Whether Sales in your organization is the responsibility of partners or a direct sales team, those responsible for selling and closing new business create the first impression of your product or service. A successful sales-to-service handoff is essential to maintaining that positive impression and promoting long-term customer success. To accelerate time-to-value, sustain customer relationships, and lay the groundwork for recurring revenue, leverage these seven proven practices for sales-to-service handoffs.
Effective customer engagement begins with the Sales process. This is when your organization identifies each customer’s desired outcomes and aligns its product and available services to them. In a successful sales-to-service handoff, Sales and Service need to collaborate so they can ensure that customers can successfully onboard, adopt, and realize the value of their purchase.
During the pre-sale process Sales should invite Service to collaborate to help identify needs and formulate the right solution for the customer. However, Sales does not typically invite Services into the Sales process and in this case, Services needs to advocate for being part of the pre-sales process. Through this collaboration there is higher probability that customers will get what they need to be successful.
The collaboration and information transfer should be complete and seamless—during the pre-sale process the Service team should know everything about the customer that the Sales Team knows. And customer should not be expected to provide Service with information they’ve already given to Sales.
These 7 practices are proven to ensure successful Sales-to-Service handoffs:
- Establish clear expectations for the roles of new-sales and post-sales teams. Ensure that motivations and incentives are equally focused on closing new business and retaining existing customers.
- Provide information to Sales teams about service programs available to help customers adopt and use products.
- Help Sales teams understand pricing and discounting policies, prerequisites, and any other considerations for frictionless service sales.
- Create Customer Success-focused engagement teams and resources to help customers understand not only the product features but how they can apply products to achieve their business objectives.
- Involve the Service team during the Sales process to help understand and validate that customer expected outcomes can be delivered post-sales.
- Formally transition newly acquired customers from Sales to designated Support or Customer Success resources.
- Begin a formal onboarding process based on expectations set in during the Sales process.