There’s a lot of information out there focusing on the sale. You need to attract new clients, but once you close a deal that’s actually not the end of the road—it’s just the beginning. What you do next will determine whether you set the client up for success in the long run. Getting the sales-to-onboarding handoff right can help you build lifelong relationships with customers, improving retention because your clients immediately see the value of the software they purchased and are able to achieve their desired outcome.
Step 1: Communicate
One of the most common client complaints is a lack of communication about the next steps. They won’t be working with a sales rep anymore, but they don’t hear from anyone else right away. Your team might be working hard behind the scenes to get ready for onboarding, but without proper communication, the client feels like they’ve been forgotten. To avoid missing this step, automate the process with a welcome email that has information about what they can expect, as well as contact information for the onboarding lead. Sales reps should make a clean break and let onboarding take over all communications.
Step 2: Gather Information
Your onboarding team needs as much information as possible about what the client hopes to achieve by using your software. You might be able to get some of that from your sales team. GuideCX integrates with SalesForce and Hubspot so information can be easily passed from sales to the implementation team. Whatever tools you use, make sure you have a good handoff protocol and internal data sharing software to facilitate this transfer so you’re not asking the client the same questions over and over. You can also ask the client in a short, simple onboarding questionnaire.
Step 3: Set Realistic Expectations
Your sales team likely made some promises during the process, so knowing what the client expects here is important to fulfill their needs. Equally important is setting realistic expectations and timelines for what’s involved in onboarding and when it will be complete. Creating a schedule in your client onboarding software that shows each step (with deadlines and assigned responsibilities) can help you avoid overpromising and underdelivering.
Step 4: Provide the Right Resources
During the sales process, your new client probably saw a demo and may have a short free trial where they could use the product. These are beneficial but often fall short of an in-depth user experience. Onboarding is the time to walk them through the software step by step, providing proper training and resources catered to their needs, so they can see how they will be able to achieve their goals with the new product. Avoid the most common mistakes by:
- Taking plenty of time during training to get through all the features that will benefit your clients so they can achieve a shorter time-to-value (TTV)
- Customizing your training for each client’s specific needs so they only get the information they need, and not a lot of useless information or training
- Sending out carefully planned and well-timed emails with the resources to walk your client through each step, not drowning them in training documentation and knowledgebase articles all at once
Streamline Your Onboarding
The right onboarding software can help you achieve a smooth sales-to-onboarding handoff with simple templates that outline all the steps, automated emails for communication, and more. Find out how GuideCX is changing client onboarding and try out our free 14-day trial now!