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  • Writer's pictureDavid Avery

Unlock the Secret to Accelerating your sales: A smooth marketing to sales hand-off

Marketing team heading to a lead hand-off

A poor marketing to sales hand-off process results in many problems such as delays in lead response time, negative feedback from sales reps regarding the quality of leads, incorrect routing of leads for follow-up, slow speed-to-lead, and decreased conversion rates in your funnel.

This blog post will cover 8 key areas to consider when optimizing your marketing to sales hand-off:

In the world of B2B sales and marketing, successful collaboration is essential to ensure a smooth transition. By following these tips, marketing and sales can work together more efficiently to close deals and acquire new customers.

Define What A Qualified Is For YOUR Business

magnifying glass on qualified marketing leads

Sourced: vipecloud

The first step to ensure a successful hand-off is for marketing and sales teams to agree on what constitutes a qualified lead. By waiting too long to pass off your leads, you risk losing out on converting those who may have otherwise bought from you. And if you hand them off prematurely, it can be a massive time-waster for your sales team as they deal with an abundance of unqualified prospects.

It’s important to be clear on the criteria of what makes a lead eligible for conversion.

  • A clear indication of interest in the product or service being offered

  • An ability to meet the minimum requirements for conversion, such as age, location, job title, company size, revenue amount, etc.

  • A demonstrated willingness and capacity to purchase the product or service at a reasonable cost in a reasonable timeframe

  • The presence of an appropriate payment method

This is typically based on how interested they are in your product or service, how quickly they can become customers and their budget size. Defining these elements ahead of time will help you identify leads that are ready to be passed off more quickly and easily.

A popular framework often used to evaluate lead quality when passing leads from Marketing to Sales is BANT. By using BANT, which stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline, it’s possible to have a clear understanding of what makes a lead eligible for conversion, which helps ensure that all leads that come in are handled appropriately and given the correct attention. So, if you want to ensure that leads are shifted quickly and successfully, BANT is a great way to start!

By taking a proactive approach of understanding the criteria for converting leads with BANT or another methodology, you can be sure that each lead is assessed accordingly and that they have the best chance possible of converting into a customer. This allows you to focus on the leads that are most likely to convert and direct your resources accordingly.

Use Lead Scoring to Prioritize Leads

score cards with qualified marketing lead handoff

Sourced: outfunnel

Lead scoring is a powerful way to prioritize and identify your most valuable leads. It can help you focus on the best engagements, qualify leads more quickly, and close deals faster. Lead scoring helps you prioritize leads based on how likely they are to convert, become customers, and remain loyal customers.

It requires you to assign a score value to each lead based on their:

Demographics and Firmographics (location, age, job title, etc.)

Making it easier to prioritize leads based on their location and industry. For example, if you are a local restaurant in San Francisco, targeting business executives from the tech industry would be ideal.

Interest level & engagement

Giving higher scores to leads who have shown more interest in your product or service and those who have engaged with your brand. For example, if someone has clicked on multiple emails, visited several pages of your website, or even requested a quote - they should get higher scores than leads who have not shown any engagement.

Source & buying timeline

Giving higher scores to leads sourced from premium sources or leads that are ready to buy. For example, if a lead has come from a premium publication or website, they should get higher scores than those coming from free sources.

Lead scoring gives you the data and insights necessary to identify which leads have the highest conversion potential and helps you develop an effective marketing strategy. When you combine lead scoring with insights from your competition, you have a powerful tool at your disposal to target and convert the right leads.

Set Up An Automatic Lead Alert System

Automatic marketing lead alerts for handoff

In addition to setting up regular communication strategies, it’s also important to have an automated lead alert system in place. This way, your sales team can be quickly notified when a lead meets the criteria for hand-off and they can jump on opportunities before they pass them by.

Setting up an automatic lead alert system is one of the best ways to keep your business on top of new leads. An automatic lead alert system, sometimes referred to as a marketing automation system, allows businesses to monitor for incoming leads and send out notifications when there are new ones. This type of system can be invaluable for ensuring that you don't miss an opportunity to engage with a potential customer.

When it comes to setting up an automatic lead alert system, there are numerous options available. Here are the top 5 marketing automation systems that businesses use:

1. Hubspot – This powerful platform offers all-in-one solutions for sales, marketing, and customer service. It is especially great for businesses that are looking to track leads and analyze the results of campaigns.

