The evolution of B2B customer onboarding now expands to include the last 25% of the sale. Modern customer onboarding starts during the final stages of the sales process. The team gathers and shares crucial information about the customer's expectations. The specifics include project scope and specific requirements traditionally focused on post-sale activities.

Team members must consider this final sales phase as an integral part of improving customer onboarding. Businesses can secure better alignment and set the tone for a more effective and efficient customer onboarding process. This approach builds a solid foundation for the customer relationship and a higher satisfaction rate through better service delivery.

Defining the Last 25% of a Complex Sale in B2B Transactions

In B2B sales, the final 25% of the sales cycle is especially crucial in complex transactions. This phase goes far beyond simply agreeing on the terms of the sale. It involves a thorough and meticulous planning process that aligns the buyer’s expectations with the seller’s capabilities. 

The team should dedicate time to strategic discussions during this critical period. These discussions ensure that the product your team members sold can actually fit into the customer's operations. Characterized by intensive collaboration, this phase focuses on establishing a solid foundation for a successful and enduring relationship.

The involvement of various stakeholders highlights the complexity of the last 25% of the sale. A multi level approach is necessary towards preparing for a smooth transition to customer onboarding. This part of the sale now includes critical interactions and inputs from the following groups:

Several Stakeholders (8+): Complex B2B sales makes multiple stakeholders essential, as it often impacts various parts of the organization. This group may include senior management, end users of the product or service, and project managers. Each new person added to the puzzle brings a unique perspective and set of requirements to the table.

Solution Architects (Subject Matter Experts): Technical experts confirm that the solutions proposed are feasible and tailor-made to meet the specific needs of the customer. Their expertise is crucial in addressing technical requirements and potential challenges.

Scope Definition: Clearly define the scope of the project to avoid scope creep. Scope creep happens when a project's requirements increase after the project has started. As a result, more work or resources to produce an acceptable final deliverable are required. To avoid this, all parties must clearly understand what is being delivered. This involves detailed discussions on the items to be delivered, timelines, and milestones.

Solutions Alignment: This involves aligning the proposed solutions with the customer’s business objectives and existing systems. The solutions should effectively integrate with and enhance the customer journey.

Business Case: The goal of a robust business case outlines the benefits and rationale for the investment. The key benefits in your solution helps in securing buy-in from all key stakeholders. This includes a clear presentation of ROI, cost savings, and system improvements.

IT and Compliance: In today’s digital landscape, solutions must comply with IT standards and regulations. Compliance is often a non-negatable in regulated industries. IT and compliance teams must review and approve all solutions to assure they agree with regulations and company standards.

Legal: The legal team’s involvement verifies that all contracts and agreements are in place, protecting both parties’ interests. This includes reviewing terms and conditions, liability clauses, and compliance with applicable laws.

Purchasing Department: Finally, the purchasing department plays a crucial role in the negotiation and finalizing the deal. They verify that the procurement process adheres to corporate policies and budget constraints.

The last 25% of the sale includes each one of these elements. What may seem like the end of one phase is the crucial beginning of another. This phase is a comprehensive effort to deliver what the customer needs and expects from your solution. This attention to the deal helps close the sale effectively and sets the stage for a successful long-term partnership.

The Shift in Paradigm: From Implementation to Engagement

Historically, people have viewed the customer onboarding process as a mainly logical task in B2B settings. The job involved getting the customer set up with the new product or service. However, as the complexity of B2B solutions has increased, so has the need for a more engaged and comprehensive customer onboarding approach. 

This new paradigm still focuses on technical implementation. But the customer's understanding and preparedness into the new solution is just as vital. The engagement begins in the last 25% of the sales cycle. 

This is where sales team hands over detailed documentation and insights to the customer onboarding team. During that sales handoff, the team members must understand and make actionable every promise made during the sales pitch.

The Importance of Managing Customer Handoffs During Customer Onboarding

Customer handoffs from the sales reps to the customer onboarding team are pivotal in the B2B context. Any missteps in this phase can lead to confusion, unsatisfied customers, and potentially failed implementations. These sales handoffs involve transferring critical knowledge gained during the sale. All the information about the customer’s pain points, needs, expectations, and specific conditions. 

