Why is so much emphasis placed on successful onboarding?
First, it’s about building relationships. Not giving a new customer sufficient attention during their onboarding process leads to leaky bucket syndrome: the successful acquisition of new customers but a failure to retain them long term. And, as we all know, a high churn rate is both damaging to your bottom line and will stunt your long-term growth.
Second, it builds trust. If you want a successful client relationship, then from the very first day you need to lay solid foundations, agree a measurable strategy and establish effective channels of communication. This builds trust and establishes confidence. Trust is the backbone of any relationship - work or personal. What’s more, not only is trust easy to lose, but it’s also almost impossible to win back.
Third, smooth onboarding means better service. Most SaaS products, the dominant business format of nearly all CRM marketing toolkits, are often highly complex owing to their manifold moving parts. At Six & Flow, our clients almost always want our help managing and integrating a wide variety of tools and processes, such as email campaigns, social calendars, content planners, conversational marketing strategies, website design, biddable media, direct mail, sales & marketing automations and CRM integrations. And believe us, in the early days we learnt the hard way that if you don’t understand the company properly from day one, managing all of the above is a Promethean task!
So what are the options?
When it comes to addressing the above issues, you have two options. First, you can go directly to the likes of marketing experts HubSpot, Drift, or Vidyard for all your CRM, Conversational Marketing & Video in Sales needs. Second, you can work with an inbound marketing agency already partnered with all three (like Six & Flow).
Both have their advantages. If you go direct, you’ll be speaking to someone with a great depth of product knowledge and be taken through their tried and tested checklist for implementation of their specific tool. But working with a partner agency is customised to your business and looks beyond the specific tools at the bigger picture, taking into account the entire sales & marketing strategy and overarching business goals.
How Six & Flow onboard new clients
There are 5 key milestones in our onboarding process:
- The Kick-off call
- The Workshop
- Strategy Meetings
- Training Sessions
The kick-off call does exactly what it says on the tin: It’s our first ‘official’ client engagement focussing on delivery.
Introducing key contacts on both client and agency side, we use this time to clarify all that was discussed in the sales process and also to get a meaningful understanding of what success looks like for clients. (Never assume what a client wants! We learn that the hard way, too!)
Not knowing what’s around the corner is stressful for clients, especially for those strangers to working with an inbound agency. This is why we use the kick-off call to paint a picture of what the next few months will look like, outline how we will work together, communicate, and what success will look like.
After both Six & Flow and our client knows both where they stand and what’s expected, we then follow-up with an all-encompassing strategy workshop. This allows us to better understand your business and develop an effective inbound marketing strategy. We cover your company values, your messaging, your competitors, your team, your challenges, your solutions, your customers and your processes. Armed with this information we build a full strategic outline for your 12-month growth roadmap.
You will be surprised what you will learn about yourself during this process!
Within 2 weeks following the workshop, you will receive your custom-built Six & Flow Strategy Documents. These illuminating and in-depth insights into your company not only map where your business is at present, they also highlight the unique inbound marketing strategy Six & Flow will implement for your specific business.
These documents both examine and unpack your current customer base, your ideal customer base, your current sales & marketing method, all internal friction points, areas for process improvement, plus more. But not only that, they also highlight ‘where’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ things need to change if you want to grow.
All clients we work with are at different stages of their inbound marketing journey. This means every client is unique in regard to the amount of both technical and strategic support required. To make sure you’re getting the most from working with an agency, we run both prearranged and ad-hoc training sessions with users.
Training can be on anything from how to reduce friction in your sales process, automating marketing administration, creating time-saving email workflows, making and distributing videos, scripting conversational chatbots, plus more.
A 12-month strategy can be overwhelming! So we break it down into quarterly sprint cycles. Working in sprint cycles creates windows short enough to execute campaigns but creates a process of reviewing and optimising as we go. It allows both you the client and us the agency to make sure all upcoming goals are manageable and what gets promised gets delivered.
As you can see, we take onboarding seriously! By investing in you, our client from the very beginning, and by making sure we understand everything about your process, people and prospects, then we can make sure we deliver on promises of growth.
Client onboarding at Six & Flow is about three key things: fostering relationships, building trust, and ultimately delivering a better service.