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Standardize Your Sales Handoff with Salesforce

4 min read
December 21, 2016

The sales handoff between the Sales Development Rep and Account Executive is a crucial piece of the modern sales process. This is where a potential lead becomes a viable sales prospect. Having a set process established between the teams ensures that no leads fall through the cracks, and holds both the SDR and the AE accountable for their specific responsibilities in the qualification and selling process. But what’s even more critical about this process is making sure all the details of the sales handoff are accurate within Salesforce.

As an organization scales, opportunities start to recycle over time. And as those opportunities come back up in the sales process, current reps need to understand what’s previously happened within the deal. Logically, this requires all the right information in Salesforce, so that five months down the road, newer reps can quickly pick up the opportunity where it left off, and nobody is dropping the ball along the way.

“Getting that information in Salesforce is critical,” says Angela Kirkland, a Salesloft Account Executive and former SDR. “There’s an exact field where that information should live, and that way, it’s standardized across both teams, and all the reps know where to look for it.” And keeping that process standardized starts with Salesforce.

That’s why we created our recent ebook, “Salesforce for Sales Engagement: Sales Development Reps,” to help SDRs understand their lead records in Salesforce, and seamlessly execute the sales handoff.

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With the right dialer and email tools to supplement Salesforce, modern Sales Development Reps can achieve success faster and more efficiently. In most companies, success for an SDR comes from setting an appointment. Once that appointment is set, it’s time to hand off the lead to an AE, or whichever sales function services the middle and bottom portions of your sales funnel.

But in order to keep these steps seamless within Salesforce, try following these three steps to ensure no ball is dropped and all activities are recorded along the way:

1. Create and Follow Salesforce Rules

Salesforce makes it easy to update a lead’s status and reassign to a new user, making the SDR-to-AE handoff seamless. But by creating a specific rule in Salesforce that keep SDRs from being able to pass on the opportunity without first filling out the opportunity owner name to a corresponding Account Executive, you’re creating a failsafe for the technical side of the sales handoff. “There’s literally no way an SDR can forget to put in that information,” Angela reminds us, “because changing the opportunity owner name to the AE’s name is part of the process.”

2. Implement a Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A pro now at both sides of the process, Angela knows the Service Level Agreement, or SLA, for the sales handoff like the back of her hand. “We have a standardized process, an SLA between our SDR and AE team that outlines what we need to find out in order to qualify and set the meeting.” Essentially, the sales development team works to set qualified demos and appointments for the sales team, and the agreement is there to outline the “code of conduct” between the two departments. The goal is to create a documented set of rules, guidelines, and expectations between the two parties to remove as much gray area from the sales handoff as possible.

3. Understand and Utilize Lead Records

As mentioned above, it’s crucial for all of the information gathered and activities executed on an opportunity to be listed within Salesforce for all future activities. If input correctly, a lead’s records will have all of the relevant activity data from your dialer and email tools, as well as any notes or comments you’ve added. “The AE puts all of their information in the opportunity notes,” reminds Angela, “and the SDR has a pre-qualification field on the opportunity, where we put our information for them to review before the meeting.” By keeping these lead records up to date, you’re further ensuring that the ball will never be dropped on an opportunity.

While Salesforce was built long before personalized sales engagement took the place of old school sales tactics, it still functions as an incredible database for SDRs to manage, work, and advance their leads. Passing leads between sales teams used to be an uncoordinated, fumbling process, but with the right sales engagement tool and a seamless integration, SDRs can turn Salesforce from a simple customer relationship management tool into a powerful sales enablement machine.

Download your free copy today and start getting the most out of Salesforce with your lead records. Just few small tweaks to your process can turn a CRM like Salesforce into your secret weapon for customer acquisition.

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