Mary Iappica, Director of Customer Onboarding & Adoption, ZoomInfo, was at Propel23 to share learnings and insights from taking a consultative approach to onboarding.
In this session, Mary talked about:
Here are the key takeaways from the session.
Consultative onboarding is an approach that prioritizes understanding a customer’s unique needs and goals, and then tailoring the onboarding process to meet those needs.
This means that you need to
Having a team with a consultative mindset is a crucial first step toward creating a consultative onboarding process.
The V.A.L.U.E approach mentioned below encapsulates all the essential qualities required to adopt and practise a consultative approach. By adopting this approach, you can ensure that your team’s thoughts, actions, and attitudes are all aligned and focused on the customer's needs.
1. Vision: A clear vision of how the customer can accomplish their goals gives your team a deeper understanding of what motivates them.
To create a compelling vision that resonates with the customer, focus on active listening as a key skill.
Recommendations and resources on active listening:
2. Advise: Customers have a unique pain point they're trying to address with your product. In many cases, multiple features can help alleviate that pain. As the subject matter expert, it’s your team's responsibility to provide targeted recommendations and guidance that minimizes the risk of cognitive overload on your customers. It's crucial to prioritize quick wins and highlight the features that are most relevant and impactful for each customer.
3. Lead: Use direct language and position yourself as a subject matter expert. You need to be confident in your knowledge, not just of your product, but also of the industry as a whole. By focusing on leading, you empower your team to take initiative and take important and difficult decisions, when needed.
4. Utilize: While prioritizing product utilization is key, the key is to identify and focus on adoption KPIs or metrics that directly impact customer success.
5. Experience: The customer has to buy into the experience that you're creating. Your onboarding team can drive engagement by ensuring that customers know what's next in their journey, but also why/how that step helps achieve their goal.
The V.A.L.U.E methodology provides the structure your team needs to approach onboarding consultatively. However, it is just as important to support your team with a well-designed onboarding motion that drives the desired behavior for both your team and your customer.
The Impact Funnel is an easy way to approach the design of a consultative onboarding motion.
Customers typically have multiple pain points and use cases. The goal during the onboarding phase is not to solve them all – but to focus on one so that they can see value quickly.
At ZoomInfo, this process is as below:
Create a spreadsheet to identify the business pain, the use case, some standard success measure measures or metrics, and the mapped features for each business pain and use case.
This document is a great starting and reference point for teams to build their consultative skills, besides creating a level of standardization in the onboarding process.