Proper handling of these sales handoffs will fully prepare and align the customer onboarding team. A clear view of the customer's vision guides a smoother transition and increases the likelihood of a successful implementation.

Advantages of Streamlining the Final 25% of the Sale and Customer Onboarding Processes

A well-managed final stretch of the sales process can bring numerous benefits to both the provider and the customer. During the customer onboarding process, these benefits include:

Increased Customer Onboarding Speed: Streamlining the last 25% of the sale can significantly accelerate the customer onboarding process. This efficiency stems from the proactive preparations and alignments made during the sales phase. Clarity makes for a quicker start and more rapid achievement of company milestones.

Aligned Expectations: Integrating detailed discussions into the latter stages of the sale results in correct expectations for both parties. This shared vision reduces the likelihood of confusion during the outcomes and processes. The layout of a mutual action plan from your sales team will help. 

Consistency Between Internal Teams and Customers: Maintaining consistency between everyone involved enhances trust and communication. This flow secures that the relationship built during the sales process carries over into the customer onboarding phase. This strong relationship fosters a smoother transition and a more cohesive experience for the customer.

Smoother Sales Handoffs: Effective management of the transition between sales and customer onboarding leads to smoother handoffs. The sales team should pass all necessary information without gaps to the customer onboarding team. Gaps create delays and missteps that only hinder the goals.

Eliminate Information Silos: A seamless last 25% of the sale encourages open communication and shared information across departments. When there are no communication silos, no one hoards critical data. Integrating information in this way promotes a more efficient customer onboarding process.

Increased Likelihood of Contract Expansion: When teams effectively manage the final stages of the sale, customer satisfaction rates grow. Happy customers enhance the potential for contract renewals, customer retention, and expansions. Satisfied customers are more likely to consider additional services and expansions, leading to increased revenue and stronger business relationships.

A smooth transition from sales to customer onboarding allows businesses to leverage several benefits. Benefits that not only increase customer satisfaction, but also streamline internal processes and improve overall team efficiency.

Case Study: Deploying in Healthcare Facilities

A technology company specializing in healthcare solutions recently implemented a new strategy for customer onboarding their B2B customers. They introduced detailed sessions between their teams during the last 25% of their sales cycle. These sessions lead to discuss the specific challenges and needs of healthcare facilities. 

This proactive approach allowed the customer onboarding team to tailor their processes to the unique regulatory landscapes of the healthcare industry. As a result, their customer had significantly higher satisfaction scores along with a 30% faster implementation time.


What is the last 25% of a complex B2B sale?

The team finalizes the deal and prepares for customer onboarding during this phase. During this phase, the team ensures that the customer’s expectations fully align with the service or product capabilities.

Why is the handoff from sales to customer onboarding so critical?

The sales handoff is critical because it marks the transition of responsibility from selling to implementing. A smooth handoff guarantees the transfer of all necessary information and sets up the customer onboarding process for success.

How has B2B customer onboarding changed in recent years?

B2B customer onboarding has shifted. It use to be knowns as a post-sale, implementation-focused activity. Today, it is an integral part of the sales process itself. Alignment and understanding is more important than simply making the sale. 

What benefits does integrating the last 25% of the sale into customer onboarding provide?

Integrating the last 25% of the sale into the customer onboarding process helps ensure that all customer expectations are clearly understood and met. This integration leads to faster implementation, better customer satisfaction, and a stronger foundation for long-term success.


By rethinking the approach to B2B customer onboarding to include the last 25% of the sales process, companies can significantly improve the effectiveness of their customer engagements. These considerations safeguard a smoother transition to the benefits their solutions provide.

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Proteus Insights Team

Post by Proteus Insights Team

With over 25 years in operation, Proteus has built strong connections with industry leaders across various sectors, products, and services. Our experienced team and loyal clients have enabled us to gain valuable insights from these interactions.