Executive Director, Partnerships
Partnership/Customer Success /
Today, StraighterLine solves the #1 issue facing students – the skyrocketing cost of college – with high-quality online courses that prepare students for success. StraighterLine also works with employers to create affordable, effective, and accelerated career pathways and ladders that align with a client's skill demands and lead to the completion of industry-valued credentials. More than 40,000 students studied with StraighterLine last year.
We are looking for an experienced client-facing leader to launch StraighterLine’s Customer Success team. The Customer Success team will partner with higher education institutions and businesses to ensure exceptional outcomes and partnership growth aligned with customer goals.
In this founding role, you will develop a deep understanding of the strategic needs of our customers, working in partnership with sales, marketing, academic, and product teams. This role sits at the forefront of these efforts, using a mix of strategic consulting, collaboration, and business orientation to manage and develop strategic client relationships.As the primary point of contact with higher ed institutions and businesses, you will define what success looks like for both customers and StraighterLine, delivering optimal outcomes. While building this team, you will drive cross-functional collaboration within StraighterLine, enabling successful completion of activities including goal identification and discovery, collaborative product delivery, on-boarding new partners, renewal, and growth of our existing relationships.
Goals of the Position:
- Build an effective customer success team focused on partner outcomes, growth, and renewals
- Define customer success metrics and KPIs, then aggregating data and insights to determine best practices and strategic outcomes enabled by knowledge of strategic customers
- Collaborate with marketing, product, and design teams to prioritize new product developments based on data, insights, and organizational strategy
- Develop long-term strategic relationships with current and new strategic business partners, identifying the unique needs and how they can best be served by StraighterLine
- Work cross-functionally to ensure high quality and efficient delivery of client outcomes/goals
- Serve as the voice of our partners, advocating for the outcomes of the client and the path to achievement,to provide input into every core product, marketing, sales, and technology process
- Earn trust and increase client satisfaction through partnership support, insights, and strategic initiative execution
- Successfully onboard customers through definition of success at launch, utilization of metrics and dashboards, and consistent trainings
The Best Candidate Will Be Able To:
- Lead the Customer Success team to deliver impactful partnership relationships at the portfolio level
- Use data and insights to drive forward effective partnerships in an ongoing approach
- Navigate competing business priorities when collaborating on the implementation of product and design decisions
- Manage substantial change and a problem-solving, solution-oriented mindset
- Approach every interaction with a company as an opportunity to collect their feedback on the quality of our programs and the caliber of our services
- Take a consultative approach to investigating a company’s needs and uncovering new opportunities
- Intuitively know (or know how to discover) what a partner cares about and how to provide them that information and support their objectives, strategic plans, and mission
Required Skills, Education, and Experience:
- 7+ years of total experience in management consulting, customer-focused services or similar – experience with higher education encouraged
- Proven track record working in partnerships working in a customer facing role, preferably at an organization where high-touch, long-term relationships were essential to the business’ success
- Strong analytical skills with an understanding of performance metrics and experience analyzing data, with curiosity and desire to explore why student results for each partner institution are what they are
- Knowledge and understanding of how to develop strong trust-based client relationships - balancing confidence, humility, trust, and diplomacy at senior levels
- Exceptional project management, communication and change management skills
- Experience engaging cross-functionally with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders
- Excellent written and oral presentation skills with the ability to synthesize information and deliver strong storytelling
- Experience building and leading a collaborative team to delivery both consistent long-term and immediate evolving goals
- High level of accuracy and attention to detail is required
- Bachelor’s degree required; MBA preferred
- Flexible approach, able to operate effectively with uncertainty and change
- Driven, self-motivated, enthusiastic and with a “can do” attitude –energized by working in a dynamic startup environment where priorities and opportunities change constantly
Desired Personal Characteristics:
- Personal and professional integrity in all that they do.
- Viewed as a team player and partner to the business, a collaborator.
- Intelligent and driven to succeed with a high energy level.
- Demonstrates confidence and credibility.
- A bias for action and speed, demonstrating agility and aptitude to the team.
- A competitive spirit and sense of entrepreneurship.
- Professional standards and maturity in dealing with the inevitable challenges and problems in the course of business.
- Ability to contextualize opportunities and decisions within the big picture.
- A natural command of the details and ability to provide accurate information to leadership.