How to streamline 3 key handoffs for a seamless buyer journey

Learn how to manage handoffs during the buyer journey. Whether it is from Marketing to SDR, or from AE to CSM, streamline handoffs and data transfer right in Slack.

If your buyers are dropping one by one from the sales funnel, there is a high probability that your company is not handling handoffs properly. To eliminate the possibility of losing interest and trust in your company, buyers should always be fronted with the right representative with the right information at the right stage. For an excellent buyer journey, you need to streamline handoffs. Since there are various business lifecycle models, there can be many handoff cases. A handoff could be interdepartmental or between team members of the same department. Here we have listed the most common handoff models in a business lifecycle.

Marketing to sales reps

The buyer journey starts with lead generation. We can divide leads into two; inbound and outbound. Sales teams generate outbounds, whereas marketing teams generate inbound leads. During the inbound lead qualification, handoffs occur from marketing to sales reps. With the information received, sales reps rank leads by scoring their characteristics and prioritizing the ones that resemble an ideal customer the most. They separate the ones ready to purchase and those not ready to qualify yet need to continue to be nurtured. Sales reps also optimize outreach efforts, such as determining the proper channels, creating personalized messaging, etc., depending on what the marketing team provides.

What marketing needs to provide to sales reps

Sales reps need enriched lead data to optimize their efforts, and to do that; marketing needs to provide at a minimum the details below.

  • Title/role of the contact
  • Size, industry, location, and annual income of the company associated with the contact
  • Newsletter signups, form submissions, attended events (ex: webinars, AMAs, etc.)
  • Product engagement history(ex: free trial, freemium subscription)
  • Other contacts associated with the same company and their past interactions

How does Actioner improve the handoff from marketing to sales?

Using Actioner workflows, sales teams can qualify leads faster and generate high-quality prospects within a more concise timeframe. Actioner allows you to;

  • Bring people from sales and marketing teams to collaborate on a specific lead in a Slack channel.
  • Run any workflow in Slack without the need to go and open your HubSpot or any other CRM.
  • Send Slack notifications to related channels or individuals when a lead activity occurs, such as new lead generation or a change in lead scoring.
  • Set workflows to be automatically run after a specific activity and send notifications when the corresponding workflow is run.
  • Set follow-up suggestions such as log meeting, add a note, send an email, etc., that can be run manually.
  • Manage handoffs from marketing to sales seamlessly, make sure that your marketing efforts do not go down the drain, and let marketing nourish the sales team.

Sales reps to AEs

Another handoff model is the one that is inside the sales department. The most common scenario is when a sales rep converts a lead into a prospect and gathers details required in the next stage of the buyer journey; meeting with an Account Executive(AE).

AEs are the key players in a sales cycle because customers feel the most understood in front of them, listen to them, and follow their advice. The reason is that AEs know what the customer needs through detailed analysis of the information coming from the previous phases of the buyer journey. They possess sound knowledge of the prospect, the condition of other firms having the same challenges, best practices in the industry, etc. They may have already worked with the competitors of the customer.

What sales reps need to provide to AEs

Sales reps should collect the information below for an AE to decide if the prospect fits the criteria.

  • Lead answers to the questions formed in BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline) framework
  • Additional findings through marketing and lead enrichment efforts

How does Actioner improve the handoff from sales reps to AEs?

To streamline and speed up the handoff from sales reps to AEs, Actioner allows sales teams to;

  • Gather in a dedicated Slack channel for handoffs whenever the lead lifecycle stage moves to the opportunity stage.
  • Collaborate on key deals that are over a certain amount, or related to important product features.
  • Access any CRM data directly from Slack.
  • Set workflows to automatically run after a specific activity, such as assigning the corresponding contact or company to an AE when a sales rep qualifies a lead or sending notifications when a sales rep has logged a meeting or a note for a qualified lead.
  • Set follow-up suggestions such as View notes, Add handoff notes, or Add task that can be run inside Slack.
  • Manage handoffs within sales seamlessly, save time, and elevate productivity.

Check out SDR to AE handoff use case, or explore other sales use cases in Slack-first sales automation with HubSpot.

AEs to Customer Success

When a deal is won, your prospect becomes a customer, and AE hands off the customer to the CSM team. The introduction of CSM should be handled properly by assuring your customer is in good hands. An AE can not simply say to the customer, 'Hey mate, from now Henry will be dealing with you, bye!'. Your customer should not feel left alone with a total stranger. Otherwise, you would harm the loyalty you are trying to build. The handoff should be seamless and quick, so your customer can start onboarding and using your product as soon as possible. To take advantage of your product's full benefits, they need proper guidance and training, so they won't get frustrated and lose interest.

What AEs need to provide to CSM

To adjust the guiding strategy before the customer relationship forms and to ensure that the customer starts on the right path, during handoff, AEs should provide CSM with answers to the questions listed below.

  • What value does the product provide to the customer, and what challenges are they trying to solve?
  • What are they trying to achieve by using the product, and the exact meaning of success for the customer?
  • Who actually bought the product, and who has control over the account?
  • What obstacles could block the way to success for the customer?

How does Actioner improve the handoff from AEs to CSM?

To streamline the handoff from AEs to CSM, Actioner allows you to;

  • Bring AEs and the customer success team together in a Slack channel to focus on the onboarding of a specific customer.
  • Run customer onboarding playbook through Slack.
  • Send Slack notifications to the related channels when customer activity occurs such as an email being delivered, or a request being raised by the customer.
  • Track customer cases through ticket management software such as Zendesk and Jira Service Management (JSM).
  • Set workflows to automatically run after a specific activity, such as automatically assigning the customer to an agent when a deal is won or sending notifications when AE creates an introduction meeting or adds note to the deal record in CRM.
  • Manage handoffs from sales to CSM seamlessly. Create the perfect onboarding experience for your customers, who will become your product's evangelists.

Check out AE to CSM handoff use case, or explore others sales use cases in Slack-first sales automation with HubSpot.

The key to successful handoffs in a buyer journey is to define the roles in specific processes and assure your customer interacts with the right person at the right time during the journey. Use properties of records in HubSpot or whatever CRM you use to hold data and make it visible to everyone who needs it. Ensure everyone provides and receives the required information in the proper timeframe with notifications and follow-up suggestions.

Allow knowledge workers from different contexts to come together and swarm over a specific issue and solve it quickly in Slack channels, transform those channels in alignment with the stages and teams from different contexts involved in the buyer journey. Use Actioner to connect all your tools and have flawless handoffs with predefined triggers within workflows. Start using Actioner today!

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