When your clients purchase your software or product, they do so for very specific reasons. During the sales process, something made them think your product could solve one or more of their problems. In most cases, your product probably can, but too many companies fail to listen to the client’s goals and end up not delivering what they need. Listening to your client’s short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals should guide your SaaS client onboarding.
In his bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, Stephen R. Covey noted that “most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” That’s not a useful trait in most conversations, but it’s especially harmful when it comes to client onboarding.
Short-Term Goals: The First Win
Knowing your client’s short-term goals can help you get them to the “first win”.
That’s the moment when the software you’re selling delivers something of value to the client.
The shorter you can make this time-to-value, the more likely your client will maintain a level of excitement about your product. Even in industries where most goals will take longer, setting some short-term goals is essential to keep clients engaged early on.
Medium-Term Goals: Training and Data
Getting to the first win is important, but it’s far from the end of your SaaS client onboarding journey.
The next step is to make sure that you are providing the right training to help them hit their medium-term goals. Engagement early on will lay the groundwork for clients who adopt your software and utilize the tools available to learn more.
It’s important that you don’t overwhelm clients with too much information or training at the beginning. Instead, create a streamlined and customizable training workflow of building blocks or stepping stones to take them from beginner to more advanced users.
During this time, you should also track engagement on the client’s end. Having data on click-through rates for emails, views for videos, completion for training courses, and other things can help you determine whether you are providing the right information. Here are some client onboarding metrics you should be tracking.
A steep drop-off in engagement could signal that you’re missing the mark with a client and help you correct before they get frustrated and leave.
Long-Term Goals: Partnerships and Lifetime Value
Most people don’t purchase a brand new SaaS platform or software product that they think they will need or want to replace within a few months or a year (it’s a pain to go through the sales, purchase, and SaaS client onboarding process again).
During SaaS onboarding, it’s important to know the bigger picture of those long-term goals and help your client see that picture and how your software will get them there. If you fail to meet their expectations for growth in the future, they may leave sooner than you would like. Keeping the bigger picture in mind creates lasting partnerships and lifetime value for your clients.
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