After a decade in B2B SaaS, I’m convinced that B2B Customer Onboarding is fundamentally broken. A great customer onboarding experience cements your customers’ trust in your product and establishes your brand as a trusted partner. Every team wants to create an amazing customer onboarding experience but due to resource constraints, onboarding is always a second priority. This leaves everyone using a hodge-podge of clunky tools and strategies to try and drive their customers to success, leading to poor customer experiences and outcomes. I’ve personally felt the pains that come with onboarding customers this way both as a leader and as an individual contributor. It was only in my last foray with customer onboarding that I realized there could be a better way.
My journey with Customer Onboarding
When I was at Magento, my team and I built a product to help our onboarding teams provide a customer onboarding experience that continuously drove up our customer’s trust in our brand and product. This system coordinated all stakeholders, timelines, and workflows while decreasing cognitive load. Building this product was a multi-year, million dollar effort that helped transition the company into a cloud-first solution provider and ultimately led to the Adobe acquisition.
Before Magento, I led an onboarding team at Gusto. Gusto’s core product allowed us to track the onboarding process as a funnel. This enabled my team to proactively move customers through the onboarding process. The Gusto founders made a deliberate decision to build onboarding into their product to control their customer experience. They knew that a great onboarding experience was crucial to stand out in a crowded market.
I believe that other organizations can benefit from what we built at Magento and Gusto. The term that comes to mind to describe this kind of onboarding experience is “Productized Onboarding.”
I believe that Productized Onboarding will become a way for the best B2B SaaS companies of the next decade to stand out from their competitors . When you productize onboarding, your customers feel like they are already using your product. Your organization is presented as one cohesive team instead of multiple separate teams. Every stakeholder can immediately see and understand their impact on the onboarding process. There is one space for everyone (internally and externally) to see and do what needs to get done without jumping through hoops.
For most companies, the idea of building out this experience natively sounds good on paper but ultimately gets descoped, deprioritized, or compromised due to the need to build and grow core product functionality. This is why I started working on a way to help teams build out their own productized onboarding.
Simplemnt enables every company to productize their onboarding process and provide one space to handle everything. Simplemnt empowers onboarding teams to be proactive and drives customers towards onboarding success by automating key workflows and tasks. Customers can get things done in this space without learning new tools or relying on email. All this leads to a delightful experience and faster time to value.