As a SaaS (Software-as-a-service) company, you can have the best salespeople in the world but your product is only as powerful as the competency of its users. A sales team without a great SaaS onboarding group at their backs will not be positioned for long-term success. Missing out on this vital step can lead to an array of unforeseen issues and problems. Here are a few reasons why successfully onboarding SaaS customers is important…
Onboarding teams are trained to make a good first impression – It’s common for new customers, especially if they’re spending a lot of money, to have “decision fatigue”. They likely evaluated your company as well as several competitors before making a final decision, sitting through countless demos and calls to find the right fit. For onboarding professionals, it’s their job to quell any “buyer’s remorse” and prove to new customers they made the right decision to spend money with your business.
Successfully onboarding new customers decreases churn – To the surprise of no one, learning something from scratch all by yourself can be difficult. This is especially true in the B2B (business-to-business) world where stakes are high and there isn’t a lot of time for failure. You accomplish two things in reducing churn by holding the hand of a new customer as they learn your software. First, you’re making sure new business doesn’t leave due to inattentiveness right out of the gate. Second, once a customer invests the time and effort into learning your software, they are less likely to leave because they don’t want to repeat the entire learning process with a competitor.
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When appropriate, onboarding teams can create upselling opportunities – This method can be successful and vary greatly based on your business model. While not recommended, some companies offer a very low “entry” tier to their software solution and force onboarding to heavily push additional features as they train customers. This can be an effective short-term tactic but many of these customers churn quickly. Instead, offer practical SaaS pricing from the start and coach your onboarding team to only upsell when appropriate, like when a new customer asks about a feature that’s in a premium price tier. This lets onboarding professionals focus on what they do best – training – and doesn’t put them in the position of trying to constantly sell upgrades.
Trust built while onboarding can be leveraged for future education – Once a customer has completed training, some companies do a full hand-off to an account manager (AM) during the final onboarding call. While it’s important the AM group “owns” the customer relationship, it’s also beneficial for an onboarding professional to remain visible to customers. One way to do this is for the onboarding team to handle future group training around your software including product webinars and version updates. The fit is perfect as customers already view this group as “experts” and are used to seeing them share knowledge and information.
In short, successfully onboarding SaaS customers is important because it legitimately saves companies time and creates smarter customers. The right onboarding team can make an ideal first impression and let a customer know they’ve made a great decision in choosing to work with your business. From here, onboarding can reduce churn by effectively teaching customers about your software as well as promoting premium features when appropriate to increase revenue. Lastly, keep the learning link alive by having the onboarding team handle product information sessions and updates. An onboarding group may not be a commonly scrutinized line item on a budget, but the team is vital for keeping customers happy.