The customer onboarding process is arguably one of the most crucial elements of the customer journey, so why is this a bone of contention for many sales outsourcing businesses?  

Research indicates that poor onboarding contributes to 52% of the reasons for customer churn in the first 90 days of a new business relationship. On average, only 18% of companies focus more on customer retention, compared to 44% that focus on customer acquisition.  

Ultimately, the companies that spend more time on customer acquisition often have a low customer retention rate, which can be the result of a poor onboarding process. 

When businesses dedicate all their time and effort to pre-sales processes and service delivery, customer engagement can be neglected. From an outside perspective, this could give the impression that sales have made promises that operations can’t commit to – in which case, your sales outsourcing provider may run the risk of losing customers’ trust.  

This is why implementing a thorough, customer-centric onboarding process is essential for every sales outsourcing company. 

The purpose of customer onboarding 

Customer onboarding is all about integration.  

Your service provider should want to understand your business from the inside out, and you need to gain a thorough understanding of how their processes work.  

Having a smooth onboarding process is important for a number of reasons: it will help determine the structure of the relationship you will have with your provider, the expectations you have, and the specific pain points and challenges they can help you overcome.  

Most importantly, onboarding gives your sales outsourcing provider the opportunity to prove that their services are consistent with, and just as good as, what their sales team has promised you. However, to do this they will need to have sound knowledge of what success looks like to you, agree on the strategy and key performance indicators, and set benchmarks to assess progress along the way.  

Setting the tone for your partnership 

For any customer, entering a new outsourced sales partnership can be daunting.  

You are taking a risk by relying on an external product or service to help grow your business, as well as investing a significant amount of time, money and people resources. With this in mind, customer onboarding should set the tone for what is to come.  

A great outsourced sales provider will be ready to dive into their customer’s world, and represent your business as if they are your business.  

Without navigating through a thorough onboarding process, your partnership won’t be able to produce tangible results in the short term, or scalable outputs in the long term. 

How to identify weak onboarding 

One of the largest indicators of a weak onboarding process is having a one-size-fits-all approach. Every customer has unique needs, wants and goals, and so the onboarding process should be highly personalised, interactive and collaborative. 

Another sign of weak onboarding is having an irregular (or no) review, optimisation and reporting cadence. Strong onboarding will consist of regular reviews and optimisation processes that are agreed upon by both parties, in order to drive outcomes that achieve or exceed KPIs. 

Our eBook ‘Customer Success: Why Onboarding Matters’ contains an elaborate analysis of weak onboarding versus strong onboarding. We dive into our own customer onboarding process in depth, and explore how our strategies help guarantee customer satisfaction and long-term partnership success. 

To learn more, download our Customer Success eBook. 

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We’re always open to hearing from ambitious organisations that are looking to scale but are unsure how. Get in touch to see how we can help overcome your sales challenges.