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Account onboarding is said to be like a goldmine for B2B SaaS organizations. In this blog, we look at the varied reasons that make account onboarding the shortest path to great account servicing.
The decisions your business makes during the account onboarding process can be crucial for determining the future success of an account. Account onboarding can help your business address customer queries and concerns related to the value your products and services can provide them. Therefore, successful and effective account onboarding helps customers determine exactly how your business’s offering will provide them with the expected value and achieve their desired outcome.
One of the key reasons for customer churn is that your accounts may not understand or believe that the benefits you can provide them are worthwhile or justifiable. Therefore, the account onboarding process involves constructing a frictionless path to value by ensuring that customers are satisfactorily engaged. Successful account onboarding can help new accounts familiarize themselves with your products and services, reduce customer churn and increase customer lifetime value.
Furthermore, more technical solutions may require more extensive account onboarding processes, depending on the level of perceived complexity. Therefore, it is crucial to closely monitor, observe and address various stages of the account onboarding process, from sign-up to ultimate value realization. Research indicates that approximately 60% of companies have stated that they are not satisfied with their current onboarding experience for their products or services.
As defined by the Re-Wired Group, the Jobs-To-Be-Done framework identifies four primary forces that help influence and affect a user’s decision to select and stick to a specific product or service:
A successful account on-boarding process involves understanding the push towards a product, strengthening and intensifying the pull, overcoming resistance and inertia, and reducing fear and anxiety. This is where account servicing can help your business.
These four stages, if performed in tandem and simultaneously, can be extremely beneficial for helping new accounts recognize the value of your business’s products and services, as well as helping them overcome various roadblocks and obstacles that may limit them from progressing forward.
At some point during the sales process, sales personnel should prepare the account for a relationship handover with the Customer Success Management (CSM) department. The account’s customer success manager will be responsible for ensuring that the customer achieves their desired outcomes efficiently and effectively, as well as recognizing the value of your business’s offerings.
When the sales department is handing an account over to the customer success management department, it is crucial to identify and communicate what product or service the customer purchased, what problem or desire they were trying to fulfill through the purchase, the decision-makers, and individuals with purchasing power for a specific account and the potential obstacles that must be overcome to ensure account success. Recent studies have shown that approximately 63% of potential customers and accounts consider the onboarding period when deciding to subscribe or purchase a product, service, or subscription.
When a customer success manager takes over a specific account, it can also be extremely useful to develop detailed and comprehensive account onboarding playbooks that clearly detail which tasks must be achieved to ensure account success. Furthermore, key success metrics can be efficiently and effectively tracked using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
If your business’s products or services are fairly technical and require additional software or complex user interfaces, this may present a roadblock. Customers may abandon a product during the onboarding stage if the benefits are not immediately apparent and require significant additional effort from their end. Therefore, customer success managers must conduct a detailed analysis to determine whether or not additional training may be required to ensure satisfactory account servicing and thus facilitate account success. After this, a meeting with the IT department may be required to refine further and clarify the integration of your account’s platform with different tools.
There can be a wide variety of obstacles that may create friction during account onboarding processes. These include a lack of identification of value from your business’s product or services, a lack of ability to dedicate to implementation cycles, anxiety about a public solution adjustment, and much more. These sources of friction may typically contribute to early account leakage during the account onboarding process.
However, effective account onboarding processes can enable your business to significantly reduce friction by supporting accounts through each step of the implementation and configuration phase, and anticipating and addressing potential roadblocks during the process. Furthermore, account onboarding can help your business develop comprehensive playbooks and customer journey maps that can facilitate and empower future account servicing processes.
Account onboarding processes typically require customer success teams to segment and personalize account onboarding processes for each customer. This may depend on the complexity of their chosen product or service, the level of involvement required to avoid account leakage, the problem or desire they are attempting to fulfill with their purchase, and much more. This process of segmentation can be extremely beneficial for ensuring that customers are successfully onboarded without any difficulties. Furthermore, this process of user segmentation is not only useful for guiding accounts through the implementation and configuration process. Still, it can also be extremely beneficial for personalizing all future customer communication during the account servicing phase.
One of the biggest contributors to customer leakage during the account onboarding process is when key decision-makers and stakeholders are unable to identify value or need satisfaction from your business’s products or services. Therefore, account onboarding processes can not only help indicate value to potential accounts but also teach them exactly how to utilize your offerings to derive the most amount of utility.
Account onboarding helps push new accounts to the activation point by providing them with practical, first-hand experiences to identify and ascertain the value of your offerings. Therefore, when users can emotionally connect with a product when deriving value from it, they will be more likely further to align themselves with your business and its solutions.
Since account onboarding processes involve identifying areas of potential resistance/anxiety and targeting individual concerns, your business will be able to tailor implementation, configuration, and training processes more effectively for each account. Since each account will be able to understand exactly how to derive their desired level of value from your product or service, they will be less likely to abandon the onboarding process in favor of another service provider or vendor.
Account onboarding can be extremely transformative for increasing customer retention levels. Therefore, your business will be able to significantly reduce organizational costs by substantially reducing acquisition and lead generation costs. Therefore, your business will be able to increase organizational revenue without having to implement resource-intensive and time-consuming customer success strategies. This time and scarce resources can then be consequently allocated to more complex aspects of account servicing.
Existing accounts can typically be one of the most effective potential revenue and marketing channels. Account referrals refer to scenarios wherein an existing account recommends your business’s solutions to an external prospective account. Account referrals typically occur when an existing account is extremely satisfied with your business’s offerings. Account onboarding can be extremely useful for not only satisfying the needs of accounts during the onboarding success so that they refer you to other prospective accounts but can also help establish success stories to attract additional prospective accounts further.
Effective onboarding processes can be extremely transformative and beneficial for your business’s productivity, revenue generation, and profitability if performed properly. Account onboarding processes are typically the first time potential customers interact with your business and its offerings. Therefore, carefully designed account onboarding processes are crucial for determining if customers will continue to do business with your company in the future.
Due to the wide variety of short-term and long-term benefits of account onboarding for your business, it is the shortest path to great account servicing. However, although creating an effective account onboarding strategy is critical, it may not be successful unless your organization has a reliable account servicing specialist or account onboarding specialist to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly.23
Numerous strategies can help your business empower effective account onboarding and consequent account servicing. These strategies can be transformational for your business if applied concurrently, simultaneously, and consistently. Therefore, the aforementioned step-by-step guide can help your business understand what account onboarding is, the framework for executing account onboarding, account onboarding processes from an account servicing perspective, and the various benefits of nifty account onboarding.
Stanley Deepak is an accomplished sales and marketing professional with 15+ years of experience. He loves tech products and book reading. He writes on philosophy and culture on LinkedIn.
Published November 14, 2022, Updated November 14, 2022
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