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User onboarding challenges in B2B software
Priya Nain12/26/23 8:04 AM8 min read

5 Top User Onboarding Challenges in B2B Software

Theoretically, You might do everything correct in creating your user onboarding but there might still be some challenges on your way to creating an onboarding that has some frictions, and challenges.

In this blog, we'll dive into the five top challenges you might encounter during the user onboarding process and explore effective strategies to tackle them head-on. Whether you're refining an existing system or building one from scratch, these insights aim to guide you towards creating an onboarding experience that resonates with your users and improves retention rate for your product.

1— Users ignoring your onboarding emails

One of the primary challenges in B2B software user onboarding is dealing with users who ignore your onboarding emails. This is a critical issue because these emails are often the first step in educating new users about your product, guiding them through essential features, and setting the tone for their entire user experience.

Onboarding emails may be overlooked for several reasons.

Users might be inundated with emails daily, leading to yours being lost in the shuffle. Alternatively, the content may not be engaging or relevant enough to catch their attention. Sometimes, it's also possible that these emails get filtered into spam or promotions folders.

How can you tackle this?

Conduct thorough research to understand the needs, behaviors, and preferences of your target users. This could involve user interviews, surveys, and analyzing user interaction data. The goal is to gain insights into why users might be overlooking your onboarding emails and what kind of communication would be more effective for them.

Onboarding emails should not be an isolated part of the user journey; they need to be integrated into a broader engagement strategy. This could mean synchronizing email communication with in-app guidance, aligning it with user milestones, and ensuring that it complements other touchpoints like customer support, webinars, and training sessions.

Additionally, investing in technologies and processes that allow for personalization at scale is crucial. Utilizing AI and machine learning algorithms, including various types of machine learning models, such as decision trees, neural networks, support vector machines, and clustering algorithms, for example, can help customize onboarding emails based on user behavior or segment users more effectively to ensure that communications are highly relevant.

Invest in technologies and processes that allow for personalization at scale. This could mean using AI and machine learning to customize onboarding emails based on user behavior or segmenting users more effectively to ensure that communications are highly relevant.

2— Lengthy onboarding process

B2B software typically has complex features tailored to specific business needs. An extensive onboarding process might be necessary to cover all aspects of the software, but it can overwhelm new users.

Business users are often time-poor. A lengthy onboarding process can be seen as a significant time investment, which might not always be feasible for busy professionals.

Users of B2B software can have varying levels of technical proficiency, making a one-size-fits-all onboarding process inefficient for some while insufficient for others.

The challenge of a lengthy onboarding process in B2B software is significant, as it can lead to user frustration, decreased engagement, and ultimately, higher churn rates.

In the B2B context, where solutions are often complex and multifaceted, it's crucial to strike a balance between thoroughness and efficiency in the onboarding process.

Strategic Solutions:

  • Streamline the Process: Review and streamline the onboarding process to eliminate any unnecessary steps. Focus on the most critical features that users need to get started and ensure that each step adds clear value.
  • Segmentation and Customization: Segment users based on their roles, industry, or experience level and customize the onboarding process for each segment. This allows for more targeted and relevant onboarding, which can be more efficient and engaging.
  • Leverage Progressive Onboarding: Introduce core features initially and gradually guide users to more advanced features. This staged approach helps in reducing initial overwhelm and allows users to learn at their own pace.
  • Use Mixed Media and Interactive Elements: Incorporate a mix of media (videos, infographics, interactive tutorials) to make the onboarding process more engaging and less time-consuming than traditional text-heavy guides.

3— No value realization

Sometimes, the complexity of B2B software overshadows its core value propositions, making it hard for users to quickly realize the tangible benefits, leading to disengagement and potentially higher churn rates. In the B2B context, where software solutions are often complex and the expectation for ROI is high, addressing this challenge is paramount.

