel paid fairly

A big part of pay transparency is that it can inform feelings of whether you are being paid fairly. If you look at your colleagues and they are all earning more, for example, you might feel your compensation isn’t fair. But if you see multiple data points and realize you’re in the middle, you might feel differently. 

When we asked respondents about feelings of pay fairness, there was a slight uptick in the number of people agreeing that they felt fairly compensated (38.2% compared to 36.5% in 2021). 

5. Employees are sticking around, but open to conversations

As of right now, employees aren’t running for the door en masse. However, that doesn’t mean things haven’t changed slightly. First, more respondents in 2022 (35.8%) said they aren’t actively looking for new work but they are open to conversations than they did in 2021 (33.7%). Additionally, fewer people this year (29%) say they have no plans to leave their current job compared to last year (33.2%). And finally, over one-third (35.2%) are either actively looking or plan to start looking at some point within the next year, up slightly from 2021 (33.2%).

Employees might be looking and companies might be making plans, but the overall threat of a recession does not—yet—seem to have a large impact on customer success. That said, nothing is certain.

More compensation data awaits

The trends here were just a small sample of the full data available in the 2022-2023 Catalyst State of Customer Success Compensation report.

The full report includes: 

  • Pay levels and compensation structures for all seniorities in customer success.
  • Insight into the gender pay gap in customer success compensation.
  • How individuals and employees are preparing for a possible recession.

Read the whole Report HERE.

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