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SaaS leader maps out a playbook for creating a formal new client onboarding process
SetuplyJul 4, 2023 11:00:00 AM6 min read

A Playbook on How to Create a Formal New Client Onboarding Process

In today's fast-paced and competitive landscape, having a standardized new client onboarding process isn't just a "nice-to-have" option for B2B tech providers; it's an absolute need. When clients are introduced to a new product or service, there has to be a structured, repeatable approach in place that ensures seamless adoption and ultimate satisfaction. After all, that’s what sets the foundation for long-term success and fruitful relationships.

Whether you're the head of implementation for a new B2B solution provider or the chief of operations at an established B2B provider that wants to enhance current onboarding processes, you might ask yourself, where do I start on this path to excellence? And we understand — if you assume each client is unique and the onboarding process has to be unique too, you’re bound to feel like a deer in headlights when it comes time to start new customer onboarding.


Consider this playbook for onboarding new clients as your launchpad for moving away from that deer-in-headlights look. Broken down into a few quick manageable steps, this playbook is nevertheless filled with valuable ideas on how to create a new client onboarding process that is scalable, repeatable, and leaves your employees and clients much happier. Let’s dive right in!


1. Become Familiar with the New Client Onboarding Process Structure

It’s true that the new client onboarding process can vary based on the nature of your business and the requirements involved. FinTech companies, for instance, utilize Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures to ensure legal and regulatory requirements are met, reduce the risk of fraud, and maintain a trustworthy environment for financial transactions. Meanwhile, human capital management (HCM) providers are invested in obtaining historical payrolls, employment policies, cost centers, and employee data, among other information.

There are, however, some general stages that most SaaS client onboarding processes follow regardless of the industry :


  • Stage 1: Initial kick-off and gathering of client information and documentation
  • Stage 2: Configuration, customization, and alignment of processes for solution implementation
  • Stage 3: Implementation review, wrap-up, sign-off, and roll-out


2. Document The Process for Each Phase

At every step of the client onboarding workflow, having the right documentation is vital. It sets clear expectations for your onboarding teams and ensures a consistent experience that clients expect nowadays. The proof is in the stats: 76% of B2B clients want a consistent experience regardless of how they interact with a company.

In the first stage, you'll gather important information from clients about their industry, pain points, and goals. Develop relevant questionnaires and forms to make the process more efficient. Additionally, create documents to help with the transition from closing the deal to implementing the SaaS solution. Collaborative documents for project scope, roadmap, and timeline will foster shared understanding between clients and providers.

Fast forward to the second stage, where you’ll uncover the value of follow-up documentation that reviews milestones, objectives, and specific action items. This will strengthen the alignment between B2B tech providers and clients, ensuring continuous progress in implementing the SaaS solution between touchpoints.

When you reach the third stage of the new client onboarding process, it's time to revisit the SaaS implementation checklist. Show the client what has been accomplished and make any adjustments needed. The final set of documents should include a sign-off sheet, a rollout plan, and a feedback collection form that emphasizes the value of client voices.


3. Streamline the Transition Between Sales & Onboarding Teams

Congratulations! Your sales team has closed a deal with a new client. But what happens next? B2B tech providers need a clear plan outlining who takes ownership of the client after the deal is sealed (but before the support team steps in). You should also specify what information to collect on behalf of the implementation team and how it should be provided from sales.

While standardized documentation and collaborative tools (which we'll explore in the next section) can facilitate a smooth hand-off process, consider organizing knowledge transfer sessions. These interactive sessions between your sales and onboarding teams create an opportunity to exchange vital information about a client's needs and goals. Leveraging analytics during these sessions enables timely adjustments and improvements, further enhancing the SaaS client onboarding experience.


4. Improve Communications Through Collaboration Tools

When it's time to kick off the onboarding process, make it an exciting and productive experience! Start by creating a detailed agenda that truly resonates with your client's industry, pain points, and goals. By sharing this agenda beforehand, you’ll set the stage for a dynamic and focused discussion. But don’t stop there — arm your clients with collaborative tools that empower them to stay on top of tasks and efficiently collect the data needed.

The fact is technology has drastically changed the way that 77% of B2B clients expect to engage with companies today. Clients expect their experiences to be personalized and seamless, and collaborative tools enable this at every onboarding stage.

Throughout the SaaS implementation journey, these collaborative tools will remain a key player in the onboarding process. They provide your clients with a transparent view of the project's progress and deliver real-time updates. No more guessing games!

Once the implementation phase is complete, it's time to celebrate your achievements. But don't forget to collaborate with your clients again to gauge their satisfaction with the SaaS client onboarding process. Combine surveys that measure client satisfaction with valuable SaaS implementation metrics to identify your wins and areas where you have room to improve.

Of course, to make the most of these collaboration tools, proper training is key. Ensure your teams receive the necessary guidance and support to harness the full potential of these tools. With the right training, your teams can optimize workflows, deliver a superior new client onboarding experience, and pave the way for long-term success.


5. Establish an Initial Set of Metrics to Track

There’s no shortage of metrics to track in the new client onboarding process. With so many possibilities, it's crucial for B2B tech providers to know where to direct their attention and maximize their efforts.

One metric that deserves the spotlight is the onboarding completion percentage. How many of the clients you’ve closed a deal with in the past year have followed through with client onboarding? This metric allows B2B tech providers to evaluate the overall effectiveness of their client onboarding process and identify sneaky red flags — those moments when clients might be falling off the journey.

For a more comprehensive list of SaaS client onboarding metrics to measure, see this blog post.


Improve Your Onboarding Process Now & Stay Agile for the Future

If you’re ready to take your new client onboarding process to the next level, this playbook is the ideal starting point. You can use the insights and strategies presented here to create unforgettable experiences for your clients.

Like chameleons, a new client onboarding process can change its colors, adapting to internal and external variables. But even as dynamics change, digital transformation remains an integral part of what helps B2B tech providers maximize team capacity and deliver enjoyable experiences to clients.

As a client onboarding automation platform provider, Setuply is your partner in progress. We offer not only cutting-edge solutions but also invaluable advice to revolutionize your onboarding of new clients. Keep an eye out for more of the valuable resources we roll out, and if you’re ready to see Setuply in action, request a demo!