The handoff of a prospect from an SDR to an AE is crucial but often goes poorly. The main issue that causes poor handoff is a lack of communication between the SDR and AE. This article explains a couple tips and processes to improve the handoff.
1. Create an SOP and have your team stick to it:
Create a comprehensive standard operating procedure that clearly defines the responsibilities of SDRs and AEs in the sales cycle. The SOP should hold both parties accountable for providing and accepting the necessary information to progress a sale.
2. Promptly send calendar invites:
To remain top-of-mind and avoid missed appointments, send calendar invites while on the phone with prospects. Confirm that they received the invite to prevent it from getting lost in their inbox.
3. Introduce the AE and provide notes:
Instead of a simple handoff, send an introductory email to the prospect regardless of the handoff method (email or first meeting). Express gratitude, ask them to review the included notes for accuracy, and address the following four W's:
Who will be on the call and who will be the main point of contact (SDR or AE)?
What/Why: Is this lead vetting options for their team or a decision-maker themselves? What are their pain points? What are the next steps, potential solutions, resources, or other relevant details?
When is the meeting scheduled?
SDRs should provide helpful notes to their AEs about the scheduled introduction. Things like:
Industry/ Company type
Currently using XXX provider and asked about our YYY feature
4. SDR + AE - Attend the meeting together:
To ensure a smooth transition, have the SDR join the initial call. The SDR can handle the introduction, confirm the meeting details, introduce the AE, explain the purpose and agenda, and outline potential outcomes. Afterward, the SDR can politely announce that the AE will take over.
By understanding and addressing the root causes of friction during the SDR to AE handoff, you can implement a smoother sales handoff process.