Senior Director of Customer Success
Marta Altree, Senior Director of Customer Success, perfectly applies her tech-ed experience and outgoing personality in her role at OpenSesame. Along with her customer success team, Marta blends her passion for innovation and technology with her client relationship instincts. (Still, as she says, she nearly joined the Polish CIA using those same skills!) Within her two years at OpenSesame, Marta’s leadership has been leveraged through OpenSesame’s leadership development program, and her team has made leaps in delivering customer value. “We’re taking huge steps to scale our processes in how we support our customers,” Marta said. “We all have a sense of investment in the success of the company and a drive to constantly iterate and improve on how we do business.”
Briefly describe your role.
I lead the team of talented and hard-working customer success managers, whose charter is to help customers drive value out of the investment they made in our product.
How did you get into the field you’re in?
I graduated with a degree in education and started my career in higher education as a teacher/adjunct instructor and instructional designer. I stumbled upon the ed-tech industry, where I was able to combine my passion for teaching with my interest in technology. Customer Success is all about enabling and training customers, so it was a natural progression.
What has been the best part of working in your role?
Our customers and my team are the best part. Throughout my 12 years in technology, I’ve had the chance to work with the most innovative, forward-thinking organizations with bold thought leaders who pushed me to grow and learn. Building a team is most rewarding — I thrive on coaching co-workers, watching them grow and developing new skills.
How has your career grown since starting at the company?
Thanks to OpenSesame’s leadership development program, I’ve advanced tremendously in my role. When I started, we only had five customer success managers. Today, there are 16 of us, and we’re a well-oiled machine. We’re taking huge steps to scale our processes in how we support our customers. I keep a Trello list of all the projects and initiatives I complete, and it’s growing exponentially every month.
What is the Best ProDev you’ve taken?
Gainsight Pulse conference; the largest Customer Success conference in the world. Five thousand like-minded customer success managers descended on San Francisco and spent three days talking about improvements in supporting our customers and helping them achieve their goals.
If you feel comfortable, give a glimpse of life outside of work; where do you get your energy, or what do you enjoy?
My family is my everything, including my hubby, my 8-year old daughter, and a furry son named Steve, a 2-year old rescue doggo from Texas. We live for adventures and traveling is our obsession. In the summer, you’ll find us exploring the Pacific NW, hiking, biking, swimming. In the winter, it’s mountain time. There is also the annual European trip, inevitably ending with a visit to my family in Poland. I can’t wait for Covid to be over to get back on the plane.
What is the most unique thing about OS or what makes working with OpenSesame rewarding?
We all have a sense of investment in the success of the company and a drive to constantly iterate and improve on how we do business. Also, pets are a big theme at OpenSesame. We have a dedicated “Dogs of OpenSesame” Slack channel. The office is dog friendly, and during our new hire presentations, a slide with you or your family pet is a must.
What enneagram type are you? And what part speaks most strongly to you?
I am a 3 (The Achiever), wing of 2 (The Helper). I’m definitely The Achiever – I like to put ideas into executable plans with measurable outcomes and start implementing them. Folks describe me as a “doer”. The other side of the coin is that I need to remind myself to pause and reflect before diving in.
How has your OpenSesame team maintained a sense of community through the pandemic era?
As customer success managers, we’re all extroverts. We’re all outspoken and type-A. My team is very close-knit and most of us were already based in the Portland office. I was concerned with how we would remain effective and collaborative, while still caring for each others’ wellbeing and mental health. We certainly miss the water cooler conversations, team banter, and thought sharing. Still, through daily standups, team meetings, fun all-company events, and happy hours we have been able to stay close and care for each other. Our team even brought on four new hires since the pandemic started.
What makes a team member successful at OpenSesame?
A desire to learn, grow, and get better every day. Questioning the status quo and pushing for change.
Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
Invest in experiences, not things. I’m obsessed with traveling. It’s the best way to grow as an individual.
What’s something people may not know about you?
I was born and raised in Poland. After graduating, I planned to join the equivalent of the Polish CIA. I took a gap year after I got my degree to work and travel the west coast of the U.S. Eighteen years later, I’m still here and not in the Polish CIA . . . or am I?