Have you ever wondered why we benchmark good performance and try to replicate it?
Why do we seek inspiration from veterans and influencers?
Well, that’s no rocket science!
You have been relying on benchmarking performers all your life to evaluate the characteristics of successful people and emulate them when the time comes.
This makes it easy to understand why sales teams need a sales playbook.
Instead of flying blind and repeating the same mistakes, replicating the good performers and their habits is wise.
Let’s not forget the customers too.
We need a system that ensures the customer messaging & communication are uniform for sales teams working remotely. (We shouldn’t forget the current situation we’re in.)
When do sales teams invest in a sales playbook?
Before discussing a sales playbook and its elements, it’s vital to identify when sales teams need it.
Let’s begin the discussion by examining what you need to achieve successful sales growth.
Broadly, you need the following fundamental activities to ensure smooth sales growth:
- A solid and in-depth sales planning
- A thorough product & service strategy for selling
- Ensure customer-focused approach in each step
- Make sales process-oriented and organized
- Have control over sales targets & KPIs
The activities mentioned above are often hindered by reasons that surface automatically or due to situational factors.
- Many sales deals fail to close due to conventional sales methods that need to change. Without enough knowledge or best practices, it’s difficult for reps to wear off the traditional sales norms.
- Many sales associates still rely on plain guesswork & intuition, less historical knowledge.
- When sports teams have a game plan, why not sales? But the sad truth is many sales organizations, intentionally or unintentionally, disregard sales planning.
- Time is of the essence, but sales reps waste a huge chunk of the day repeating the same tasks repeatedly, such as researching their buyer persona and customer segment.
- And, managers invest in duplicating the same coaching topics instead of devoting time to more profound and complex scenarios.
Hence, if you want your team to hit business goals on time, you need to align your team to follow the best examples and insights in the market.
Enter Sales Playbook!
What is a sales playbook?
A sales playbook is a documented and stored guide with the following attributes-
- Who can use it?- Sales and customer-focused teams
- What does it contain?- Key sales information and best practices
- Who’s in charge of the playbook?- Sales Enablement Team or Sales Operations
- Where is it stored?- A sales repository in your system or a software solution
- What is the purpose of a sales playbook?- Improve business by making sales practices repeatable and accessible.
- What does it capture essentially?- Sales scenarios & sales collaterals
In short, a sales playbook is designed by companies to capture sales best practices for a range of probable sales situations.
The playbook serves as a sole go-to material for sales reps and other team members before and after facing a customer.
Now, the question that must bother you is where is all this information coming from?
Sales information stored by the coaches or managers is gathered from grizzled veterans, top-performing reps, sales managers, marketing team, and secondary research insights.
Sales playbooks should preferably be in digital form on the cloud, available on the fly.
Now that we know documenting and storing sales best practices is essential and serves the sales team’s objective, the next step is to understand your sales playbook and how to create one with minimum effort?
What goes in a sales playbook?- Key elements
When you build a sales resource hub for your team, you need to ensure coverage of all sales-related content specific to your vertical, organization, and business objective.
But adding anything and everything won’t help you hit the home run.
You must carefully pick and choose the right content and information that’s proven its charm in the past or brought home more than a few sales deals.
Yes, we’re pressing on sprinkling your secret sauce in every corner of your playbook.
So here we go, your sales playbook library must capture:
- Sales Team Introduction & Structure: It all begins with knowing your team and their roles & responsibilities. Another area that needs attention is the organization structure to understand who’s who and what they can be approached for.
- Team processes: It’s one thing to decide the sales process, but it’s another thing to document and elaborate it for your team. You may follow the SPIN selling method, Solution selling, or the Challenger Sales model, but it’s essential to design & tailor the process according to your organization’s unique needs.
- Corporate Details: The playbook is incomplete without addressing the core elements of your organization. Mention - Company’s summary(Executive Summary), Vision & Mission statement, Business Goals, Market demand, Core Values, Organization’s Story( preferably with timeline), Accolades, and briefly cover Employee details.
