What a Clear Lead Handoff Process Looks Like and How to Make One

Everyone knows what a lead handoff process looks like, right? Well.. Not quite everyone.

Some teams really do have a rock solid process for handing over leads to sales, which is great. But some understand that they don’t have a clearly identified process for handing leads over to sales. Then again, a lot of teams think they get it even though the everyone on the team has their own idea of what lead handoff is.

Let’s spend a little bit of time talking about what a good sales handoff process looks like and how to replicate on in your CRM.

It’s an Agreement That Holds Everyone Accountable for Distinct Responsibilities

I use this spreadsheet to establish the touch points at each stage and share it with the sales team.

This spreadsheet clearly states, in plain language, what marketing and sales teams should be doing with contacts at each lifecycle. Notice the columns labeled “Marketing Team Responsibilities:” and “Sales Team Responsibilities:”. Pretty plain English right?!

If the cell is blank, then that team doesn’t have any responsibilities to a contact at that stage. Now, sales teams could decide to reach out to leads if they want. This tends to happen with smaller sales teams who have capacity to reach out sooner.

This also outlines, again pretty obvious, where the handoff happens.

Spoiler: if you’re looking at the HubSpot CRM tab it happens at line 4. Additionally, line 5 even says “The agency should provide an up to date list of all Marketing qualified leads to the client” under “Marketing Team Responsibilities:”

Sounds like a handoff to me, how about you?

It’s a Guide That Lets Everyone Know What Has Been Done at Each Stage of a Lifecycle

Huddling around the handoff spreadsheet will help everyone understand what activities have been done to qualify a contact.

If marketing qualified leads aren’t really qualified, then we can turn to this spreadsheet to say what triggers (found in column D) need to change. Pretty idiot proof, huh?!

This means no more confusion like “why the hell are these leads are so goddamn bad?!”. All you have to do is compare where unqualified MQLs are coming from and look at the spreadsheet for the proper alterations.

Blamo.

It Helps Us Improve Our Ability to Determining a Sales Pipeline Entry Point

We probably won’t create a deal for every MQL that gets handed over to sales, and the salespeople probably know why. Simply put, they aren’t qualified… obviously. However, the salespeople will know more than that. More importantly, they’ll know what needs to happen to make them qualified.

A lot of times, it’ll be something like attending a demo, request a free trial, scheduling a consultation, etc. In more straightforward sales processes, it might simply be a response to an initial follow up.

In either event, this trigger will be how to qualify an MQL into an opportunity.

It Forges Value Between Sales and Marketing

A proper sales handoff clearly identifies place where salespeople will go for the most up-to-date list of MQLs.

If you’re looking at the HubSpot CRM tab, refer to line 4, row C (“Tools”). It states exactly where to go to get an up-to-date list of MQLs. Hint: it’s the contact list and contact profile tool in the HubSpot CRM. Jackpot.

I like to train the salespeople on how to interact with contacts in these tools. It’s going to be important for them to know how to create and activate filtering that shows them the MQLs they have been assigned to.

From there, I like to show them how to create a deal from inside the contact record and how to track the progress of that deal through the sales pipeline.

It’s really great if they bring a prospect’s information they’re actively working on to the meeting. Then, we can add the prospect to the CRM and use them as an example through all (or a lot of) the steps. Now we’re talking about how to qualify an MQL, track notes, set meetings, place calls, etc, and create and work a deal through the pipeline.

This meeting proves a lot of value since they’ll be learning about cool tools inside the CRM. More importantly, it lets them get some experience interacting with the parts of the CRM where they’ll go to gather new MQLs, add their own, qualify them, and create and work deals.

It Looks Like Rock Solid, Closed-loop Reporting

So, that super valuable meeting I just talked about is really only the beginning. If a set process is followed, then we can report on it really well.

I know I’ve mentioned the HubSpot CRM a bunch of times, but in all honesty, it’s great for this. The software works very well with, what I would consider, a pragmatic sales process. By establishing an understanding of the handoff strategy and what happens after it, we can build a process that sits on top of the CRM.

Now for the great news, most CRMs plug into reporting tools like Databox really nicely. In turn, this gives us transparent reporting through real-time dashboards, and the ability to track our marketing and sales efforts against goals.

Hey, have fun getting your sales handoff pulled together, and if you need any help don’t hesitate to reach out.