Sales to CS handoff process

Jung Kim
Jung Kim Member Posts: 20 Thought Leader
edited October 2023 in CS Org Conversations

Does anyone have a handoff template/process from sales to CS that they've found effective? I'm finally in a company where I feel the support/alignment from the sales org, and always trying to find the balance between bureacratic documentation vs. "hey we really need this information." Ideally would like to use HS, but still think these folks would work best with a template. Any thoughts/help/experience?


  • Melissa Logothetis
    Melissa Logothetis Member Posts: 22 Thought Leader
    First Comment
    edited May 2020

    I have some but I need to rewrite it.

  • Gabriel Fallas
    Gabriel Fallas Member Posts: 53 Expert
    First Comment
    edited May 2020

    My current industry has a very unique set-up on the Sales/Business Development side of things, but I really enjoyed the work-flow that my previous employer had implemented. Just as a heads-up, this is specific to on-boarding, not up-sell/renewals.

    When sales closed the deal they would fill out a Google form that would capture the key information about the new client; client name, size, POC name, red flags, opportunities, etc - Salesforce and other CRM tools are even better of course. The sales team would then proceed to book the kick-off call and send out an introductory email - this would help since the client would at least know the name of CSM and a few details about them before the kick-off call. During the kick-off call Sales would start leading and then verbally hand-off the call leadership to the CS team; CS would close the meeting making it clear that they're the new POC. 

    CS would send out a meeting recap and next steps email and cc Sales, but Sales would only get involved in the conversation if a contract specific question came up. 

    Through this all there would be a weekly Sales-PM-CSM meeting where we would present updates on implementations, client requests, retention risks, and deals that were in the pipeline. It was a highly collaborative meeting and helped keep communication and expectations clear between the different teams.

  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 248 Expert
    First Comment Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited May 2020

    I have a list of questions I ask the customer during my first consult, but just to avoid the customer repeating themselves to Sales, to implentation, and then to CS, I ask these same questions in our internal handoff calls. Any notes I wrote from sales handoff, I ask the customer to confirm our understanding.




    Customer Name 
    Number of Employees 
    Products Purchased and Contract Term 
    Purchasing Stakeholder 
    Key Stakeholder 
    Buying Process 


    Customer Onboarding Related Questions


    QuestionOur understandingCustomer's verification or correction
    Any issues in the customer phase?  
    Concerns brought up by the customer  
    Any objections at first?  


    Adoption Related Questions


    QuestionOur UnderstandingCustomer's verification or correction
    Motivation for Buying  
    What products did they use before and why  

    Teams and individuals impacted by proposed solution

    And does each team use it differently

    What are your expectations for Onboarding, Training, and overall for the solution?  
    Business Outcomes pursuing, how do you measure their success, and what is the goal date?  
    Preferred Customer Cadence  
    Are you comfortable with joint communications?  
  • Marijn Verdult
    Marijn Verdult Member Posts: 33 Thought Leader
    First Comment
    edited May 2020

    Within Hubspot we "clone" the Sales deal to create a new CSM deal which allow you to see all factual data such as client, contacts, deal, ect. without the need for the AE to do anything. 

    After that, we automatically (via a workflow task) ask the AE to fill in a playbook based on the Winning by Design principles and to write a Customer Win Story which we in turn can share with all SDR's. For the AE this takes less than 5 minutes. 

    Happy to share the playbook offline!

  • Sheryl Hawk
    Sheryl Hawk Member Posts: 12 Contributor
    First Anniversary
    edited May 2020

    I've used the MEDDIC process and had sales provide the information below. The MEDDIC information is generally gathered during the sales cycle and doesn't require the customer to repeat themselves at kick-off. I have implemented this both manually and automated. When automating, I have used Gainsight to kick off a survey to the sales team to provide the information below and then that survey lives on the customer record available to everyone.

    • M: Metrics -- what Metrics will the customer be using to measure success? (Get "as is" state")
    • E: Economic Buyer -- who is the EB in this account
    • D: Decision Criteria- What did the customer base their purchase decision on? (ROI, Capabilities, etc)?
    • D: Decision Process: Only needs to be provided if CS owns the renewal
    • I: Identify Pain: Needs vs Wants, compelling event, etc.
    • C: Champion: Who are our champions in this account (must have at least one)
  • Brian Hartley
    Brian Hartley Member Posts: 185 Expert
    First Comment First Anniversary
    edited May 2020

    We use SFDC to track our implementations and require the sales team to populate the following information:

  • Kristi Faltorusso
    Kristi Faltorusso Member Posts: 45 Expert
    First Anniversary
    edited May 2020

    We use a slightly modified version - It includes a few additional items which we've found helpful: 


    1. M – Metrics
    2. E – Economic Buyer
    3. D – Decision Process
    4. D – Decision Criteria
    5. P – Paper Process
    6. I – Identified Pain
    7. C – Coach/Champion
    8. C – Competition

    At my last company we had the last C stand for Channel because we worked with Channel Partners and Resellers and there was not much competition in our space. 

