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Master the Marketing to Sales Hand-Off

Posted by Mark Hemmer on 8/17/18 10:00 AM  | 
Mark Hemmer
2 minute read

MasterSmarketing'Smarketing,' like 'blog,' is one of those terms that sounds unserious. As a result, business leaders tend to dismiss it upon first mention. 'Smarketing,' a portmanteau of 'sales' and 'marketing,' is a concept that's too important to dismiss or ignore. Mastering smarketing means mastering sales and marketing at once. In turn, your business is better positioned for long-term success. Your marketing and sales efforts need to be aligned. Getting your marketing and sales teams working together will help your business run more smoothly and it will lead to more closed deals. The biggest question that needs to be answered is: where's the hand-off? Where does marketing end and sales begin? When you answer that essential question, both processes begin to fall into place.

Agree on Terms

What actions does a website visitor need to take in order to be considered a qualified lead? Marketing and sales might give different answers, but need to understand each other's criteria to work together effectively. Establish what a lead is, what a marketing qualified lead is, what a sales qualified lead is, and more. Your company's terms might be different and that's fine - so long as both marketing and sales understands what they're dealing with. When your marketing and sales teams speak the same language, it puts both teams' actions into context. Make clear how you categorize leads and marketing and sales professionals will start to understand their own roles and each others' roles better.


Bring your marketing and sales teams under one banner. After all, they're both chasing the same goals. Find tech-forward ways of helping marketing and sales communicate. That can be a shared inbox or a weekly touch-point or something else. Whatever opens the lines of communication will work. Document your marketing and sales process and be transparent about both. When you actively try to over-communicate, you'll be amazed at how easily both teams get on the same page. 

Decide on a Hand-Off

Most importantly, figure out where the line is. For marketing and sales to work effectively together, both teams need to understand where their responsibilities lie. Your marketing team needs to know when to hand off leads to sales. If marketing doesn't know when to hand off to sales, nurtured leads may sit unattended to. That's a lost opportunity - marketing actions that worked, but there was never follow-up. For sales, not knowing when leads are ready to be contacted can be frustrating. Your sales team knows that marketing is taking actions and capturing leads, but may not know when to step in. That disconnect can make both teams less effective. It's critical that your business clarifies where marketing ends and sales begins. Once you do, you'll find that it's full-steam ahead. 


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