According to Jen Spencer, president of SmartBug Media, “Getting the contract signed is only half the battle. A thoughtful, honest approach before and immediately after closing the deal can go a long way toward increasing the odds of success.”

After a sales deal has been made, a smooth handoff to the customer success (CS) team will ensure that employees are properly taken care of and satisfied with the support and service. 

What is a customer handoff meeting?

After your sales team has closed a deal, they do a “handoff” to the CS team for the onboarding process. While the sales team and customer are both riding a high from the excitement of their deal, this high can come to a halt when there’s a poor handoff to CS. 

“Sales may think its job is done, but it still has one vital step: facilitating a smooth, informative handoff to the customer success team,” says Spencer.

Take note!

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Why is a smooth customer handoff meeting important?

According to Spencer, “The handoff shouldn’t just be seamless — it should be bubble-wrapped to give the customer success team everything it needs to effectively and ambitiously meet and exceed customer expectations.”

A smooth customer handoff meeting is the cherry on top of a great deal. Customers want to feel a seamless transition from one department to another, rather than feeling bumped around from one unhelpful person to the next. Thus, handoff meetings are important because they show good customer service and satisfy customers. 

“A great handoff cements the alignment between client, sales and the customer success team.” – Jen Spencer.

6 tips for handling customer success handoff meetings

Let’s look at 6 tips for a successful sales to customer success handoff meeting.

1 Free Sales to CS Customer Handoff Meeting Template

Don’t just spring the handoff on the customer. Instead, communicate in advance to let them know a handoff will happen. This communication promotes trust and transparency, which according to Forbes, “set high-quality companies apart from many others.”

Additionally, if customers are unsure of the onboarding process, they may feel stressed about overcoming the learning curve. So, communicating in advance that a handoff will happen helps the customer feel reassured.

2 Introduce the client to the customer success manager early

Nobody likes waiting. If the sales team signs a deal with a customer, it’s essential to put the customer in contact with the customer success manager (CSM) as early as possible. Doing so ensures that the process moves along quickly, and therefore is more likely to satisfy the customer. 

The CSM can also identify any of the customer’s needs or wants that the CS team can then give them. Thus, meeting with the CSM before the initial onboarding process helps create a personalized experience. 

According to Beth Worthy, president of GMR Transcription Services, “Besides advocating for customer interests, these representatives help project a positive brand image to customers and show that your company truly does have the customer’s best interests in mind.” 

3 Have all the details documented

Documenting all details of the handoff ensures that there’s something to look back on if the information is forgotten. Additionally, verbal communication can be easily misunderstood, so documenting your details will help make sure that all parties understand. Think of it like your meeting notes—this documentation is simply made up of brief notes about important things discussed during the meeting. 

4 Keep open communication

One of the keys to a smooth handoff is open communication between sales and CS. Sales will understand what the customer wants because they pitched the sale. Thus, it’s the sales team’s job to communicate what the customer wants to CS so CS can then cater the onboarding process to the customer’s needs and wants. 

Additionally, the sales team needs to keep open communication with the customer even after the deal has been made. If they make a deal and then go silent, the customer may feel left in the dark or unsatisfied with the service. So, open communication is essential with all parties. 

5 Have time for questions

It’s essential that you allow your customers to ask questions during the handoff. Remember that there’s a learning curve involved when someone adopts something new. Thus, assuming that customers are good to go without allowing them to ask questions reflects poorly on the company. It’s also important to ask if the customers have questions throughout the handoff rather than waiting until the end. This way, they won’t forget their questions.

6 Go over the process overview

When someone invests in something new, anxieties about this new process fitting into their routine can occur. This is especially true for large teams, because changes can feel like disruptions. However, going over the onboarding process with customers will reassure them that they’ll be supported during the adoption process. 

Free sales to CS customer handoff meeting template

Parting advice

A perfect sales to customer success handoff is essential. After the excitement of signing a new deal, seamlessly handing the customer off to the CS team showcases good customer service and keeps the customer happy. At the end of the day, customers’ experiences with a company influence their likelihood of staying with it. So, if you follow the above 6 tips, you’ll have happy customers that are likely to stick around for future sales.