Sales playbooks are a critical component of sales success. It provides a roadmap for sales teams to follow, ensuring consistent and efficient sales processes and sales execution. In this blog, you’ll learn about the importance of sales playbooks, what they include, and how to create a sales playbook with a simple template. You’ll be given an overview of key benefits such as improved communication and increased efficiency; this guide has everything you need to take your sales game to the next level.
A sales playbook is separate from a call script, role-play scenario, or sales sheet. Rather, a playbook outlines the techniques, processes, and strategies a sales team uses to manage accounts and sell a company’s products or services. A well-crafted playbook will be available on demand and empower sales reps to seamlessly navigate the entire sales cycle by aligning the team around a common set of goals, standardizing the sales approach, and ensuring the exact roadmap is followed for all accounts and opportunities from prospect to close. It includes information on the sales process, product/service collateral, sales techniques, sales tools, and team management.
According to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, high-performing sales organizations had a significantly higher percentage (50%) of participants who reported strictly enforced or automated sales processes compared to underperforming sales organizations, where only 28% of participants reported the same level of oversight. The goal of the sales playbook or a sales development playbook is to make improvements at incremental points in the customer journey by improving consistency, communication, efficiency, training, and results throughout the sales organization.
Playbooks, scorecards, and opportunity plans are all advanced sales execution tools that can help guide reps through the sales process and reinforce training and best practices. These tools typically include interactive links to helpful content and other resources to keep reps focused on the customer’s purchasing journey and align their activities and strategies accordingly.
You’re probably wondering by now how to build a sales playbook. Here are some ideas for sales playbook templates, which can help improve your sales process by enhancing your reps’ product knowledge, refining their ability to target specific customer segments, and fine-tuning their sales execution. These resources also illustrate best practices for streamlining sales tools, tracking key sales metrics, and effectively managing your sales team.
Your sales playbooks should be customized to your organization and created by a team of your subject matter experts that includes leaders from sales, marketing, product marketing, product management, customer service, and the C-suite. (Be sure to also look to your top performers for input!) It’s also best practice to map your specific buyer process to your sales process and playbooks.
That said, some key playbook ingredients are common across company size, industry, product price, etc. These include:
This section will be the “meat” of each of your playbooks, and it should outline the steps in your company’s sales process and the activities associated with each step. Additionally, a best practice is to include customer/prospect activities that verify the customer is moving through the process at the same pace. provide detailed information about your company’s products or services, including features, benefits, pricing, and differentiators. You may also want to include resources such as call scripts, email scripts, proposal templates, sales decks, marketing collateral, product positioning guides, and competitor battle cards – to name a few! If your company has recorded training sessions on locating and using your technology and resources, including links so sales reps can quickly get up to speed. This is done by attaching product content to specific activities where it would be most relevant. Make sure your playbooks include detailed sales techniques and strategies and follow your selected or created sales methodology. For example, do you use SPIN, Challenger Selling, Solution Selling, etc.? Many companies even include links to call recordings and recorded presentations so sales reps can benefit from real-world examples. relationship maps, strategy maps Your playbooks should prompt your team members as to what sales tools to use throughout the process. For example, relationship maps, strategy maps , joint evaluations, or call plans. This is done by attaching links to the appropriate sales tool on specific activities where it should be used.
Creating successful sales playbooks requires a well-rounded understanding of the sales process and the sales team’s needs. Here are some additional tips to make your sales playbook even more effective:
account planning Sales reps are on the front lines, interacting with customers and prospects daily. They know best what works and what doesn’t in the sales process and account planning . So, involve them in the creation of your playbooks. This ensures that your playbooks are comprehensive and realistic and increases the likelihood that your sales reps will use them. Continuously Update Your Playbook: A sales playbook is not a one-and-done project. It should be an evolving tool that changes with the sales process, customer buying behaviors, and changes in the market. Regularly review your playbook to ensure your sales team is equipped with the most up-to-date information and strategies. : A sales playbook aims to help sales reps effectively sell your company’s products or services. Therefore, it’s essential to make it as user-friendly as possible. Use simple language, include visual aids and interactive links to relevant content, and make sure it’s easy to navigate. Use Data to Measure Success: Your sales playbook should include a section for tracking and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the effectiveness of your sales process. By analyzing data, you can identify areas for improvement and adjust your playbook accordingly. To begin, it’s best to start small with your first playbook. While a company may require numerous sales playbooks to cover various sales scenarios or targets, such as exploring new market opportunities, expanding into different sectors, or competing against a specific competitor, starting with a highly effective sales process is recommended for your company. Doing so allows you to create consistency around behavior that has already generated successful outcomes. Once established, you can expand and tailor the playbook to suit different sales scenarios.
Sales playbooks are a crucial component of successful sales management. Acting as a single source of knowledge can help you and your sales team increase consistency, improve communication, improve efficiencies, and enhance training to realize your desired results quickly.
Contact Revegy today to learn more about improving account revenue identification and deal close-won ratios. Our sales performance management platform supports sales planning and strategy, facilitates sales execution, analyzes sales performance, and enhances collaboration and communication. It optimizes sales performance and streamlines the sales process, helping sales teams achieve better results. Schedule a demo below.
Are you interested in kickstarting the development of your sales plan? Download Revegy’s Ultimate Guide to Sales Planning, which provides a user-friendly manual to assist with your sales forecasting, the creation and coaching of account plans, and other related aspects. Start your planning process today!