Closed a deal, what’s next?
Congratulations, Sales Superstar! You’ve closed a SAAS deal.
You’ve put your best foot forward. Used every strategic technique you were aware of. And then it finally happens! You lock the deal. Hurray!!! You are basking in the warmth of your success.
Take a moment to celebrate but remember your work has only just begun.
Now that you have a new customer, your company has anywhere between a few days to few weeks to successfully onboard the new customer. If this customer uses your product in the right way and they’re engaged at every step along the way, you will be able to build a long-term relationship with them.
What’s the benefit of that? You might ask.
In a SAAS world, a happy and loyal customer is your biggest asset. Happy customers are more than willing to offer referrals. They might want to upgrade to a higher plan with more features or expand to more licenses or geographies. They are your huge drivers of recurring revenue for your business as your company grows.
- They’re disappointed with your product?
- Feel cheated because what was promised during the pre-sales conversation couldn’t be delivered by your company?
- Do not realize the ROI or derive value from your product? Then they’re definitely at high risk of churn.
You not only might lose the customer but there is also a great possibility of them providing a negative review for your company. You could lose potential clients to these negative reviews.
Now that you know the importance of post-sales engagement and happy customers. Here are some important steps which will help you steer these unknown waters clearly.
The Sales Hand-Off
The Hand-Off could be to someone from Customer Success, Onboarding/Implementation, or Account Management Teams depending on your org structure. If possible get on a call with the internal POC who is responsible for handling the Onboarding and give them a brief about the customer. You could even prepare a standard Sales Hand-Off document and share it with the POC.
The kick-off meet/call should happen as soon as possible after the contract is signed. The Sales Rep should introduce the new customer to their POC to ensure a smooth transition.
It is time to get technical after the kick-off call. It is your responsibility to communicate clearly the needs of the customer and what motivated them to buy your product? What problems are they trying to solve using your product?
This will help the configuration to be tailored directly to the customer’s business needs. This ensures that the customer will be getting the full functionality they’re expecting from your product.
Once the product is configured, you have to ensure that the customer gets proper training. During the onboarding phase, it is important that the customers are learning about the product they purchased.
They should be going through all the necessary training from the beginning. If they know the product well, they will start using it immediately.
Is your product up and running with all users? Has the training been successfully completed? The Go-live phase is very critical and your company has to ensure that there are no hiccups faced by any users.
Feedback collection is important every step of the way but it is most crucial just after the go-live. A lot of users from the customer’s end will be using your product. You need to understand their experience and collect their feedback.
First value realization/Press-Release
What problem did your customer solve after using your product? What ROI did they derive? A press release of this success and happy collaboration can do marketing wonders to both your company and your customer.
Once your customer has become a successful use of your product, it is important not to forget them. You should engage them constantly. Strive to build a real conversation that engages them, helps them achieve their goals. Make sure that they are happy with your product. You think getting married is difficult? Try staying married :). As Ross says, “And what is life without love?”. You need all the customer love you can get!
The article originally appeared in LinkedIN