And that starts with onboarding.
Survey new clients about their onboarding experience. If you miss this step, you won’t know it’s poor until they decline to renew.
Selling doesn’t stop at the signature
While the impressions that sales make are critically important (they are the ones that landed the deal, after all), the onboarding experience is the story your clients will tell their friends and peers.
Onboarding is still part of the sales motion. It should never be a perfunctory data collection and training activity.
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We are often asked how to optimize onboarding.
Once new clients are landed, significant attention has to focus on client success: the realization of the promise of value made in the sales process.
Unless carefully nurtured during onboarding, the good energy, promise of value, and enthusiasm created during the sales process is jolted or fractured. This alone can doom onboarding and immediately jeopardizes referrals and renewals.
Here are the top six items to consider in onboarding new clients:
#1. Share your plan
Define a clear path for onboarding from the client’s perspective. Include details on what will be required from the client and when, as well as what will be delivered or accomplished in the onboarding meetings.
#2. Focus on your client
Make sure the onboarding team is focused on actual client success, and not just internal checklists or tasks. This is a solution sale. Start with personas and use cases. Make sure the client is getting what they need to deliver value internally.
#3. This is still sales
Treat every onboarding meeting like a sales meeting, because they are! Make the scheduling easy. Send calendar invites with video-conferencing links embedded. Keep your camera on. Make it a smooth, easy, productive experience for the attendee.
#4. Don’t kick them out of the nest too soon
You don’t want to take over all configuration for clients – you want to empower them. However, don’t make them feel responsible for the system until you’ve: understood their needs, shown them how to accomplish them, and asked if they are comfortable.
#5. Elevate your champion
Make your champion look good! For complex SaaS solutions, there is at least as much internal selling and hand-holding required by the buyer champion as it took the rep to sell the champion in the first place. Help them! Respect their time and commitment to success.
#6. Ask how it went before it’s too late