Q&A with Spencer Fossen, VP of Customer Success at Abstrakt


Today we’ve got the inside scoop on the one and only Spencer Fossen, VP of Customer Success at Abstrakt! 

Spencer has moved up the sales ladder going from sales rep to account executive to business development manager to head of growth. Most recently he’s made the jump to customer success and is crushing it. Read more about what has motivated him and allowed him to be successful in any role.

Question #1: Tell us a little about how you transitioned from sales to customer success. Was this something you’ve always wanted to do?

Answer #1: I have a background in sales and specifically growth partnerships, so building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships has always been a table stake and something I have excelled at. Hopping on board with a company that needed someone who was willing to wear multiple hats exposed me to the Customer Success side of the business.

I enjoy learning about people, their backgrounds, how they got to the place they are, and what makes them unique. Every customer, although they may fit an ICP, surprise surprise does not always translate into the right customer for us, but my role is to be able to ensure that there is a plethora of value being had when 

Question #2: What are a couple of things that have made you successful in your sales career?

Answer #2: My tenacious appetite to learn as well as my ability to be able to listen and apply feedback. Sales is such an egotistical game, and although a thing of the past, if you have ever stepped foot on a sales floor 10 years ago, you would understand exactly what I am talking about. That being said, I learned early on that it’s great to have an ego, but not to let it get out of hand. Confidence is key, but humility is even more important.

Question #3: If you had the opportunity to start your career over, what would you do differently?

Answer #3: Well the obvious answer here is nothing. Philosophically I am going to have to punt this question. 

Question #4: Where do you look for motivation or advice?

Answer #4:  Tactically, I love the Gain, Grow, Retain podcast for industry-related inspiration and thought leadership. They have Customer Success Leaders from across the spectrum as it pertains to industry and company size that shed a lot of light on a wide range of hurdles that we as CS leaders face. 

Advice: I like to rely on those who work around me. I find that the ability to bounce ideas off of others will 9 out of 10 times get me to the correct solution.

The exercise of pausing what you are doing, unplugging, and just thinking is one that oftentimes will help me find ideas and solutions to complex problems.

Question #5: What made you decide to take the leap and join Abstrakt as employee #3?

Answer #5: I like taking risks, it provides me with the ability to sink or sail my own ship. 

Question #6: Our team at Abstrakt is growing fast. What are the qualities you will look for as you start to grow the CS team specifically?

Answer #6: I tactically do not look for very much. I assume since I am sitting down and having a conversation with someone that they are qualified for the position. 

What I look for is how they react to adversity and consistency. I love to challenge the candidate early, I tell them that we are not going to talk about anything work related at all. 

I ask them a nonwork-related question, and I start a mental timer as to how long it takes for the candidate to get back to the safety net that is talking about work experience. If they manage to stay out of that safety net I will usually challenge them on something they may believe or think is right to see how they respond. 

Question #7: If you could give any piece of advice to someone reading this post, what would it be?

Answer #7: Have more fun with your career. Everyone is always so uptight and if you are not constantly burying your head within a laptop screen or multiple monitors you are not going anywhere. 

It’s crazy. 

Work hard, unplug, and have some fun while you are on the job. 

Thank you everyone for sticking around and reading all about Spencer Fossen, VP of Customer Success at Abstrakt. Do you have any other questions for Spencer? Hit him up on LinkedIn and mention this post!

Stay tuned for our next Q&A post. In the meantime, snag a demo of Abstrakt.

A quick disclaimer: None of the tips I give should be considered business, legal, or financial advice. I’m just sharing what has worked best for me but you should always carefully consider all your options.