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a graphic that representations the sales to implementation handoff in a new business deal
SetuplyAug 22, 2023 2:02:52 PM4 min read

How to Smooth Over the Sales to Implementation Handoff

When sales hands off a new client to the implementation team, it’s a pivotal exchange. The sales to implementation handoff is what bridges the gap between promises made to clients and the services that are delivered. When it’s done right, it can be a powerful tool in helping clients realize the value of your solution and be more inclined to stick around.

The sales to implementation handoff is rarely as smooth as it should be, though. The sales team may not gather all the information that the implementation team needs, or the information may get lost in the transition because it’s not well-documented. At the same time, there may not be clarity around accountability during the handover process, which can cause more details to become lost in the shuffle.

These mishaps can translate into big losses. After all, 70% of customers have reported that connected processes — including seamless handoffs between departments — are very important in winning their business.

Seeing as what a critical juncture the sales to implementation handoff is, it’s important for SaaS providers to make the process as seamless as possible. Here are four ways to get things on the right track.


1. Assign a handoff lead

Think of a handoff lead as that bridge between your sales and implementation teams. They’re the ones that will make sure all of the critical client information — needs, goals, expectations — are transferred in the sales to implementation handoff. In doing so, they can prevent information gaps and make sure implementation teams have all the insights they need to ensure a smooth implementation process.

While connecting the dots between sales and implementation, the handoff lead can also be a point of contact between the two teams. A salesperson might want to know if any unforeseen customization requests have come up in implementation, while an implementation team member might have questions about the training a client will need once an implementation is complete. Having an assigned handoff lead to answer these questions enhances collaboration and increases alignment without creating more work for sales and implementation teams.


2. Use detailed documentation

Sales teams collect a lot of valuable client information in the sales process. But is it all the information that implementation teams need to do their job effectively? 

By collaborating on documentation that underpins the sales to implementation handoff, SaaS providers can ensure that sales captures all the key client details that are critical to implementation teams. With deeper insights into a client’s needs and expectations, implementation teams can offer up their technical expertise and ensure that what was promised is achievable.

This documentation can also provide a source of accountability as well. Sales and implementation teams will have greater transparency into when and how responsibilities shift in the sales to implementation handoff, which lends itself to a smoother transition.


3. Schedule a collaborative kick-off call

Before the client onboarding process begins, it’s beneficial to have a kick-off call that brings together sales, implementation, and the client. The sales team can reaffirm client needs and expectations; the implementation team can gather valuable context from the client to tailor their onboarding approach and take heed of potential challenges; and the client can leave the call feeling backed by a trusted team that’s aligned with their vision.

As with the success of any meeting, it’s important that this kick-off call is well structured. Once introductions are made and rapport is established, review the project’s scope and talk through any customization requests, technical integrations, or other client-specific requirements. You’ll also want to run through the project timeline as well as established communication channels for project updates, feedback, and support. Clients should feel encouraged to voice any concerns or questions they have throughout the call.


4. Establish consistent communications

After the initial kickoff call, have the implementation team take ownership of consistent weekly multiway communications on the progress of the implementation. These communications should include all the stakeholders involved in the project, including the client. That way, clients can know if they’re contributing to any slowdowns in the implementation process. And don’t forget about keeping the marketing cover going at this stage: there’s value in including them in these ongoing conversations; after all, they’re the ones who make the client feel heard and valued in the first place.

Rather than having to schedule weekly calls, a more convenient option is to have these communications come through a user-friendly platform. When clients can view these project updates in a platform that offers real-time visibility into implementation progress, they can easily know where their attention is needed to support the business outcomes they set out to achieve.

With these four strategies in place — alongside the use of Setuply’s client onboarding automation platform — SaaS providers can create a seamless experience for clients from the moment they sign on.