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How to do the “Hand-Off” and Close the Sale

“We broke our inside sales team into two groups – BDR’s (Business Development Reps who prospect and qualify leads) and SAE’s (Sales Account Executives who present and close the leads the BDR’s say are qualified). The problem is with the hand-off from BDR to SAE. How do you get the prospect re-focused and back in the game? Our process is to set up a call once the lead is qualified, so there is a little bit of a time lapse there.”

A lot of companies are going to this inside sales model and I am a fan of it for the right situations.
The challenge companies can have with this type of sales process is what I call “the hand-off” – It’s where the BDR has qualified the Prospect and has now scheduled a call between the SAE and the Prospect.
The most common problem is that the SAE call doesn’t have the same “juice” that was created on the first call between the BDR and the Prospect and the call goes downhill, fast.
Often times what happens is the BDR and the Prospect strike a common chord as the BDR did his/her job in qualifying, uncovering and getting the prospect to recognize a problem.
Some companies have a policy to turn the call over right then and there once the lead is qualified in order to avoid losing the Prospect’s interest, however the same problem often happens as a third party (the SAE, the BDR and the Prospect) enters the picture… that natural rapport / comfort level that was generated is now interrupted.
Most SAE’s make the mistake of trying to recapture or recreate a rapport with the Prospect. I say, “mistake” because prospects are very busy (and have 1,000 other sales people calling them for their time, etc). Trying to rebuild rapport wastes valuable time.

What I’ve Found to Work Best

What I’ve found to work best at entering the picture as the SAE and getting the Prospect up to speed and re-excited again is to simply say this at the beginning of the call…

“(Prospect’s Name) Before we get started, would it be OK if I quickly recap my understanding of your conversation with (BDR Name) to make sure we are all on the same page, would that be OK?”

I have only had one prospect say to me “No” but he quickly followed it up with “We’re ready to sign-up” (No need to walk past the close – but I’ll save that for a different blog post / newsletter).

The Re-Cap

The re-cap is an essential part in making “the hand-off” a success. And it starts long before the SAE ever picks up the phone and calls the “qualified prospect”. It actually starts with the BDR.
BDR’s need to do more than simply ask, “are you the decision maker” and “what are you currently using to solve ________?”
Your BDR’s need to be trained on what sales questions to ask, when to ask them, how to ask them, why to ask them, and then shown where to put that info in the CRM so the SAE can quickly glance at the information and get up to speed before making the call. Do it right and you’ll see the sales appointments and closing numbers rise.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.


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