The handoff between marketing and sales seems simple: once a lead is qualified for sales (a so-called sales-qualified lead or SQL), the marketing team must inform their sales colleagues.
What could possibly go wrong?
The answer: a lot.
In general, there are two problem areas where the handover can fail.
The first is the qualification criteria or agreement on when the lead is to be turned over to sales. Think about what your criteria are for marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and SQLs. How do you ensure that these criteria are met during daily handoffs? How differentiated are the qualifications?
If your sales and marketing teams answer this question differently, handoffs can go awry.
The second area of concern is the mechanism of your handoffs. Are your marketing leads automatically passed on after qualification or is there already an owner before this stage has been reached? Do you assign your sales reps a task, send them a notification, send them an email, notify them via Slack, or combine these options?
Tools such as Marketing Hub and Sales Hub facilitate this process, which, however, only works if it has been precisely defined beforehand. The handoff between marketing and sales needs to be thought through and agreed upon by both teams in order to be successful – that’s much harder if your teams aren’t working with the same systems.