Iliyana's Blog

Top 7 Tips for Stepping Into a New Role

[fa icon="calendar'] 03-Feb-2021 12:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Career

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I returned from maternity leave about two weeks ago and stepped into a new role as a Program Manager in the Chief of Staff office for CX EMEAR at Cisco. 

It's an exciting move for me and so far it's been super interesting. Lots to do, lots of new people to work with, lots of opportunities to make an impact. 

Since I started my career, I've held about 10 different positions and switched four industries - I began in PR, moved into Marketing, then Customer Success, then Project and Program Management. I've worked in agencies, SaaS and IT companies. 

So it's safe to say that I've had experience switching roles and industries.

At this stage, I think I've figured out how to make it work so I want to share with you some tips on how you can approach stepping into a new role. 

Top 7 Tips for Stepping Into a New Role

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8 Ways to Measure Customer Success ROI

[fa icon="calendar'] 20-Jan-2021 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Customer Success

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Consider it a buzzword or not, ROI is still important. 

Executives care about it. They want to know that company investments are worth it. 

When it comes to building or growing a new department such as Customer Success, especially if you don't have experience in it, ROI is equally important. 

It's normal to ask if it's worth it and to wonder how to measure the success of the investment. 

I've always advised channel partners to ensure that they have a way to measure Customer Success and how their CSMs are doing from the very start. You don't want to start a new division or a new initiative and have your boss drop it a few months down the line because you forgot to measure its success. 

With Customer Success still being a relatively new and sexy job, how to measure it is not as clear cut as it is in Sales for example.

Customer Success is also a lot more about relationships than it is about numbers. but even though it can be subjective, there are still certain activities and outcomes you can track. 

I recently spotted two infographics about metrics to measure Customer Success ROI that I want to go over today. 

8 Ways to Measure Customer Success ROI

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The Top Posts on Iliyana's Blog for 2020

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Jan-2021 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Blogging

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As the new year begins, not only do I reflect on what's happened for me personally and professionally, but also on how this blog has been performing. 

I'll have to be honest, 2020 was rather busy for me with a still relatively new job at a new company in a new country, getting pregnant and giving birth, moving to a new city, buying a house and furnishing it. 

I didn't neglect the blog but I didn't have as much time for it as I would have wished so I had to move down my publishing schedule from once a week to once every two weeks. 

With that in mind, I was curious to see the performance of the blog posts I wrote and published last year and of those from all time. 

Let's dive in. 

The Top 10 Posts on Iliyana's Blog Published in 2020

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10 Things I'm Grateful For This Christmas

[fa icon="calendar'] 23-Dec-2020 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

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One more year has flown by. 

And what a year it has been for all of us with COVID-19 completely changing our personal and professional lives. 

To me, the crisis has had both positive and negative implications. I've been able to spend so much time with my now husband but we were restricted and couldn't travel and be with family and friends as much as we would normally do. 

Nevertheless, 2020 was really the best year of my life so far.

As the new year approaches, it's always good to pause and reflect, to think about all the goods things we need to be grateful for. 

Here are my top 10 things that I am grateful for this Christmas. 

10 Things I'm Grateful For This Christmas

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How to Manage Scope Creep [Project Management Fundamentals]

[fa icon="calendar'] 09-Dec-2020 14:17:26 / by Eric Weisbrot posted in Project Management

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This is a guest post by Eric Weisbrot from JW Surety Bonds.

Scope creep is a silent killer for projects. Even the most seasoned professionals can easily miss rising costs and scope since they tend to slowly grow over the life of the project. Luckily, there are many simple ways to manage scope creep before it gets out of control.

An effective project kick-off meeting is a major way you can tackle sources of scope creep. This meeting is the time to establish a realistic schedule for your project along with reasonable deliverables and outcomes. Getting this in writing in your project charter can hold both you, your client and stakeholders on both sides accountable to the scope you first agreed on.

Your first meeting is also the time to manage expectations and misunderstandings your client might have with your team’s work process. Answering questions in the beginning and ensuring mutual understanding can cut down on questions, feedback and project changes down the line.

Even so, the best project charters and most efficient kick-off meetings can only do so much. You’ll inevitably run into times where your client or other stakeholders request a change to a project that’ll change your original scope. All changes aren’t bad. Sometimes they’re necessary when legitimate unforeseen circumstances occur. They become an issue when they stack up over time or don’t bring value to the project.

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