By far the most valuable clients a company can get are enterprises. Not only do they bring a lot of monetary value, they can also be powerful advocates for the products and services they use and trust.
Not to brag, but at Process Street, we have a number of enterprise clients, including
There are others, but you get the gist.
Because we have clients of this magnitude, we know it’s not enough to just land these sales. The real work begins after the contract is signed. The most important step in building a relationship with enterprise clients is the onboarding process.
We’ve spent a lot of time and energy building our onboarding process for our enterprise clients. For this article, we picked the brains of our Director of Customer Success and one of our Customer Success Managers to fully understand what onboarding enterprise clients entails.
In this article, we will cover:
Before we dive into the onboarding process for enterprise clients, we need to clearly define what an enterprise client is.
Law Insider defines an enterprise client as a “large business or company considered as a customer.”
Their definition goes on to specify that enterprise clients tend to be more frequent customers for companies specializing in “enterprise level technology that is centrally managed for their IT infrastructure.”
For our purposes, we are going to focus on the first: An enterprise client is any large business or company that acts as a customer in any industry.
So all we need to do now is add “onboarding” to it. Once Sales has secured an enterprise client, the next step in the client journey is onboarding.
The challenges of enterprise client onboarding primarily revolve around setting and meeting expectations.
As I said before, enterprise clients bring a lot of monetary value to an organization, and they know it. Because they understand the value their business brings, they expect a lot from the products and services they use.
While enterprise clients have less churn than regular customers, their high expectations need to be met, or they will leave.
Probably the biggest expectation they will have is that your product or service works and brings them the value they were promised. If your SaaS product is full of bugs or the team delivering a service is disorganized, you’re really just shooting yourself in the foot.
But simply having the base of your product or service working smoothly isn’t enough. Enterprise clients pay for a high level of product. They may pay for exclusive features and need changes to the product or service to meet their requirements.
At Process Street, we offer a Single Sign-On functionality, which provides our enterprise clients with advanced reporting and setting up specific endpoints for them to reach that meet their needs.
But moving away from the product, enterprise clients expect high-level customer service. Their questions and concerns need to be prioritized over regular customers. They also expect a high level of security and reporting to ensure their data is secure. HIPPA compliance is a must!
Enterprise client onboarding can vary by industry or even by the client. But the general process is more or less the same. Salesforce has broken this process down into five simple steps. Let’s take a close look at them:
Before the client has even signed the contract, we consider it best practice to bring on a Customer Success representative (CSR) to give the client a walkthrough of what to expect after they sign.
After the enterprise client has signed, it’s up to you to meet the expectations you have set and follow the process you laid out for the client.
You also need to take this time to make sure that all teams involved are aligned. These teams can be
Heck, you could theoretically throw Marketing into the mix. The point being, it needs to be clear to all team members what they need to do to give the client what they are looking for. There should be tons of internal collaboration and information sharing.
Now that the client knows what to expect, it’s time to have a kickoff meeting with them to both impart and collect information. During this call, you will get the clearest understanding of the client’s primary use case.
This is where we bring in our Solutions team at Process Street. They work directly with the client to build them a workflow that suits their specific needs. It allows our clients to see the value our product can bring to them before they even begin their training.
This is arguably the most varied step in the onboarding process for enterprise clients. It very much depends on the product or service you are offering them.
But one thing applies to all forms of training enterprise clients: It needs to be clear and thorough.
Even if the client loved the preview of the product, even if the client has already seen value in your service, if your training is disorganized or convoluted, you risk churn.
In Process Street’s training for enterprise clients, we train both managers and those who will be day-to-day users of our product. We make sure the leaders understand how they can manage employees with the tool and use it as a customer relationship manager (CRM).
For the day-to-day users, we ensure that they know how to build custom workflows for their use cases. Our training is highly detailed and involved to ensure the client understands how to use the product to its full potential.
This step is a bit simpler. It’s all about keeping the client engaged as they implement the product.
We like to provide our enterprise clients with plenty of resources including
No matter any problem they run into, we provide them with a solution that they can access immediately.
It should be noted, however, that this is a “just in case” step, for lack of a better term.
What I mean is, the training should have answered all the client’s questions. This step is just in case they need any additional information or support as they implement and navitage the tool.
By this step, you should fully understand what the client needs to be successful and maintain it going forward. The client should be all set up and the tool in regular use, they should have had their aha! moment with the product, and it should be bringing the value they expected from you.
This step is about monitoring the enterprise client, making sure they’re happy, and keeping them that way. If all is well, this is the perfect time to ask for feedback along with a testimonial or a use case.
The enterprise client onboarding process can absolutely be automated. If fact, you shouldn’t have to lift a finger for the majority of it. The parts of the onboarding process that can be automated are:
Basically, any repeating step or anything that doesn’t require a personal touch should be automated. Obviously, calls should not be automated, and check-in messages should be unique to the client, but besides that, you can automate everything else.
While you can automate calls and check-in messages, for enterprise clients, we advise against it. Personalization should be prioritized.
Automating the onboarding process keeps things running smoothly, reduces the risk of errors, and frees up more time for you to spend with the client.
It’s really a no-brainer.
When it comes to optimizing your enterprise client onboarding, the main thing you have to focus on is customer experience. Making sure the client is happy is the number one priority.
At Process Street, we achieve this by breaking the experience down into three factors: Making sure the process is fast, error-free, and human.
Optimizing these factors is rather simple. You can automate the first two parts easily. In fact, automating them guarantees that the onboarding steps are fast and error-free.
One thing our Customer Success team does to help the process feel faster for the client is to under-promise and over-deliver. We like to set expectations at 90% of what we are capable of and then shoot for 110%. Even if we fall short at 100% we have still exceeded the client’s expectations, and that makes them very happy!
The human factor comes in with the personal touches enterprise clients expect. An important aspect of the human factor is good communication. Optimizing the onboarding process for enterprise clients relies on good two-way communication that is clear and transparent.
So, where can we expect enterprise client onboarding to go in the future? We have a few opinions about this. They are things we already know to be happening as well as things we’d like to see.
The biggest trend we see looking to the future, by far, is automation.
“All non-human steps should be automated.” –Blake Bailey, Director of Customer Success, Process Street
Companies are doing what they can to innovate or automate their products and services, They invest more in making the product seamless for the client, and, thus, reduce the need for support.
We are also seeing companies look for ways to automate the client setup stage so everyone saves time.
Then there’s the fine art of perfect personalized, bespoke onboarding, so every customer feels seen and special. And then automating that, too.
Essentially, less clients have to do, the faster the onboarding is, and the happier the client is overall.
Okay, now these ideas are a little more out there, but our director of customer success was so excited, I had to include them.
The first thing is automatic note-taking during calls. It would be a great time-saver for CSMs and allow them to keep conversations running smoothly if there was a tool taking notes for them.
And no, this is not the same as AI-generated transcriptions. Trust me, I already asked. Instead, this would involve the tool capturing the most important point made, and maybe even coming up with actionable ideas for servicing the client.
The next thing we’d like to see is augmented reality come into normal use. Think the Metaverse, but with far fewer bugs. Now, more people work remotely than ever before and more enterprises look to buy products and services from other countries. We think it would be incredible to see an augmented reality space to work synchronously with someone on the other side of the world.
And building off the idea of working with enterprises from other countries, we would love to see good automatic translation tools to improve communication with international clients. Not every client will speak the same language as you, so how amazing would it be to have real-time translations in chats and video calls? It would allow companies to branch out and potentially bring on new enterprise clients.