Perfecting The Handoff – How an SDR’s Targeting, Research & Communication Helps Seal the Deal

By December 28, 2016
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As college football enters the home stretch of the 2016 season, mistakes must be cut down to a minimum as coaches and players alike start to dream about hoisting some hardware to close out the year. The best football and sales teams never fumble and that is because they have perfected the handoff. For as many years as I can remember, the teams with the strongest running games are there until the end, wearing out opposing defenses with flawless execution.

The handoff is the transition period where a Sales Develop Representative hands off a sales qualified lead they have booked a meeting with to their account executive right before the 1st sales call. The handoff is important early in the sales cycle, miscommunication can derail a potential sale before it actually begins. To prevent this, I want to share some best practices when it comes to the handoff, so my fellow sales development reps can ensure seamless transition and never fumble a good opportunity.

Watch the film

There are too many SDR’s still smiling and dialing, a process that is being replaced with highly targeted and  multi-channel outreach. While this can be an effective strategy for certain orgs, it generally is not in the solution selling martech space. Before any outreach, it is important to understand the organization you want to sell to and the players that make up the team.  To start, you can use a Predictive Score to get a grip on whether what you are selling is something the organization on your radar may even be interested in. Once you know the account is a solid fit, follow up with research on both the account level and lead level. Learn things like the industries they sell to, if you have helped companies similar to them in the past, their tech stack, and what the company’s 10k says about the state of their business. Heavy upfront research will always pay dividends when it comes to aligning your product to your target account’s needs.

Relay the play to the QB

Once you land the meeting, ALWAYS sync with your AE to share what you learned from watching the film! Take 10 minutes to brief your account executive before every meeting on what the reasons are behind your prospect accepting the meeting. This will help your AE steer the conversation the way it needs to be, with an end result of better clarity and hopefully get you past the discovery stage. If you don’t relay the play call properly, you may very well let a qualified prospect slip through the cracks due to failure to align your offering to the prospects pain points.


Having a well-defined agenda is something I learned from my AE Greg George and it has been paying major dividends in holding the meeting and preventing the worst possible outcome, a “no show.” As an SDR, sometimes you have to book meetings quite a while out, especially if you are attacking enterprise size organizations. Prospects are humans too, and they can forget what the meeting you scheduled with them is about without a proper agenda. Pro-tip – use the space provided in Google/Outlook Calendar and set a bullet point style agenda as well as goals for the call. Try something like this:



If you are in the sales development role or manage a team, try these tips out next time and get your meetings moving through the funnel!


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