2. Pardot – This platform is ideal for B2B companies, as it allows users to create targeted campaigns and track their progress in real-time.

3. Infusionsoft – This system offers powerful automation tools that can be used to manage customer relationships, sales processes, and marketing campaigns.

4. Marketo – This is a great choice for those who are looking for advanced features such as automated lead scoring, segmentation, and reporting.

5. Act-On – This platform helps businesses quickly create personalized emails and track the performance of their campaigns.

Each of these systems offers unique features and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your business. By setting up an automatic lead alert system, you can ensure that you're always on top of new leads and stay ahead of the competition. This will give your business a competitive edge and help you reach more customers in less time.

Automated Lead Routing For Marketing To Sales Hand-Off

Mechanical funnel with leads for marketing handoff

Sourced: :privyr

When it comes to routing leads to the right person in your organization, automated lead routing systems can be a useful tool. Automated lead routing systems are designed to quickly and accurately route leads based on specific criteria such as geographic location or industry. Here are some of the top five automated lead routing systems available:

1. LeanData – This system allows you to easily assign leads to specific members of your team based on their criteria. It also offers powerful analytics to help you better understand where your best leads are coming from.

2. RingLead – This platform is designed for organizations with multiple sales reps and makes it easy to route leads quickly and accurately. It also offers features such as automated lead management and lead scoring.

3. LeadIQ – This platform is designed to help you manage your leads more effectively by automatically assigning them to the right person in your organization. It also includes features such as AI-powered lead routing and lead scoring.

By using an automated lead routing system, you can ensure that your leads are routed to the right people in your team quickly and accurately. This will help you maximize your reach and make sure that no opportunities are missed. Automated lead routing systems can also provide valuable insights into where your best leads come from, allowing you to target those sources more effectively.

Customize Follow-Up to Lead Type

It is essential that your teams comprehend the multiple types of leads they are dealing with.

1. Inbound Leads: These are leads that come from a combination of organic and paid campaigns. Follow up with these leads by sending them relevant content that is tailored to their interests.

2. Referral Leads: These are leads that come from current customers or partners who have referred someone your way. Be sure to thank them for the referral and give them an incentive if possible.

3. Cold Leads: These are leads who have never had any contact with you in the past, so it’s important to be extra welcoming and inviting when reaching out. Don't forget to include your company's value proposition in your message and make sure you sound enthusiastic.

4. Outbound Leads: These are leads that have been contacted in the past and need to be nurtured over time. Follow up with these leads by sending them helpful content and providing additional resources they may find useful.

5. Trade Show Leads: These are leads that you’ve collected from attending trade shows and events. Follow up with these leads by sending them a "thank you" email, followed by personalized content related to their interests.

No matter which type of lead your marketing team shares with sales, it’s important to always sound enthusiastic and be sure to thank the lead for showing interest in your business or product. Follow up with each lead in a timely manner and provide them with additional resources or content that can help them make an informed decision. Doing so will ensure your leads stay engaged and increase the likelihood of making a purchase.

Create a Lead Funnel Process that Works for You and Your Team

Creating a sales process that works for you and your team is also essential for success.

Start by understanding the Sirius Decisions Waterfall. This is a great framework to get started in mapping out a sales process and it consists of 4 major steps:

1) Inquiry

Inquiry is the first step, and it's all about getting leads and generating interest in your product or service. You should focus on making sure that you have a great lead qualification process in place, as well as figuring out who’s responsible for nurturing any leads that come through.

2) Qualification

The next step is Qualification. This is where you assess whether a lead is actually qualified to move forward in the sales process and if they meet your ideal customer profile. Start by asking yourself questions such as, “Do they have an active budget?” “Is there decision-making authority within the organization?” and “What are their pain points?”

3) TAL (Tele-prospecting Accepted Leads) or SAL (Sales Accepted Leads)

Next, you'll move into the Tele-prospecting Accepted Leads(TAL) or Sales Accepted Leads(SAL) step. When it comes to nurturing leads and building relationships with potential customers, TAL (Tele-prospecting Accepted Leads) and SAL (Sales Accepted Leads) are essential. Companies that employ these strategies do so because they recognize the power of relationship-building in a customer’s journey through the buying process.

