In sales, we make promises. We make promises that other people are required to keep. Much of the time, our teammates who are accountable for keeping those promises aren’t there when we make the promises, and we aren’t there when they keep the promises. This can create a huge gap between what we promise and what we deliver, and lots of problems can fill that gap.
To deliver for your dream client, you need to ensure that you have a smooth handoff of all that you have promised to your operations team. More still, to deliver for your operations teammates in the way that you want them to deliver for you and your dream client, you owe them a great handoff.
Ensure That They Know What Promises They Are Keeping
Your team isn’t going to be able to keep promises that they don’t know they are supposed to keep. Making sure they know what commitments they are going to be held accountable for begins with sharing the information you gain from sales meetings.
It means keeping meticulous notes about your dream client’s expectations. You need to share information about the outcomes you promised. You need to share how those outcomes will be measured. How will your dream client assess whether the promises have been kept and the outcomes achieved?
The promises also need to be shared in a way that helps the operations team understand the context. Why are these promises important to the dream client? How do these promises create value for your dream client? How do the outcomes impact your dream client’s clients?
Sharing this information improves and increases the likelihood that your promises are kept. And in a day and age when so many salespeople work remotely, sharing is increasingly important.
Get Their Involvement Early and Often
Your operations team has ideas about how they can help keep the promises your dream client needs you to make and keep. They have the subject-matter expertise to know how to create value.
And, they have ideas about how your dream client’s constraints might be overcome. It isn’t likely that you know all of the ways that your operations team helps to keep promises for other clients who are saddled with difficult constraints. They can help—if you let them.
Getting your operations team involved early in the sales process—and often—gets your dream client a better outcome because it increases the operation’s team ownership and buy-in in keeping the promises that you have made.
There is no reason to wait until the contract is signed and delivery is expected to begin the handoff. You can begin the process way earlier.
Make the Transfer Seamless
You can help make the transfer of promises from you to your sales team smooth and seamless. You can provide the information, help with the engagement, ensure the outcomes are known, and make the introductions.
You can facilitate the nurturing of relationships between the stakeholders of both your company and your dream clients, making them less reliant on you when and where you are not the primary value-creator—and where your operations team is.
If you want to keep your promises to your dream client, then you owe it to them and your team to spend the time to make sure that the handoff is done well and in a way that ensures your commitments are kept.
What do you owe your operations team to ensure a smooth handoff is made?
What do you owe your dream client in the way of a smooth handoff to your delivery team?
When does the handoff process begin?
How do you facilitate and help develop and nurture relationships that ensure the outcomes that you sold are achieved—even in your absence?
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