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Overcoming Data Migration Challenges: Shifting the Paradigm in B2B Software Onboarding

Don’t fail to consider the consequences and risks that inefficient customer data migration processes can have for the organization.

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Onboarding a new customer should be a delightful and thrilling experience for both parties involved: the internal team and the new customer. However, the reality of most B2B software products looks quite different. Shiny marketing and sales promises that led to a contract signature seem distant when the customer finds themselves in the middle of a laborious and cumbersome data validation and cleaning exercise to make the data compatible with the target software. 

Data Migration Woes

45% of survey respondents name data migration as the biggest challenge in implementing a new CRM tool (source: Aptitude 8). Migration cycles lasting several weeks to months, accompanied by budgets reaching five and even six digits, are regrettably common in the B2B software onboarding space. While most B2B software companies acknowledge the suboptimal nature of their onboarding process, the measures they take to enhance the process are frequently neither scalable nor customer-friendly. 

Let’s have a look at the most common customer data onboarding approaches. 

Data onboarding templates can quickly become overly complex, resulting in the customer-facing the burden of extensive manual reformatting efforts. Alternatively, it leads to continuous frustration for the Customer Success and Support teams, who need to deal with incorrect data formats with customers who can’t meet the requirements.

Custom data validation and import scripts may appear to offer an automated solution, but in reality, they keep your Engineering teams busy and away from further developing and enhancing the core functionalities of your product.

Data implementation services are often seen as the most hassle-free approach, preferred by established B2B Software providers. However, this approach leaves the customer with no choice but to invest a significant amount of money into additional services. 

As a B2B software user or Customer Success Manager you might see these cumbersome onboarding processes as unavoidable pain without further consideration – a major mistake. Let's take a step back and gain a deeper understanding of the impact of these inefficient practices.

Pitfalls of Inefficient Customer Data Onboarding

Many product leaders fail to consider the consequences and risks that non-scalable and manual customer data migration processes can have for the organization. Let’s ensure you’re not one of them.

1. Customer lifetime value vs. resources spent

At first glance, customized data onboarding support may appear a wise choice. Having a dedicated customer success team responsible for collecting, transforming, and migrating data might seem like an excellent, customer-centric approach, particularly for young companies and startups. However, as companies experience continuous growth and an increasing number of customers to onboard, the demand for manual resources rises significantly. Sooner or later, these companies realize that onboarding some of the smaller customers might cost a significant portion of the contract value in internal resources.

The challenge for many rapidly expanding companies lies in identifying and implementing an approach to segment customers properly. By concentrating manual resources and services on high-revenue customers while automating or outsourcing the onboarding process for smaller customers as much as possible, the company can ensure sustainable growth. Nevertheless, it is crucial to never lose sight of the customer experience. Striking a balance between efficient resource allocation and maintaining a positive user experience presents a substantial challenge for companies experiencing rapid expansion.

2. Decreased customer satisfaction 

Inefficient onboarding processes can lead to customer frustration and dissatisfaction as they experience delays, errors, or difficulties in getting up and running with the software. These can result in a poor overall customer experience and increases the likelihood of customer churn. With the growing influence of trends like Product-Led Growth, dissatisfied customers may be compelled to switch to a different software with a superior user experience.

3. Negative word-of-mouth

According to G2, 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to do business with you after reading a trusted review. It’s undeniable that online reviews play a significant role in shaping a company’s reputation. Checking rating platforms for firsthand user experiences has become a routine part of the assessment process for nearly every B2B software user.

Lengthy, laborious, and inefficient data onboarding experiences encountered by previous customers can, therefore, wield significant influence over the purchasing decisions of potential new users.

4. Long time to value

Depending on the complexity of the software, data migration and onboarding cycles can easily take weeks or even months. Such prolonged timelines not only frustrate customers but also immediately impact the software's time to deliver value to the user. Demonstrating a positive impact and return on investment (ROI) to the customer quickly is one of the key performance indicators (KPIs) influencing not only their short-term satisfaction but also the possibility of upgrading and strengthen the cooperation. Failure to show a positive impact can lead to lower CLTV, increased customer churn and negative word-of-mouth. 

For B2B Enterprise software, showcasing a positive business impact is already expected during a lightweight Proof of Concept (PoC) project. Achieving this requires a fast, scalable, and user-friendly data onboarding approach that can deliver value to the customer in a timely manner.

5. Missed cross-selling and upselling opportunities

Inefficient onboarding can hinder the ability to identify and capitalize on cross-selling and upselling opportunities effectively. If the onboarding process is not optimized to capture relevant customer data and understand their needs, the potential for expanding the customer relationship and driving additional revenue may be missed.

6. Low data quality

Large parts of B2B software's value proposition rely significantly on the input data quality.  Incorrect data formats, missing data, and inconsistencies greatly impact the value the new application delivers. Thus, ensuring all imported data is validated, consistent, and complete should be a top priority when designing a data migration process. It should not rely solely on the accuracy of individual Customer Success team members but instead approached systematically.

7. Bottleneck for company growth

Human resources are both expensive and scarce. Scaling a manual customer data onboarding process quickly encounters limitations, resulting in long waiting times for customers to be successfully onboarded onto the new application. Not only do customers in this scenario fail to receive value from the product, but they also cannot provide valuable insights, feedback, and in some models, generate any revenue for the software provider.

On the other hand, continually expanding onboarding teams to meet the growing demand significantly increases costs for the organization. Thus, onboarding customers at scale becomes a vital aspect of ensuring sustainable company growth. 

So, how to prevent these issues?

Templates, manual data formatting and custom import scripts belong to the past. nuvo offers AI-powered secure and scalable import solutions that allow you and your clients to map, validate, clean and import data automatically. Whether customer self-service data onboarding or data imports through internal teams, nuvo’s non-technical user interface provides a hassle-free way to transform and migrate data instantly, regardless of the input format.

Wow your clients with a quick and seamless data onboarding experience and let them encounter the value of your software immediately. Contact us today and get a free demo.

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