Roll Out the Welcome Wagon: Customer Onboarding as a Sales Tool

Written by Maureen Paulsen on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

The deal is closed.  The sale is made.  Victory!  And onto the next prospect…

Not so fast.

By nature, sales and business development professionals are eager to get back on the hunt after a deal is finalized.  That’s what makes them great at what they do.  But a hasty exit away from the prospect—now turned customer—can be a missed opportunity during a critical stage of the customer lifecycle.  While many organizations have a formal process to onboard their employees, some neglect the value of welcoming and orienting new customers.

Onboarding customers isn’t just about making them feel warm and fuzzy—it’s about equipping them with the tools, information and resources to make the best use of your products/services. How does your customer take advantage of all of the great things you sold to them?  The more your customer is engaging/using/benefiting from what you provide, the more likely they are to settle in and stay and become a long term customer and refer other business to you.

Even if a new customer’s main point of contact shifts to another part of the company (such as an account manager or customer service team), once they’re ‘in,’ it’s important for the sales and business development professional who got them there to give customers an official welcome.  And, ideally the accounts department will have its own onboarding process with education and setup for the customer.

For the sales professional onboarding can be as simple as a handwritten note, letter or a small package with a company logo item enclosed.  Even a quick phone call to say thank you will do. The key is to incorporate some form of onboarding as a standard part of your sales process.  It will help make your brand new customer feel like they made the right choice, and it just might lead you to your next sale.

About Maureen Paulsen

Maureen PaulsenMaureen brings more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience to her role, where she develops brand strategies and communications programs for a diverse group of clients. She specializes in creating innovative marketing and advertising campaign concepts. In 2011, she received a Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications. Prior to joining MPD Ventures, Maureen worked as the marketing communications manager for one of the largest law firms in Texas, where she led a major rebranding initiative. Her past experience includes freelance writing and project management for a Boston-based energy services provider.

Maureen is a longtime volunteer for Dallas nonprofit agency Attitudes & Attire and a past president of the organization’s board of directors. She earned her undergraduate degree in English and art history at Wellesley College. Outside of work Maureen cherishes being with her two young children and her husband, Ben.