Congratulations, you just closed a deal!
Is it time for you to hand that customer off to other departments in your company and turn your wholesale attention to another opportunity? Of course not. There is no rest for the weary, after all.
The customer onboarding process is an integral component of the overall customer experience, and 85% of executives indicated that sustained success in this area is crucial to building long-term customer loyalty. Despite the fact that the sale has been finalized, there are still numerous ways salespeople can actively contribute to delivering a cohesive onboarding experience.
1. Set proper expectations during the sales process
The foundations of the onboarding experience are built during actual sales interactions, even though the prospect has not officially agreed to become a customer yet. During this period you’re making promises about your product and your brand that your colleagues will be largely responsible for executing after the deal is closed, so make sure you keep this in mind as you discuss topics such as resource allocation, customer service, and engage in product demonstrations.
Beware of “over-promising and under-delivering.” If you don’t set realistic expectations during your sales calls then it’s unlikely that you or your team will be able to do anything to satisfy the customer in the end. As a salesperson it’s your responsibility to know the capabilities of your products and your support teams, so that the client comes away with an accurate assessment of what they can expect as your customer.
2. Introduce your clients to relevant parties before they need them
The moment when your customer needs an answer quickly is the last moment you want them to be searching for the correct contact info of someone who can actually help them. It may seem like an acceptable delay for them to get in touch with you and have you either forward the info to an appropriate contact or to finally introduce them to the rest of your account staff, but in the crucial stages of onboarding and implementation any hinderance can be devastating.
To avoid such a scenario, take it upon yourself as the relationship ambassador for your brand to share a shortlist of the names, emails, and phone numbers of the support staff who may cover this account so that your customer has access to the information long before they ever need it. Even better, make introductions (either digitally, or in-person if feasible) so that there is a basis for a relationship when they need to make contact.
3. Take care of logistics so they don’t have to
What’s more important than delivering your clients an exceptional customer experience? According to most B2B leaders, nothing. In fact, over the past four years the number of B2B company leaders who believe they are primarily competing in terms of customer experience skyrocketed from 36% all the way to 89%.
You’re definitely fighting an uphill battle on this front if your product quality is lacking or your price is misaligned. But the real road to creating an outstanding customer experience lies in the small details. As a salesperson there are several things you can do to facilitate the customer’s onboarding journey, such as setting up necessary accounts for them and ensuring that all messaging coming from other departments is personalized.
4. Convey additional value through content
More and more salespeople are discovering the importance of using content during the sales process, but its usefulness doesn’t end the moment your prospect signs on the dotted line. Ethical sales representatives don’t employ content as a means to be manipulative and push people into purchasing, they use it to provide value to their prospects and build trust and credibility.
During the onboarding process you have a distinct opportunity to commit to continually searching for ways to provide value throughout the relationship. Keep identifying answers to issues your customers encounter, and share industry developments that will likely affect them. As you continue to build trust you may have additional opportunities to sell to this client in the future, or they may turn into a valuable source of referrals for you.
5. Give your colleagues the information they need
By the time the onboarding process begins in earnest, you likely have spent more time with the customer and know more about their specific challenges, habits, and personality traits than anyone else in your organization.
You’re a powerful source of information, and some of this information could have a dramatic effect on how your colleagues interact with the customer and shape their strategies for engaging with them. It’s up to you to make sure that your CRM database is regularly updated with any relevant details that your coworkers may need to know, and that you have shared any experiences you may have had during your sales calls that would alter the way other departments interact with your clients.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.