Chapter 1

— 3 min read

The case for running customer onboarding in the CRM

Stuart Balcombe

Stuart Balcombe, Head of Marketing, Arrows

Common misconceptions:

  • 🚫 Your CRM is only for sales & marketing teams.
  • 🚫 Customer onboarding is limited to implementating your solution for new customers.

In this first section we’re laying out the case for using your CRM as your “source of truth” for customer onboarding based on observations we’ve made in our own extensive research with onboarding teams while building Arrows and our team’s own experiences building onboarding programs.

In three sentences

Onboarding performance tends to decrease and onboarding’s fail more often overtime because products and customer needs get too complex for their process.

A team building their onboarding process in a CRM tends to have less gaps in the experience for customers and maintains visibility into performance.

Onboarding teams that build a well defined process in their CRM will improve onboarding performance and their ability to scale.

In three paragraphs

A team that struggles to scale onboarding almost always does so because it is fighting duct tapped processes and inefficient uses of human time. It spends a lot of time manually updating customer information, sending email reminders, and building reports. You can build a successful onboarding program without using a CRM but it’s much harder to scale.

Running your onboarding process in a CRM brings more robust functionality for internal teams to manage their efforts and out of the box features designed for running an outcome driven process (usually for sales). With a unified view of all your customer interactions - from initial sales discovery to closed won and handoffs to onboarding and beyond – onboarding can stay focused on helping customers achieve the outcomes they signed up for instead of repeating and recapturing the same details at every step.

Investing in building a defined onboarding process in your CRM leads to a more streamlined experience for your team, more cross-departmental collaboration, and ultimately better outcomes for your customers even as you scale.

In three sections

What actually causes an onboarding process to break?

The best way to look at this is to consider the individual components of building a customer onboarding program.

  • Process.Teams struggling to scale often either don’t have a defined and repeatable process making most tasks reactive and “new” for each customer.
  • Communication. Teams struggling to scale fail to put together a complete picture of communication with their customers, and often have to ask customers to repeat themselves after handoffs from sales or other team members.
  • Reporting. Teams struggling to scale typically feel pressure to report on onboarding performance but need to do time consuming manual work to generate reports and provide visibility to stakeholders.
  • Automation. Teams struggling to scale find their time being spent doing repetitive tasks because it feels like more work to automate than do it manually.
  • Data. Teams struggling to scale frequently have to manually move data between a number of different systems to complete tasks as each new tool they use creates its own silo of customer data.

How can running onboarding in your CRM help?

  • Process. Your CRM has a pipeline feature specifically designed for moving customers through a defined process which provides critical reporting data and triggers for process automation.
  • Communication. Your CRM is designed to track customer activity, emails**, and notes between all external stakeholders and internal teams. Reducing the need to ask customers for details previously covered in a previous call or email.
  • Reporting. Your CRM has reporting capabilities making it possible to share key onboarding performance metrics with key stakeholders proactively or provide them with real-time access.
  • Automation. Your CRM has workflows and automation features to help remove tedious and repetitive onboarding tasks from your team’s already overflowing plate.
  • Data. Your CRM has all your customer contact records in one place and is usually integrated with the rest of your tech stack as a source of truth for all customer data.

How can we get started?

Check out our guide on scaling onboarding in your CRM with HubSpot Deal Pipelines

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