Marketing to Sales Handoff Tips

Marketing to Sales Handoff Tips

Getting marketing and sales on the same page is often no small feat! Regular dialog and mutual respect go a long way toward ensuring a collaborative relationship between these two teams. But that is not enough. One essential element is a clear understanding of each role – where they add unique value and how one team hands-off work to the other.

One of the best tools I’ve seen to help drive a clear understanding of who does what is a matrix developed by HubSpot, the marketing and CRM firm. They call it their “Marketing to Sales Handoff Blueprint”. Before going to the matrix, let’s set a little context first.

HubSpot’s entire database platform hinges on the concept of lifecycle stages. The out-of-the-box lifecycle stages are:

  • Subscriber
  • Lead
  • Marketing Qualified Lead
  • Sales Qualified Lead
  • Opportunity
  • Customer
  • Evangelist
  • Other

Ideally, every contact clearly associates with one of these lifecycle stages. Marketing’s role is more heavily focused on the early lifecycle stages, whereas sales and account management and/or customer success teams are focused on the later lifecycle stages.

But how does Marketing hand-off to Sales so that your prospect doesn’t necessarily perceive it, and no one falls through the cracks? That’s where the HubSpot matrix comes in. As you can see below, the matrix starts with Lifecycle Stages, but then defines each one, lists the tools used, identifies the triggers for moving from one lifecycle stage to another, and then clearly spells out the responsibilities for marketing, sales, and service.

Here is an example:

In this matrix, the tools, triggers, and responsibilities are fairly generic. If you want to make it meaningful for your team, you will want to go a little deeper and get far more detailed. This will involve a conversation between your commercial teams and coming to an agreement. Then you’ll need to remember the important step of documenting what you decided and agreed. That way, you will truly have a blueprint for your organization.

Any CRM platform – not just HubSpot – should then be configured to support your marketing and sales processes. Your database should support the way you work.

If you need help driving sales and marketing alignment and want to bring in an independent third party to help facilitate your teams’ discussions, we can help. We assist our clients with driving go-to-market alignment all day long, so we have lots of experience. In addition, we can help you configure your Microsoft Dynamics 365, HubSpot, Zoho or Act! database to support those newly aligned processes. Please give us a call at 800-880-1960 or reach out to for more information.

Lastly, if you want to know more about the superpower that comes with aligning your marketing and sales teams, check out for information on a book, workshops, and speaking engagements. We are passionate about setting you up for success!

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