Client Onboarding Made Easy: Questions You Need to Ask

Congratulations, you have signed a new client!

After investing energy, time and money to bring them onboard, you can’t afford to lose momentum now. Clients want to feel good about their decision to put their paid search and marketing success in your hands, so, where do you start?

Transitioning from Sales to Marketing

Handing over a new client from sales to production should always start with a discussion about what has happened thus far. During the sales process, your company has already developed a relationship and they decided to entrust you with their money; converting from sales to project management means keeping that relationship going and continuing to earn their confidence.

The sales process for every client is unique, but if your sales team is as awesome as ours, they will know at least top-level company information that can get you started, or at least fill in some of the blanks with questions:

  • What business challenges are you facing, or what have you faced in the past?
  • What advertising and marketing is working well now, and what needs to be improved?
  • How do you see us helping you?
  • How does PPC integrate into to your goals?
  • Who is your target market? Are there any specific geographic or demographic groups that we should start with? Or a buyer persona or persona group?
  • Are there specific markets that we should avoid? (Is there background to share here?)
  • Who are your main competitors? What distinguishes your business from them?
  • Who are the decision makers that we will be working with and who will be evaluating our efforts? What is their contact information?
  • How often will you talk to your company contact?
  • How often will reporting be expected?

Access to Clients Accounts, Campaigns, and Critical Items

Now that the basics have been discussed, it’s time to talk about pieces of a client’s marketing puzzle. Even if you do have access to accounts prior to onboarding, it’s worth revisiting what channels and assets are currently being utilized.

A few questions that we need to be answered are:

  • What campaigns or process are you already implementing? Google Analytics, AdWords, Bing, Yahoo Gemini, Facebook/Instagram, Amazon, Twitter, eBay, Etsy, Quora, AdRoll, AdStage, additional channels?
  • Are there any accounts or channels that need to be setup? Who will handle that setup process?
  • Is billing information for each channel already setup?
  • Do we have access to the accounts? Do we have the proper access levels? (Sometimes you have a “view-only” access level during the sales process.)
  • Do we have a targeted starting point in terms of channels? What is our rollout strategy for new or additional channels?
  • Are you using a marketing automation program or CRM to track sales and marketing efforts, such as Hubspot, Pardot, or Infusionsoft, or niche-specific software? Can we get access to this platform?
  • What is our call to action? What pages, assets and creative do we need to do so?
  • What are the key features of your products or services? What problem do you solve?
  • Is there any seasonality to your business?

Conversion Tracking and KPI Discussions

The next step after reviewing channels is to identify the account and channel goals and how each is tracked within reporting systems. Having a clear understanding of conversion tracking, and getting issues worked out early, will make everyone’s lives easier.

Get important answers to:

  • What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)?
  • What is your ultimate business goal? (Likely already answered in the initial business discussion, but a good time to circle back on this if anything was unclear.)
  • What metric(s) are you most interested in improving? Leads, revenue, subscribers, app installations, website visits, phone calls?
  • Will there be there more than one type of conversion being counted?
  • What is the current average cost per conversion? Is it different for online vs offline? Or are there any historical benchmarks that we can use?
  • Are we also able to track offline actions and sales such as calls?
  • How are conversion rules set up? Are conversion rules driven by AdWords, Analytics, the website, or CRM?
  • Are there any known issues with website tracking and conversions?
  • Is there a reporting platform or dashboard that you use and we can integrate with?
  • Is there any call tracking systems in place? If so, can we get access?

Enviably key questions will lead to others during the initial phases of a project, and the answers will help to create a short-term plan for kick off. Setting aside time to ask and answer questions will save time, and potential issues, in the long run. I hope this list helps you get started with your next new client!

What questions do you ask during the onboarding and account setup process? We’d love to hear your tips in the comments.