- Sales Enablement Materials:
- Sales presentations
- Competitive analysis
- Pilot resources
- Call Scripts
- Email templates
- Market segment
- Buyers personas
- Elevator pitch
- Core messaging
- Case Studies
- ROI Calculators
- Business case templates
- Battle cards
- Product One-pagers
- Pre-call checklist
- Call planning
- Rules of Engagement
- Pricing options
- Sales templates
- Product demo flows
- Approved messaging
- Objection handling
- Market Report
- KPIs and Goals: Salespeople should know the evaluation criteria and achievement process. Defining the KPIs and goals in the sales playbook clarifies the air for the reps and saves time in understanding the same from seniors.
- Compensation: You may choose to leave this topic in your sales playbook, however, adding it with the KPIs keeps the team motivated and clear on incentive calculation. Define the sales targets/goals for the quarter/year, narrow down the goals until at an individual and team level. You can include the Sales Awards, Incentive Compensation Plan, and the Bonus Incentive Program.
- Customer contact list: Although customer details are part of CRM, the playbook must give a brief on the path, definitions, and how to analyze CRM dashboards & customer information.
- Compliance- Compliance may be a given and part of legal documents, but it’s always wise to incorporate the highlights in the sales playbook. Add details concerning gifts, license, relationship with clients, education plans, confidential information, and corporate information sharing.
How do I design a sales playbook for my team?
Traditionally, presentations and PDF copies or even sales posters & banners could do wonders as a playbook. It was designed and documented during sales training and later forgotten.
So, how to deliver a sales playbook that’s updated and created automatically with minimum effort.
Apart from all the documentation created on Word and Excel sheets, you can invest in a more robust solution- conversation intelligence software.
The advantage of adding conversation intelligence software is that you not only develop a sales playbook but use the same software to coach your sales rep. Sounds like a plan?
So, how do you create a sales playbook repository in a CI tool:
- Add all Pro sales conversations in the software and label them. For example, one of your seasoned reps is an excellent negotiator and can guide others in improving their negotiation skills. You can add a sales playbook category for Negotiation and add related call recordings under the same label.
- This way you can create several labels and add them category-wise.
- Also, if listening to conversations seems like a tedious task, pinpoint moments and transcription texts that catch your attention or need improvement.
- As and when needed, update the library or remove old conversations.
- You can also record all your coaching conversations in the library for easy access and better utilization of a sales manager’s time.
Having a digital conversation playbook is easier to access anywhere, anytime. You can simply plug into the conversations and learn practical tricks and less theoretical knowledge.
And in case you are wondering where and when to start…
Well, Today is the day!
Start early and reap the benefits early. Having a playbook shows results immediately.
Why does your company need a sales playbook?
Ultimately, any organization creates and develops a sales playbook to accelerate sales numbers and bring more business.
But the ulterior motive is to create a sales process and enable reps to perform better with minimum effort.
Broadly, creating a sales playbook will benefit your sales team:
- Execute sales activities at an optimal level
- Breakdown complicated sales scenarios
- Align all teams- on product/customer roadmap, messaging, and business targets
- New market penetration GTM strategy
- Better and content-rich sales proposals
- Access sales conversations or coaching sessions localized in the home language.
- Standardization of coaching
- Faster rep ramp-up time
- Productive Sales coaching, managers focused on more profound subjects.
Human psychology works on herd mentality and has proven it’s value since ancient days.
No denying, innovation has completely turned the world upside down, but certain aspects of following the herd have determined to be the best for our survival.
The same is the case with sales playbooks. Following the sales best practices is essential and doesn’t harm a long-term sales career.
We’d recommend using a sales playbook library yourself and realizing the enhanced productivity of the team. So now, it’s time to experience the capabilities first-hand without paying a single penny- Sign Up Now!
Results first, payment later.