Suggestions for Onboarding

Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar Member Posts: 12 Thought Leader
Hi everyone,

I would need your suggestions on setting up a new onboarding process for an SB SaaS product. 

As of now, we are conducting 1-1 trainings and onboardings. Are there any Onboarding platforms that we can use to set up trainings.

Please suggest


  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 98 Expert
    5 Likes Photogenic First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls
    edited July 2021
    Are you looking to just help Shepard the customers through training, or are there systems to be integrated, data to be cleansed, and other more enterprise related items that need to happen? We all have some good tips, I am just trying to understand how complex the onboarding and implementation is.
  • Amit Kumar
    Amit Kumar Member Posts: 12 Thought Leader
    edited July 2021
    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for the response.

    The onboarding has two phases:
    1. Implementation of CRM with the prodcut
    2. Training

    I am looking towards a combination of both. If not than just the training part.
  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 98 Expert
    5 Likes Photogenic First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls
    edited July 2021
    thanks for that! There is a lot to be said here, and I also suggest listening to the latest GGR podcast on onboarding- there is a ton of great advice on that one. My key points are:
    - have a standardized "project plan" that is the foundation for implementation. Implement all of your customers in the same way unless you are an enterprise and need to do some of the custom tasks listed above. 
    - use a tool. It could be as easy as Google Sheets, but I prefer tools like Baton and Rocketlane that allow you to collaborate. The main reasons why some implementations go sour are on expectations and transparency. These tools solve those issues if used properly
    - Start implementation conversations in the late stages (75%) of presales. Basically, they want the software, and now CSM's walk through the process. this makes the deal more real for them. Your team can also sniff out the gotchas. 
    - Make sure you have a joint success plan from the kickoff
    - have weekly meetings with the customer to communicate status. 
    - Have a standard SOW that is attached to the main software license. Outline the tasks you will do and not do, and the expected duration. 
    - draw the line between CS and Support. Train the customer to use the support team
    - Charge for implementation - they will value it more. I am passionate about this, and will include a link to my thoughts. Admins please remove if not appropriate -

    I hope this helps! Please ask more questions if you have them
  • Rob Kagan
    Rob Kagan Member Posts: 12 Thought Leader
    First Comment First Anniversary
    edited July 2021
    Hi Amit -

    Here is the template I use with companies when I help them with onboarding...


    1. Define what onboarding means for the company – Does it just mean that the customer has configured their account and knows how to use it. If that is all there is to it then you will actually see customers graduating from the onboarding process before they start seeing the value of the company. The key is understanding the value of the platform. Getting to that ah-ha moment where they see where it will save them time, create a greater experience for their customers and make them look like rock stars to their co-workers.
    2. Talk to the onboarding team to find out the most painful and tedious parts of the process in their estimation. What are the real solutions that would make the onboarding process more successful, engaging, and fun? Are there differences in customers in their estimation (personas)? What is working – tricks of the trade?
    3. Create a flow chart for how onboarding should go.
    4. Dissect, understand, and organize the order of the onboarding platform
    5. Determine how long each part of the onboarding process should take (The outcome of time spent vs the average should be part of the jump start score that determines the health of the onboarding process for a customer).
    6. Determine who is responsible for each part of the onboarding process.
    7. Dissect, understand, and organize the flexibility (customizability) of the platform for each customer and how we create a flexible onboarding framework to take that into account
    8. Create personas for each type of customer and understand how (if any) changes need to be made to the onboarding process for each persona to make their experience relevant and the best it can be.
    9. Create content for each part of the onboarding process - Introduction during sales, PowerPoint kick-off, articles or videos to push during onboarding to inspire, educate and help customers to get to that ah-hah moment (wow, this is going to make our jobs easier. Wow, this is going to make our patients experience better. Wow we are going to look like rock stars by implementing this portal).
    10. Create ways to keep customers on task during the onboarding process. Customers sometimes lose momentum, get bogged down on difficult tasks. Need to keep them keyed on the end goal of integrating the platform into their lives (the ah-ha moment). Everyone has a natural resistance to change and learning new processes. So it's important to keep the "why" behind the customer's decision to invest in the company's platform front-and-center. Visual reminders are very helpful.
    11. Create user guide content for self-help. Videos, articles, webinars for easy pop-up help on the portal (the bible).
    12. Create procedure, dashboard (status update), and the timeline for all onboarding clients in one place. As a company scales it is important to be able to quickly assess where each customer is at in the process. This will also help us gather data about the onboarding process at a company-wide level. We can begin to notice patterns of where customers are getting stuck and why some customers churn before they've even finished onboarding. It will give us visibility into how often tasks are overdue – patterns.
    13. Distinguish procedures and protocols for onboarding new features to an existing customer account vs. new user onboarding to an existing customer account.
    14. Create a survey to really understand the onboarding journey and how it has gone for the customer. This will lead to creating a jump start score (a type of health check score) that will illustrate to us how well we are doing as an onboarding team and also predict the success of our new customers and how much hand holding they will need to be successful and become loyal customers.
  • paul_e
    paul_e Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    Photogenic First Comment

    Just seeing this a year after you posted Rob, but thanks for sharing! And thanks for the question Amit. I’m prepping for an Amazon interview (CSM role) and while I performed a lot of what you shared in my last CSM role, it’s nice to see how others articulate this.

    Just joined this group (learned about it through the GGR podcast) and hope to get more involved!

  • bethweltz
    bethweltz Member Posts: 5 Navigator
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Comment

    @Jeffrey Kushmerek and @Rob Kagan these are great tips and I am also working to define theses processes in my new CS role with a small SaaS company. Specifically, I have been tasked with creating a scalable CS Plan, Implementation Plan, Training Agenda(s) and decks, all of which I can do but it would be so helpful to see templates others use to give me some inspiration. Right now, we use Google Suite and HubSpot and are not planning to implement any other CS tools for organizing all of this although I am encouraging the company to let us use one note to better organize the materials (over Google Drive). Thanks!