How to solve for this:

Strategic Approaches to Address the Challenge:

  • Early and Clear Value Demonstration: Focus on demonstrating the value of your software as early as possible in the onboarding process. This can be achieved by highlighting quick wins or showing immediate improvements in a process that the software facilitates.
  • Customized Onboarding Journeys: Create personalized onboarding experiences that directly address the specific business challenges and goals of each user or user segment. Tailoring the experience helps in showcasing the software’s value in the context most relevant to the user.
  • Use Case Focused Training: Provide training and resources focused on specific use cases that resonate with your users' business needs. This practical approach helps in illustrating the software’s effectiveness in solving real-world problems.
  • Feedback Loops and Adaptation: Incorporate continuous feedback loops during the onboarding process to understand user expectations and perceptions of value. Use this feedback to adapt and improve the onboarding experience continually.
  • Success Metrics and Milestones: Define and communicate clear success metrics and milestones that users can expect to achieve. This helps in setting realistic expectations and provides a tangible measure of the software’s value.

4— Overload of issues on customer support

New users often have many questions and may encounter difficulties requiring support. This can be intensified in B2B environments where software complexity and customization needs are higher.

If self-help resources are lacking or not easily accessible, users are more likely to turn to customer support for even minor issues. And an onboarding process that doesn't effectively educate users about the software's features and usage can lead to an increased reliance on customer support.

Ideas to tackle this challenge:

  • Enhance Self-Service Options: Develop comprehensive and user-friendly self-service resources such as knowledge bases, FAQs, and tutorial videos. Making these resources easily accessible can significantly reduce the reliance on customer support.
  • Optimize the Onboarding Process: Streamline the onboarding process to ensure it's intuitive and informative. Focus on providing clear guidance on common queries and challenges faced by new users.
  • Implement Automated Support Tools: Utilize chatbots and AI-driven support tools to handle common queries and issues. These tools can provide immediate responses to basic questions, freeing up human support agents for more complex issues.
  • Predictive Support: Leverage data analytics to identify common challenges and questions among new users. Proactively address these areas in the onboarding process or through targeted communications.
  • Community Building: Encourage the development of a user community, such as forums or user groups, where users can seek advice and share solutions. Peer-to-peer support can be an effective way to reduce the load on formal support channels.
  • Scalable Support Team Structure: Ensure that the customer support team is scalable and can flexibly adjust to varying demands. This may involve cross-training staff, hiring temporary support during peak times, or outsourcing certain support functions.

5— Low feature adoption

The challenge of low feature adoption occurs when users do not fully utilize the range of features offered by the software, often sticking to basic functionalities. This underutilization can lead to a lack of engagement, diminished perceived value, and ultimately, a higher likelihood of churn.

Users may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of features, especially if they are complex, leading to avoidance or sticking to what they know.

They may also perceive some features as irrelevant to their needs, especially if the benefits of these features are not clearly communicated.

Strategic Approaches to Address Low Feature Adoption:

  • Segmented and Personalized Onboarding: Create a personalized onboarding experience that introduces features relevant to each user's specific needs and roles. This segmented approach ensures users see the value and applicability of features in their context.
  • Progressive Feature Introduction: Instead of presenting all features at once, gradually introduce them over time. This can be aligned with the user's growing familiarity with the software, reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed.
  • Use Case Demonstrations: Clearly demonstrate how different features can be applied in real-life scenarios that are relevant to the user. This practical approach helps users understand the utility of various features.
  • Gamification and Incentivization: Incorporate elements of gamification, such as badges, progress trackers, or rewards, to encourage exploration and adoption of different features.
  • User Feedback and Customization: Collect and act on user feedback to continuously improve features and their presentation during onboarding. Allow for some level of customization or feature tweaking to suit diverse user needs.
  • Engaging and Interactive Learning Materials: Use engaging, interactive tutorials, and hands-on training sessions to teach users about different features. This makes the learning process more effective and memorable


Reflect on these challenges and assess how they manifest in your own onboarding process. Which of these resonates most with your current experience? Are there specific areas where your process could be more user-centric or efficient? This introspection is the first step toward meaningful improvement.

For those seeking expert guidance and tailored solutions, Inturact is here to assist. Our agency specializes in optimizing user onboarding for B2B software, ensuring that your users not only realize the full potential of your product but become its advocates. With our expertise, you can transform your onboarding process into a powerful tool for user retention and satisfaction. Schedule a call with us here.