4 Keys to Prepare for Successful Client Onboarding

By Harris Clarke
Apr 24, 2020
4 Keys to Prepare for Successful Client Onboarding

[Updated January 7, 2022]

Before you even start the client onboarding process, it’s important that you have your own internal processes aligned. The more prepared you are before you start onboarding, the less likely you are to run into challenges. These challenges slow you down, leave clients frustrated, and make it more likely for them to churn. Here are four ways to prepare for successful client onboarding.


1: Build the Right Team

A lot of companies focus on building successful sales teams, which is very important for new client acquisition. But you should put just as many resources into your onboarding and client success teams. They can focus on the customer’s current needs and help prevent churn. 

Once your sales team closes a deal, perfect the sales-to-onboarding handoff. Then, you can turn your new client into a long-term, loyal customer. This will do much better instead of always needing to generate new leads just to stay afloat.


2: Measure and Understand Time-to-Value

Onboarding doesn’t stop after you provide login credentials and a link to your knowledgebase. Although, some companies unfortunately believe that it does. 

The client onboarding process is a chance for you to show them how your product can solve a problem for them. Your focus should be on getting them to that “first win” as quickly as possible. That’s the moment when they see true value and want to continue using the product. In order to design an effective onboarding process to get your clients to that point, you need to know what those “first wins” are and how long it takes an average client to get there (the time-to-value, or TTV). Then, remove barriers and get them to that point as quickly as possible.

Review these three easy ways to reduce TTV.


3: Automate What You Can

It’s important to automate what you can to take some of the workload off your team. Things you can automate with the right client onboarding software include:

  • Welcome emails
  • Initial questionnaires or surveys
  • Task assignments (with templates)
  • Task reminders
  • Gathering and sending progress reports (for your team and your clients)


4: Organize Your Resources

Every client will need something a little different during onboarding. Rather than sending them an overwhelming list of attachments and links about your software, organize these things according to your customers’ needs. These items can include:

  • How-to videos 
  • Articles on your features
  • Your knowledge base (help articles)
  • Case studies
  • Best practices
  • A list of contacts

Organizing these materials can help you tailor the resources to each client and provide them with manageable (and useful) information rather than leave them feeling overwhelmed or disillusioned because they can’t find what they’re looking for in your training.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, as the saying goes, so onboarding is the time to create a lasting impression with clients that your software can and will meet their needs. 


Read about the seven onboarding sins and how to avoid them

Harris Clarke


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