Close icon
Blog

Achieving the Perfect Sales to Customer Success Handoff (+Template)

Creating an excellent handoff plan between your Sales and Customer Success teams makes the transition seamless.

Achieving the Perfect Sales to Customer Success Handoff (+Template)

You've closed a sale. Congratulations.

You're now at the tail end of your sales cycle, and you need to start thinking about transferring the account over to the customer success team and beginning the onboarding process.

Well, we feel you – we have been there. It can be chaotic transitioning from the sales process over to the customer success process, but it doesn't have to be tough. And if it goes smoothly, you're more likely to have a successful customer who will not only grow with your business, but potentially refer in new deals.

Just when you think you've crossed the finish line, don't drop the ball. There is one more critical step to go.

The good news is there is a simple sales to service handoff process that will work for just about any industry and size of business. Here's how it works:

The Sales to Service Handoff

Most of your account information will probably live in your CRM. Your customer success manager will need to work closely with the sales reps who are working on the account, so it's important that you know what information they'll need out of the CRM, whether it be Salesforce, Hubspot, Pipedrive, Copper, or any other place where customer information is stored.

However, there is probably a lot of other information in the CRM as well, which can make finding what is needed to launch and onboard the account more difficult for your customer success manager.

To ensure the transition goes smoothly, your customer success manager will need to know some specific items about each account. The more you can nail down in terms of content at the beginning, the smoother this whole thing will go.

The Basics

  1. Company name
  2. Main contact person(s)
  3. Customer success manager assigned to the account, if applicable
  4. Type of company (enterprise, SMB, etc.)
  5. Number of employees at this location (if applicable)  
  6. The number of users or seats that will be in use in the account when the customer joins
  7. The billing cycle of the account, if applicable  
  8. Billing date of the first month after onboarding
  9. Length of contract (if applicable)

The Meat

  1. Main objectives the customer is trying to achieve by purchasing your product or service
  2. Any known objections or concerns that have been presented at this point in the sales process i.e. "I don't like how it works with our current system"
  3. If you have any known red flags, i.e. difficult cancellation policies, any clauses in the contract that are non-standard
  4. The tasks your customer success manager will need to complete after onboarding is complete
  5. Any special requests or needs from the customer at this time

This is where your planning for this handoff will pay off. By having all of these items at the ready, this transition should be painless. Once you've gone through the process a few times, it will become second nature.

Of course, if anything changes in the account after you've completed the handoff (the company's employees double in number, for example), just set up a time to get the account information over to your customer success manager again. You don't want any important details falling through the cracks.

Sales To Customer Success Handoff Meeting

Now that you've noted down the main points about your customer—who they are, why they purchased, etc...—it's usually good to put a quick internal meeting on the books so that their new CSM can ask questions about the account.

In the meeting template here, we take the above questions and expand on them slightly, giving you more opportunities to learn about the customer.

Because this is a meeting template, of course you should customize it to the types of information that is relevant to your product or service.

Customer Handoff Meeting Template


Team Information

Customer Success Manager:

Sales Team Member:

Other Key Stakeholders & Their Roles:

Customer Background

Customer Name:

Industry/Sector:

Company Size:

Contract Sign Date:

Contract Length:

Customer Goals

What is the main business objective of the customer? How do they generate revenue?

Why Our Solution?

What challenges or pain points does our product solve for the customer? What benefits or features are they most interested in?

Defining Success

How does the customer define success? What are the short-term objectives (and their steps) to help us get there?

Key Metrics

How do we measure success along the way? What metrics (such as Average MRR, # of Users, and other KPIs) should be discussed?

Work & Communication Style

What is the customer's ideal working relationship? What is the best way to contact them?

Growth Opportunities

How can we tailor the product or experience to better suit the customer?

Red Flags & Risks

Is the customer migrating from a competitor? Why? Were there any hesitations or hiccups encountered during the sales process? How can we ensure these don’t happen during and after the customer handoff?

Next Steps for Team

List all actionable steps and the team member responsible for each one. Refer to "Defining Success" section for help.

Next Steps for Customer

What are the next steps for the customer? Is any training required?

Other Important Notes

Is there any other information worth sharing?

Sales To Service Handoff Email Template

In addition to talking to your internal team about the handoff, you'll want to let your customer know they're in good hands. For a larger deal, ideally this is done live, in a meeting or on a call, but a lot of business is done via email, and transitioning an account can be done that way as well.

And even if you do share the name of a new customer success manager during a meeting, following up with an email that has the contact information of their new CSM is always a good strategy.

If you're curious what such a handoff email might look like, here are two handoff email templates you can use as a starting point. One is more formal, and the other is more casual:

Customer Handoff Email Template 1

Dear [Customer],

It was a pleasure speaking with you today about [Product/Company] and I'm glad we were able to get the opportunity to offer this service to you. In order for us to best serve your needs, [new customer success manager's name] will be taking over from [sales rep's name] to work with you going forward.

You can reach her at [email] or at [phone number]. If you have any questions, please let me know so I can get them answered for you!

Sincerely,

Your Name Here

Customer Handoff Email Template 2

Hi [name],

I hope you're doing well. I wanted to give you a quick update on your account and let you know that we'll be handing it off to our customer success team going forward.

We've been really happy with the work we've done together so far, and I'm confident that they'll do an excellent job of continuing to help you achieve your goals.

Your new main point of contact is [new customer success manager's name] and you can reach her at [email] or [phone number]. She'll be in touch soon to schedule your launch call.

I'm still here if you need me. Please feel free to reach out if there's anything else we can do for you!

Best,

[Your Name]

Takeaways

After being in business for a while, it can be tough to keep up with on-boarding new customers. We've laid out the Sales to Service Handoff Template so you have a foolproof plan on what needs to happen when you have a successful sale.

The handoff from the Sales Team to the customer success team after a deal has been closed, and covers how to transition an account from the sales process (how we sold it), into the customer service process (supporting them and making sure they're getting value).

Sales is about more than just closing deals; it's also about having a seamless handoff to your customer success manager who will provide valuable support and guidance for your customers.

It's important not to lose sight of this transition, or the customer will not feel like they are getting great value.

When you follow these tips and tricks, you're well on your way to setting up your customers for success.

The Art of Async
Master your communication. Free up more time for focused work.
Free Download 👌

Want more productive meetings?

Let Hugo help with agendas, note-taking & tasks

Get Hugo Free
Connect your calendar, invite your team and experience better meetings in minutes

Want more productive meetings?

Let Hugo help with agendas, note-taking & tasks