Hi all,First time poster here; looking for some GGR community wisdom.
We are a SaaS startup with a relatively complex product. Our implementations are fixed-price, high-touch, last 4-6 months, and require a 2 hour/week customer commitment throughout onboarding.
While most of our customers are very responsive and eager to go-live, we have one that is not. They are often late, miss meetings, struggle to complete required tasks, and lack a shared vision or strong leadership. Because of this, their project is delayed and requires significantly more of our team's time than normal.
We've tried to work collaboratively to get them back on track with no luck. At this point, we need to amend their contract to incentivize the necessary change. The (now realized) risk of significant project delay wasn't a strong enough incentive. So, we are exploring how to amend their contract to include financial consequences if there is a continued lack of cooperation.
A few questions:
Thanks for your help!
Hey Heather, While this might not help you on this particular customer, I have successfully implemented onboarding incentives. To do this effectively it has to start on the Sales side. Typically in any enterprise deal the customer is asking for a discount. One effective way to increase ACV and incentivize customers to onboard quickly is a discount contingent on launching within a certain period of time. For example: Sales - "Sure we can offer a 5% discount, however the discount is contingent on launching within 4 months. You'll pay full price now, but if you onboard within 4 months, we'll credit you back 5% (or 1 month or the implementation fee, etc.). One thing I can say, in situations like you're in over-communicating and giving the client visibility into the phase they are in helps a lot. Happy to chat through this in more detail. Feel free to message me and we can set up a time, if you're interested. :)
That could absolutely happen. However, it didn't happen as much as you might think (in our case at least). We ran probably 300 customers through this incentive program and if I remember correctly there were only 1 or 2 cases where the company fought for the discount, despite not hitting the goal.
I think there are a couple keys to success with this program. (1) Make the timeline realistic for the customer to hit and (2) set those expectations while you're structuring the deal. Making sure the client signs off on the terms and understands the responsibility. It becomes even more crucial to give them visibility into What (needs to be done), When (it needs to be done by), and Who (is responsible) earlier in the process. At the end of the day, your onboarding process should be a competitive advantage, not a disadvantage. Talk about it early and often prior to closing the deal. After all, you have a team of experts just waiting to help the customer realize the benefits of what they're paying for. :)
Thank you all for sharing your experiences and suggestions.
Before my original post, I attempted to write the contract addendum but couldn't get past the first sentence. I'm so glad I was able to validate that initial hesitation on this forum.We won't impose financial penalties, but I love the idea of laying out financial incentives during the sales process. Also, your responses emphasized the importance of uncovering the why, re-emphasizing the value proposition and making sure the "check signer" is in the loop.Much appreciated!Heather