Nailing the Handoffs/Handover from Sales to CS

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Sidd
Sidd Member Posts: 32 Expert
edited September 2020 in Metrics & Analytics

Hey Team,

I'd really like to understand best practices followed in designing the Sales to CS Handoffs/Transition process.

What are the key aspects to Document? Do sales reps fill out a form and pass it on to the CS or what has worked? I'm trying to solve for a proper handover where the CSM has complete context on the Usecase, pocs , challenges, promises , etc

Would love to hear your thoughts.




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  • Andrew Marks
    Andrew Marks Member Posts: 54 Expert
    Office Hours Host 2022 5 Likes First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited September 2020
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    Sidd,

    Great question.

    First off, I'd invite you to watch our recent CSM Mastermind discussion this very topic from July: https://youtu.be/_l4lzoRwry0

    Now a lot of this "depends" on a number of factors related to the type of customer you're dealing with, the complexity of the sales cycle, of the customer desired business outcomes, etc.

    So here are some best practices as your designing the process:

    • Out of the gate, you want to design this process WITH your sales team. You be the lead, but you need to involve them in the process building. They should want this process as well. I've seen tiny companies with a great handoff process seem like a larger company, a well-oiled machine, instilling a level of confidence in your customer right at the moment when they are transitioning from the team that made all the commitments and promises, to the team that is going to be responsible for making it a reality. That's a significant moment of truth and a point of leverage for companies that do it well. I've also seen HUGE Fortune 100 companies completely blow this process, which ends up casting a shadow of doubt in the minds of your newly acquired customer. You need to get the sponsorship and backing of the sales leader for this effort, and if they're smart, it shouldn't be that difficult.
    • You also want to make gathering the information from the Sales team as frictionless of a process as possible for them. Yeah, they need to do some work, but whenever possible make it easy for them to do. If you have a CRM system, pre-populate information in your CSM transition report directly from the system where they should be providing that types of details that you're looking for.
    • If you have a list of things that you need to know, make sure you tell them what they are. Too many things are left unsaid. Don't assume they know it.
    • When there are challenges getting salespeople to provide important details for a transition, look at alternate resources. Maybe a Sales Engineer or Solution Architect who works on landing the deal can provide that kind of detail (my team would go out of their way to cozy up with the SE's). If the challenges continue, and you have a sales leader bought into the value and importance of this process, you can introduce "gates" in the CRM system. Typically salespeople don't get paid until they've got a Closed-Won deal. Well, make that information required in order to get to that status. As much as possible to use pre-populated drop-down lists, or checkboxes, or whatever functionality you can where you can provide choices for them. Asking a salesperson to write a lot is a lesson in futility. If you get as much of the information in a choice form, and you have maybe 1 or 2 text boxes for them to add some additional color, you're more likely to get those filled out with something meaningful.
    • Depending on the product, and what's entailed in the handoff, you're likely going to want to schedule an internal transition call between the salesperson and CSM. Ideally, this shouldn't take more than 15 minutes and your CSM needs to come prepared having read all of the information provided and spend the time asking questions. A great way to get salespeople in the habit of filling out what you need them to fill out is assuring them that you're going to keep transition calls to 15 minutes and make sure your CSM's follow through on that commitment.
    • One more thing for you. IMO it's really important to go beyond the product/use case/promises details and also ask about the people your team is going to be dealing with. Who's a fan? Who's not a fan? What kind of personality types are they going to be dealing with?
    There can be a lot to this. One of the keys to getting the information you're looking for is taking the salesperson's perspective. Thinking like a customer is the first step in understanding them and helping them achieve their goals. The same rings true for our internal stakeholders and team members. But remember, as I mentioned, it's important that they understand the importance of this process from the customers' perspective, and how they view you as a company.

    If the CS team isn't well prepared, the customer isn't thinking "Hey, that CSM team isn't prepared to help me achieve my desired outcomes." What they're thinking is "Hey, this COMPANY that I just made a commitment to based on a bunch of promises they made, doesn't have their act together."

    Best,


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    Andrew Marks
    SuccessHACKER
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    Original Message:
    Sent: 09-05-2020 19:41
    From: Sidd
    Subject: Nailing the Handoffs/Handover from Sales to CS

    Hey Team,

    I'd really like to understand best practices followed in designing the Sales to CS Handoffs/Transition process.

    What are the key aspects to Document? Do sales reps fill out a form and pass it on to the CS or what has worked? I'm trying to solve for a proper handover where the CSM has complete context on the Usecase, pocs , challenges, promises , etc

    Would love to hear your thoughts.







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    Sidd
    Customer Success Account Manager @ Freshworks
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