Iliyana's Blog

Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is the Success Programs Manager for the Netherlands at Cisco where she drives programmatic efforts for product adoption. In her previous roles at HubSpot, she led major cross-functional change for the global Partner Program with her detail-oriented approach to project management and advised hundreds of agencies on how to transform their businesses with inbound and digital. During that time, she earned the globally recognised Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification by the PMI. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or traveling the world.

Recent Posts

9 Tips for Customer Success Managers

[fa icon="calendar'] 25-Nov-2020 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Customer Success

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Customer Success is a relatively new field, both from an organisational perspective as in a department and also from a career perspective for individuals. 

I've been working in Customer Success for quite a few years. Even my early days working in PR agencies and taking care of PR clients should be considered working in Customer Success although I held a different title. 

I've also never held a Customer Success Manager (CSM) title but I've done a similar enough role at scale working through partners to drive success for joint customers. 

CSM is an exciting role, one that's gaining more and more popularity. As some would say, it's a sexy role. 

If you find yourself just starting with such a role or are interested in pursuing a career as a CSM, this post is for you.

I've primarily learned everything I know about Customer Success on the job itself but I want to give you some useful tips on how to be really at it.

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The 5 Project Management Process Groups [Project Management Fundamentals]

[fa icon="calendar'] 29-Oct-2020 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Project Management

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If you start learning to get yourself certified by the Project Management Institute, you'll encounter a very organised approach to the practice.

You'll also have to make use of the PMBOK book. One of the first things you'll learn from it is that there are five project management process groups, 10 knowledge areas and 47 processes, each with inputs, outputs, and tools & techniques. 

In this post, we'll look at the five project management process groups which I believe are key to be able to plan any project.  

This article is a continuation of my series on project management fundamentals - if you missed the previous topics, here's what we've covered before: the differences between projects and operationsprojects, programmes and portfolios, the DARCI model for stakeholder engagement, how to run an effective project kick-off meetinghow to create a project charter, how to create a work breakdown structure and the top soft skills of a project manager.

The 5 Project Management Process Groups

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The What, How and Why of Inbound PR [Podcast]

[fa icon="calendar'] 14-Oct-2020 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Inbound PR

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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining John from Big Ideas Machine for their podcast called Heroes of B2B PR. 

It's been a while since I've done a podcast or a presentation on Inbound PR mainly because my career has somewhat moved into a different direction. 

We discuss that during the podcast - my focus now lies on Project and Program Management and Customer Success. 

This doesn't mean, though, that I am no longer interested in what's going on in PR. I still follow the industry and what's happening in it. We chat about this in the podcast too where I also frankly mention that even though the Inbound PR book came out over two years ago, PR professionals and PR agencies are still struggling to adapt to its principles or generally to the digital world. 

The What, How and Why of Inbound PR [Podcast]

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How I Started Living a Greener Life - 39 Zero-Waste/Low-Waste Ideas

[fa icon="calendar'] 01-Oct-2020 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Sustainability, Zero-waste

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This is not going to be one of the typical posts on this blog. I'm not going to cover PR, marketing, customer success or project management. Instead, I'm going to talk about something far more personal - decisions and choices I've made to live a little bit of a greener and less wasteful life. 

I've always been interested in sustainability but more from the business side of things. I even wrote my second dissertation on the topic. 

Businesses indeed are those that can make the biggest impact on our planet, however, each individual can do little things as well to live greener and create less waste. That's what I'll share with you today - some greener changes that I've made to our household over the last few months. 

But how did I decide to go greener? 

Well, as much as I care about the environment and our planet, it all started when I got pregnant. 

Pregnancy brings lots of excitement but also lots of worries. You want to do things right. So I was reading about all the things I can do and I cannot do while pregnant.

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5 Customer Success Best Practices [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 16-Sep-2020 09:00:09 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Customer Success

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When you are building a Customer Success practise at your company, there are quite a few things to consider. 

Few businesses have completely figured it out and are running CSM teams efficiently and super effectively.

In fact, only 30% of CS professionals think that their company has provided them with enough resources to do their jobs properly. The most requested resources are better tools at 39% and more training at 31%. 

I've seen and experienced this myself having worked in Customer Success for the last six or so years. I've also needed better tools, I've been part of building them and I've also built a ton of trainings for new hires including building, launching and managing a global new hire program. 

And that's how it is often when you start out or are in the first few years - it's actually the people who do the job who act as entrepreneurs in this start-up initiative and help out. 

But what are some key things you need to consider? Here are five key Customer Success best practices to get you started. 

5 Customer Success Best Practices

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