  • Jeffrey Nadeau
    Jeffrey Nadeau Member Posts: 28 Thought Leader
    First Anniversary
    edited May 2020

    +1 to using MEDDICC - Same as what Kristi shared but without the P. That's a new one and will add that to my process!

    Overall, the ideal state is that I will not assign a CSM until Salesforce has all of the MEDDICC information captured and I got buy-in from Sales leadership to hold the AEs accountable. Without Sales leadership agreeing to the process, the handoff will also be a mess

  • Shari Srebnick
    Shari Srebnick Member Posts: 111 Expert
    First Comment First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited May 2020

    I have to agree with most above - we use a version of the MEDDIC framework.  And like Jeffrey, Sales knows I will not assign a CSM until all of the info is provided.  Fortunately, I have buy in from sales - we have a new VP that just gets it. 

    One other thing I have my CSM's do prior the handoff is fill out a Business Model worksheet.  This is so that they can gain a better understanding of the customers business model from all different aspects.  Criteria such as: key activities, resources, business segments, key partners, etc.  Doing this research can uncover potential opportunities to explore down the road, and can open up conversation that may need to include additional stakeholders.  

  • David Ellin
    David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Comment
    edited May 2020

    Like, @Shari Srebnick, I try to stay away from a final handoff until Sales has completed their information profiles. If the handoff is done prior to completion, you'll never get Sales to go back and fill in the blanks.

    All that said, I prefer handoffs to take place just prior to contract negotiation so that the CSM and Sales rep are fully aligned on promises made and actions to be taken.

    My handoff doc is a bit outdated and needs to be updated but in general, should be very closely tied to critical touch points in the customer journey [around handoffs]. Over compensate for handoffs; don't glance over them.

  • Jung Kim
    Jung Kim Member Posts: 20 Thought Leader
    edited May 2020

    Thanks, Shari! Currently we have a really great relationship with head of sales right now - just trying to create the change management processes to show impact that it could have later on down the line. What does your business model worksheet entail? Is that specific to the customer and part of the process before official kickoff?

  • Camille Acey
    Camille Acey Member Posts: 6 Contributor
    First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper First Comment
    edited June 2020

    I am beginning to realize our handoffs need to take place way before deal close! Lesson re-learned.

  • Effie Mansdorf
    Effie Mansdorf Member Posts: 76 Expert
    First Anniversary
    edited June 2020

    Here are parts I can share of my playbook for sales to CS handover:

    OnBoarding Playbook - Customer Won


    Handover meeting from Sales to CSM


    When a PO is signed (Opp is moved to ‘Closed Won’ in SFDC by Sales).


    Ensure the CSM has all the information to maximize the likelihood of a successful onboarding.

    Specifically, this stage aims to:

    1. Move customers' primary focal point from Sales Rep to CSM.

    2. Save customers' time (and frustration!) by having to repeat information already conveyed

    to sales.

    3. Handover all knowledge of the account and process.

    4. Ensure all data is entered for the customer from SFDC to CRM


    CSM will be assigned within 24 hours after Opp is moved to ‘Closed Won’.

    Email from Sales Executive about new customer to CS* (SE). Auto Email CRM

    All the details must be filled in in SFDC, in order to populate CRM. If this does not work,

    please fill out manually, including tech details 

    The SE should invite the CSM for handover of the account (SE).


    After the meeting CSM should have the following updated and have enough background to move

    on to the next stage:

    1. Key contacts – make sure all key contacts are documented in CRM along with their

    titles, type of contact and brief background in notes.

    2. Add the account history and background to the CRM notes. This should include:

    A. Background on the sales process. How long it took, obstacles etc’

    B. Why the company purchased our product and what sold them on it.

    C. Any upsell/crossell/expansion opportunities that were not done during the

    sales cycle and why.

    D. Who the champions and detractors are. Details on the stakeholders

    (difficult/nice/likes ice fishing).

    E. Technical background on infrastructure. This includes security stack and

    info on other tools used