The importance of smooth B2B onboarding to 3 key groups (and 1 extra)
The leading neo-banks have revolutionised the customer onboarding experience by removing the need for manual paperwork, tiresome checkboxes, and other unnecessary steps.
It sets the stage for a harmonious relationship between the user and the service they’ve just signed up for, but the significance of this initial interaction goes far beyond just customer satisfaction. The impact of a well-crafted onboarding process will ripple throughout the company, easing friction, expediting revenue generation, and liberating teams from mundane manual tasks.
The excellence of B2C onboarding has highlighted the disparity with B2B onboarding whose efficiency has been damaged by the variety of data required and ever-changing corporate regulations.
The resulting process tends to be hap-hazard, ill-suited and unscalable. While companies try bespoke builds, these systems offer low levels of automation, are incredibly expensive and are highly inflexible. Sales teams find their hours wasted away, compliance must work through a web of disjointed data and internal stress rises. The impact, of course, is also felt by the onboarding business customer.
So, if the same excellence and focus on customer experience was applied in a B2B setting how would these three groups – the customers, compliance teams, sales teams and an additional fourth group to be revealed later - benefit?
Initially we need to lay out what a good onboarding process can offer:
What makes up a smooth onboarding flow:
A complete onboarding process has many features that provide value to both the customer and your team. Let’s break these aspects down:
- Customised flows configured for different situations. We’ve all felt the frustration of checking “N/A” on question after question that doesn’t apply for you or being asked for an official document that doesn’t even exist in your country. This is a clear sign of a poor onboarding flow. With a pre-configured flow, you get to direct customers along paths that match their needs. Whether it’s by country, product or any other distinction, your customer only answers questions that matter to them and you receive the information you need.
- Your brand, presented throughout. Nobody’s excited about a boring form or a plain document. Your onboarding process should feel like an extension of your brand which can be achieved by using a white-labelled provider. This makes the onboarding task less of a chore and a more enjoyable experience.
- One place for information and communication. We’ve all experienced the frustration of prolonged email chains and misplaced documents. It’s felt by both sides. The solution? An onboarding flow that serves as a central portal for information sharing. This streamlines the interactions between customers, their colleagues and your team during any stage of onboarding.
- A consolidated profile for comprehensive insight. Building on the previous feature, all information is conveniently collected in one place to create a comprehensive profile. You gain a complete view of essential company details, financial data and any extra screenings or ID verifications. Instead of navigating through a web of scattered data points, compliance teams access a central hub.
- Team management tools. Internal friction can develop when teams have no visibility over the compliance reviews especially when sales want it sped along so that a deal can be closed. This is where user management, roles and permissions come into play. By allocating responsibilities effectively internal pressure can be eased, and everyone is on the same page.
So which of these impacts which group the most:
For your customer, the pre-configured and white-labelled flow creates a completely different experience than a long-winded non-specific form. They will stay engaged, can see their progress, and it cuts out all those unrelated questions. Communication is made endlessly easier, all happening across the same link reducing the number of emails sent back-and-forth. This means a quicker onboarding time and a shorter wait for them to get value from your service.
The best part, it will help to reduce churn. Countless companies don’t measure churn even though it hits revenues hard and resets the lengthy marketing and sales cycle with new leads having to be nurtured and processed. However, a well signposted, tailored, and professional looking onboarding flow will retain your customer’s attention, promote trustworthiness and provide a positive first experience.
The value of the compliance team is when their analytical powers can be applied to make informed and confident decisions. The unfortunate reality is this value gets confused with the number of data sources and unconscious checkbox exercises; “Check the office location on google maps? Tick. Search directors on LinkedIn? Tick. Check our adverse media supplier? Tick etc.”. Jumping about like this is disorganised, expensive and devalues these team-members.
Instead, when all this information is provided in a single dashboard the actual analysis and evaluation can remain focused. An ideal onboarding process supercharges compliance workflows as much as it does for the customer. At a base level, a smart onboarding setup gathers specific customer info which sets the basis for review. Even better is when it plugs into data sources and screening tools to kick-off the decision-making process or when a compliance analyst needs more data, they simply click a request button rather than reaching out to a sales representative.
The ultimate vision, an onboarding process that slides right into existing CRMs to provide full visibility.
Additionally, for compliance, onboarding isn’t one moment in time. Once clients are onboard there’s a constant need to monitor, report and audit profiles to make sure there are no bad actors. It’s all part of what can be achieved with a sophisticated onboarding flow rather than a one-time ten page form to fill out.
In brief, the quicker a client gets onboarded, the sooner they dive into your platform, find value and bring in recurring revenue. Sales teams are all for this speedy setup and so tedious onboarding can become a big headache. Other pain points include how long it takes compliance to review a case, how many back-and-forth chats they have with clients and if the customers churn.
We’ve already addressed some of these. A well-built onboarding flow speeds up compliance with everything being in one place while a brand-friendly experience keeps customers from churning. However, there’s still the frustration of not having visibility over the review and the endless games of ‘email tennis’ played.
Management tools including roles & permissions will all help to improve visibility. Sales teams can peek at their clients’ progress through the review without overwhelming the compliance team. No more direct messages “how’s it going with my client”, time is saved, stress is reduced and harmony restored.
Additionally, the role of a salesperson as a middleman between customer and compliance doesn’t need to exist. In a manual process, conversations to obtain a single document can be lengthy and time consuming. But with an onboarding provider that offers a centralised location for document collection the salesperson wouldn’t have to do a thing.
Now to introduce the final group that benefits from good onboarding:
Your Next Customer
With so much attention given to ensuring your customer’s happiness it can be easy to lose sight of why – a happy customer can amplify your brand. A happy customer is a walking testament to your product and can be shown in referrals, word-of-mouth - much more effective than any social media post.
This allows for safe and nurtured growth as a network of content users can be built up. This isn’t just a list of clients, it's an authentic and positive customer base. You can never have too many advocates so it’s essential to start off any working relationship with a smooth and frictionless onboarding flow.
B2B onboarding’s significance isn’t confined to customers alone. It extends to internal teams and future clients. In this article we focused on customers, sales and compliance but it could equally impact others, e.g. marketing who can boast on social media about how you can “open an account in 5 minutes!”. The effect of good onboarding is felt throughout the business, and it does have a real bottom line impact.
Detected offers true end-to-end KYB, starting with white-labelled and configurable onboarding flows and a KYB dashboard which includes user management, roles and permissions and audit trails. The company profile generated creates a single source of truth made up of user-entered data, utilising the business owner as a direct data source, and is supplemented further with a range of global data providers.
With Detected, a typical onboarding flow journey starts with your salesperson sending the customer a bespoke link. They enter onto a fully branded and customised onboarding flow which can be completed in minutes. The completed profile is visible to the compliance team, who if they need further information, simply click one button!
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