Effective Customer On-Boarding Starts with the Opportunity

April 22nd, 2012 by

When working with clients one of my main objectives when doing a Business Process Review (BPR) is to understand the Customer Journey.  I summarize the Customer Journey into six phases that include market planning, lead generation, lead management, sales processes, customer onboarding, and nurturing & retaining the customer.

During the BPR process I spend lots of time on the transition between the sales process and customer onboarding; this is an area where companies run the risk of losing sales person productivity.  “Hero to Zero” is a term that is used to describe a sales person who has a big sales month and the next moth struggles; sales people will attribute the inconsistent performance to poor practices related to the customer onboarding process.

The challenge most companies face is not the onboard process, it is the lack of structure in the sales process.

Sales Processes’ Issues:

–       Non-standard product and price books.

–       Non-standard Excel & Word quote templates.

–       Lack of communication with operations.

–       Non-standard workflow processes.

These challenges can be overcome if companies put an emphasis on building standards within the Opportunity process and using standard features available in a CRM.  Listed below are some of the features available within SalesForce.com that are related to Opportunities that if implemented will improve the customer on-board process and make sales teams more productive.

–       Products -Products are the individual items that you sell on your opportunities and quotes. You can create a product and associate it with a price in a price book.

–       Quotes– A quote is a record showing proposed prices for products and services. You create a quote from an opportunity and its products.

–       Contact Roles – A contact role defines the part that a contact or person account plays in a specific account, case, contract, or opportunity.

–       Partner Roles – Partners related list allows you to store information about your partners and the roles they play in the opportunity or account. A partner must be an existing account within Salesforce.

–       Workflow Rules – designing workflow rules and approval processes, and associating them with actions such as email alerts, tasks, field updates, or outbound messages.

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