TAL and SAL are two key components of successful customer engagement. With TAL, qualified leads are identified by a tele-prospector who contacts the lead to develop an initial relationship with them. This provides an opportunity for companies to introduce themselves and start building trust. SAL then takes over from there, as sales representatives leverage their relationships with the leads to convert them into paying customers.

This two-pronged approach helps companies ensure that they are engaging with qualified prospects and building strong relationships. It also ensures that customer experiences remain positive throughout the process, resulting in higher conversion rates and longer-term loyalty.

4) Close Won

Finally, it's time to move onto the Close/Renewal step. This is where all of your hard work pays off and you should be able to convert a lead into a customer and start to build a lasting relationship. Make sure that you have an effective follow-up process in place so that you can continue to nurture your customers and ensure that they remain loyal.

This will make it easier to hand-off leads from marketing to sales and ensure a smooth transition between the two teams.

By following all of these steps, you can create an efficient lead hand-off process between marketing and sales teams, and maximize potential conversions. The key to success is setting clear communication strategies and having an automated system in place that quickly notifies your sales team when leads meet the criteria for hand-off. With the right tools, processes, and research in place, you can ensure a seamless transition from marketing to sales and increase customer conversions.

Train Your Team On The New Process

Once you have everything set up, guarantee that every individual knows precisely how it works and their function in making it profitable. Doing so will ensure a streamlined lead hand-off process for maximum efficiency.

Need help expediting your sales enablement process or training SDRs and AEs? Look no further! Here are the five best tips and tools to get started:

1. Utilize existing tools – Make sure everyone is clear on the CRM platform utilized, as well as the marketing automation and analytics software in use.

2. Refreshers & role plays - Provide periodic refreshers to ensure that everyone is up-to-date with changes or new processes -- role plays are a great way to practice key tactics and approaches.

3. Leverage analytics – Provide access to data and insights so that sales reps can better understand what’s working (and not working) for them in terms of strategies, tactics, and approach.

4. Education tools - Provide educational resources to help your team stay up-to-date on industry news and trends.

5. Motivate & reward – Make sure to recognize good work, encourage team spirit and foster an environment of collaboration and support. If your team feels valued, they'll be more likely to stay motivated and engaged with their tasks.

These tips will help ensure that you have a well-trained, highly-engaged team prepared to take on the challenge of successful lead hand-off. Investing in your team is investing in your business and its success!

Finally, take time to track and measure your team's progress. By looking at which leads were successfully handed off and what led to their conversions, you can make changes or adjustments accordingly in order to maximize future potential successes.

Aligning With Sales On Lead Quality And Feedback Loops

Feedback loop for marketing lead handoff

You should also encourage your marketing and sales teams to set up regular check-ins and communication strategies so that they can assess lead quality in real-time and discuss potential methods for improvement. Additionally, it’s important to create feedback loops so that your teams can collect customer data and insights from the field. This will help you identify areas of improvement and adjust your strategies accordingly and ensure a smooth transition between the two departments which builds trust between team members.

The top 3 things that should be discussed during these check ins include:

1. Identifying patterns in quality leads and discussing the effectiveness of current lead generation strategies

2. Discussing any feedback loops between sales and marketing to ensure that information is being shared efficiently

3. Establishing measurable goals for both teams to strive towards and track progress over time

The best part is that by doing this, you can make sure that both departments are up-to-date with each other’s goals and working towards a common goal. This way, your efforts will be more cohesive and focused on achieving success.


Multi race marketing team huddle together for lead handoff

To optimize success, it is essential to foster an effective dialogue between marketing and sales teams. Examine your competitors, determine the criteria for leads and implement a CRM system – these steps give your sales team quality leads that can be easily converted into customers. By having the proper strategies in place, you not only increase conversions but also create a seamless transition from lead hand-off between marketing and sales.

You can ensure success in the lead hand-off process by following best practices, such as leveraging existing tools, providing refreshers and role plays to team members, using analytics to understand what’s working (and not), educating your team on industry trends and news, and motivating & rewarding good work. With the right processes in place, you can leverage the power of marketing and sales to create a successful lead hand-off process.

Need help with your Marketing-to-Sales hand-off? Speak with one of our Revenue Operations experts today!

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