CUSTOMER ONBOARDING ON SALESFORCE...
Updated: Mar 1
...GETS EVEN SMARTER
Little bit of background. This time last year I wrote a post for the Taskfeed website called Smarter Customer Onboarding on Salesforce. Back then I was the CEO of Taskfeed. Now we’ve merged with Precursive, where I am the CTO, and Taskfeed is now called Precursive Onboarding Experience (PrecursiveOBX).
One thing that hasn’t changed though is the key message, and that’s for high-growth sales teams, Salesforce is the absolute best choice.
In short, when it comes to handing off new customers into Onboarding, Salesforce allows your team to work in a smarter, more collaborative way.
So why am I posting again on the same topic, just one year later? Well, because since last February there’s been a wider shift in the market. High-growth businesses still want smart solutions for managing their customers from Sales to Onboarding, but increasingly they want to manage their ongoing services delivery to those onboarded customers in the same place - Salesforce.
Keeping it all in Salesforce just makes more sense than ever. To explain why, I need to recap on the last time I wrote on the topic, as it’s all still 100% relevant today.
Firstly, you still don’t necessarily need a specialist Onboarding app to do smarter Customer Onboarding on the Salesforce platform.
There are a number of pretty basic steps you can take now in your standard Salesforce instance that will put you in a much better position than you would be in, relying on emails and spreadsheets.
Add your Customer Success and Onboarding Services teams onto Salesforce. Simple. Just doing this one thing alone will mean that everyone is going to be looking at the same Customer Contacts and Account, along with other relevant stored in Chatter, Comments, Notes and Attachments. If you think this will be too expensive in terms of licence costs, think again - Platform licences are almost certainly all you need and they are a fraction of the cost of the full licence costs you will no doubt be paying for the Sales team.
My next recommendation is to add in an expected kick-off date to Opportunities. Suddenly, your Opportunity pipeline report can be grouped on this date, Expected Kick-Off, and now you have a view of your upcoming, anticipated workload. Take it a step further by combining information with your win/loss ratios and you now have a future forecast.
If you do nothing else, then do these two things and you have given your team a considerable advantage.
However, my prediction would be that once you’ve seen the benefit of these simple changes, then you will realise that there are so many additional ways that you can make your Customer Onboarding on Salesforce even smarter. The tools for better reporting, collaboration and rolling out a repeatable process are all there, and if you are serious about Onboarding customers well, then it's time to get seriously smart.
Salesforce is smarter because it works in conjunction with real customer data
One question that comes up regularly is why Salesforce outperforms a standalone project management app. The answer is that Salesforce is the home for your customer metrics and if you are not evaluating your onboarding against these measures, then quite simply, you are not getting any smarter.
While the most popular PM solutions provide fixed view and tables of information, Salesforce is effectively a reporting engine, cross tabulating your Onboarding efforts against outcomes to provide you with the insight you need to see success faster with your customers. For example:-
Onboarding Success vs. Customer Lifetime Value
Time-to-value by customer segment or industry
Once you have critical data like this at your fingertips, then you get to spend less time pushing data around in different formats and more time to make better decisions about how you onboard your customers.
There’s a lot more that you can manage too. If you do decide to go for an Onboarding solution like Precursive OBX, then you can see exactly how much time you spend on each stage of your onboarding, where you have capacity and who is working on what part of the plan. You can forget integrating and syncing from different systems, it’s not just not going to happen. Instead, put it all in one Onboarding dashboard and you have every critical KPI right there, where you need it.
OK, great. So why is Salesforce smarter still for Customer Onboarding?
The fact that since I last wrote this post, Taskfeed became part of Precursive, is relevant. Customer Onboarding is maturing and we need to service the full customer lifecycle with the same data-driven customer-centric approach. We see it clearly from our Customer Onboarding Benchmarking Survey 2019: just getting a new customer up and running is no longer enough - subscription-based business models now need to get seriously smart about optimising their initial touchpoint with multiple new customers if they want to see an optimum Lifetime Value.
As great Onboarding experience has increasingly become a differentiator in crowded markets, businesses need to use complex data to work smarter and deliver more, faster. Some of the ways we see that teams are working smarter include:-