Job of the week: Cvent adding leader to help it hang onto customers

Cvent, the McLean-based event management software company, has ambitous plans to add 500 employees this year. Among these new hires will be a vice president of account management, a senior leader who will be tasked with retaining customers and cultivating deeper relationships with them.

Here’s what Eric Eden, vice president of marketing, told Capital Business about the job opening:

What are the essential components of this job?

We have over 50 people in account management in our company because we have over 12,000 clients. As a Web-based, software-as-a-service company, we want to have really high renewal rates. We want to have our customers work with us for many, many years. We’re looking for an executive who can manage the people in account management and who can help us with strategy so we have really high renewal rates across the board.

A lot of times we have clients where one division of a large, Fortune 1,000 company will sign up with us. And we want to have other divisions or the entire organization sign up with us.

So it sounds like customer attraction and retention are separate teams at Cvent. Why is that?

A lot of companies separate functions into hunters and farmers. Hunters go out and win new business. Farmers really get all they can out of the land that they have. This is on the farming side, to really just grow those relationships that we have with existing clients. Both are really important, but it’s hard for people to do both.

What are you looking for in terms of leadership style?

I think the ideal person for this role will be very hands-on — gets on calls with clients when they need to talk to an executive, be a problem solver.

So how much time will they spend strategizing with senior leaders, and how much will be in the weeds with their team?

It’s probably 20 percent on strategy with the senior management team and 80 percent on managing the team and interacting with customers.

Is this a newly-created role?

It’s a new role. We have two senior managers who are managing the people now. But as we thought about it, we thought it’ll make a big difference in the company if we can get a senior person who can really own this. That’s one of the big things — to invest in more leadership across the company.

Cvent is on a hiring tear. How does that effect this person’s job?

If you take a two- or three-year view, as we sign more clients, then you need more account managers and you need more oversight. So just thinking forward, it really makes sense. Fifty people is a large team now, but it’ll be even larger.

What is the workplace culture at Cvent?

It’s a very open culture where the best ideas win. It’s very flat structured. So the people who thrive are the people who have great ideas and are entrepreneurial.

Sarah Halzack is The Washington Post's national retail reporter. She has previously covered the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. She has also served as a Web producer for business and economic news.

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