When you’re dealing with enterprise customers, any major SaaS purchase is going to have a ripple effect through the organization. Especially where we’re at (marketing automation) the implementation of software often goes along with some measure of digital transformation.
These are not overnight processes. They are extended, involved projects that often span multiple departments. And while that means they can take a while, it’s also very important to score quick wins in order to make sure the project gains enough momentum to make it through to the end.
Onboarding Phase 1: Ask Good Questions
Therefore, your onboarding should, at first, be more about locating the specific business problems that the organization is trying to solve with your software. You should understand the greater context in which the software is being used.
In our case, we need to understand the business model. How does a business make money? What are their customers like? What does their marketing and sales process look like right now? And what are the things the customer is envisioning the software is going to help them do?
This will help set the stage, get everyone on the same page and make sure you’re going to be implementing the right things in the software.
Onboarding Phase 2: Quick Wins
When you’re clear on priorities, it’s time to create some momentum. You do this by solving some key issues early in the process.
Again, in our case, this usually means applying marketing automation to a part of the marketing and sales funnel that was “clogged” before. Either it took too much time to do (manual labor, like uploading csv files to a CRM system) or there was nothing really being done at all (like following up with certain leads).
You need to show the folks in the organization you’re working with that their new purchase was worth it. That will get them excited and will build your credibility moving forward.
Onboarding Phase 3: Build Together
Once you’ve gotten some initial traction, it’s time to start building. What this comes down to is frequent communication and training calls. Working with the people in the organization to make sure they are actually using the software (if you don’t, they’ll churn eventually!).
Make sure you have a plan with customers going forward, or that you know their plan and help them achieve their goals. If you can continue to do that, you’ll have a customer for life.