Why you should not outsource customer onboarding (founder-led sales, part 2)

A few weeks ago, we shared Part 1 of our “founder-led sales deep dive.” Part 1 mostly covered Step 1, which entailed figuring out if you’re solving the right problem. 

You can read Part 1 here.

Today, we dive into step 2. Let’s go.

Step 2: Onboard customers + ensure they get value from your product

When interviewing customers about their problems, you’ll obviously build a lead list of people willing to try your product. After you create the MVP, onboard them. 

Don’t just hand your software to a user and assume they’ll figure it out. They won’t. You gotta teach them to set up and use your solution to ensure they benefit from using it. 

Don’t — listen to me — don’t outsource onboarding to a junior employee or intern. 

You’ve already built rapport and trust with customers. You have unique insights into their behavior. Use that leverage to demo your product personally. Highlight your product’s differentiation and help them get started. 

This is what the best founders do. 

For example, in the beginning, Stripe founders Patrick and John Collison set up a Stripe account on all their users’ laptops. They guided users throughout — from creating the account to accepting payments.  

Even Airbnb’s founders went door to door in New York to help customers improve their property listings. This grew customers’ bookings fast (boosting customer retention), and the founders gathered valuable feedback. 

You should do the same. By personally onboarding customers:

  1. You’ll know how your customers use your product and if they’re getting value from it. If they're not, tweak your product to help them get value.
  2. You’ll collect proof that your product positively impacts the KPIs (saving time/money, increasing revenue, or other metrics) it's meant to improve. Then, use it to demand money for your solution and persuade other customers to buy your product. 

This is how you ensure smooth customer onboarding and create value for them. 

Coming soon ... Part 3 of Founder-led sales where we share how to price your product and improve your sales motion. 

This article was written by Sameer Ansari. Sameer has 4+ years of experience writing for technology startups, VC funds, and founders. You can find him on Twitter here.