Chin Up! Here’s How To Develop a Top-Notch Sales Playbook in 5 Easy Steps.

by Steve Bonvissuto

Follow these essential steps to begin developing a top-notch playbook that your sales team will want to use and that your sales leaders will refresh and re-share year after year.

Successful businesses understand the intrinsic value of having a sales playbook. Sales teams lacking a playbook can become less effective which can lead to missed opportunities and money left on the table.  Without a clear and updated outline of your sales process, buyer personas, call scripts, sample emails, proposal guidelines, or competitive intelligence reports, how are you equipping your team to perform at their highest level?

The goal of the sales playbook

A great playbook thoroughly breaks down the sales processes from start, initial prospecting, to finish, closing a sale and nurturing the relationship, to ensure your process is repeatable and scalable, leading to more predictable results. They reinforce mental clarity to foster high-performing teams as they’ll have everything your team needs, for themselves and for prospects, right at their fingertips. In short, an effective playbook will ensure the handoffs between sales processes and people involved in the process are clear and concise.

A proper playbook should provide overall clarity of duties and expectations, consistency across the team, save time, allow for skill development and training, and speak to what desired results look like. It’s important to build a strategy that ties back to the specific sales outcomes needed to contribute to the overall company goals and back to the metrics your business cares about. Playbooks are living tools that must continue to be developed, revised, and curated over time. Companies should re-evaluate their sales process and update it on a regular basis to make sure sellers are spending more time selling (green time) and less time administering (red time).  Digitally integrating your sales process with sales enablement tools and the playbook should ensure reps are following the process.

Step 1: Provide Overall Strategy

The overall strategy is a critical step for current and new team members. It should outline your purpose, should answer why your company and team exist, should clearly state the most desired outcomes, and should focus your resources to improve efficiencies.

Ask yourself what the problems are your company is trying to solve and why it’s important to solve them. Does this align with the company’s goals? How does everyone fit in and what role do they play? Each role should be modeled to ensure the playbook is specialized to match the role. These are questions to consider when drafting this portion of your sales playbook.

Step 2: Identify Goals and Objectives of Sales Reps

Your goals and objectives should offer a deep dive into your desired outcomes and expectations. This is your roadmap to success, and it should be undeniably clear what is expected of your team and for the business unit as a whole. Walk through their roles and responsibilities, highlight and explain duties for activity levels, quota targets, CRM tips, KPIs, etc.

Ensure all goals utilize measurable metrics. For example, when profiling and scoring accounts, measure and report each profile as it’s completed, give the profile a score, and list the date when this was completed. More information on metrics can be found in Step 5. In all, the more detailed you are here, the better! Anything you want to mention or outline for them that is a non-negotiable of the role should be listed here.

Step 3: Outline Solutions

This section should provide a detailed list of your company’s capabilities and solutions, whether tech-based solutions or skill-based training solutions. Your sales team now has a clear understanding of all solutions at their disposal and should easily be able to reiterate that information to whomever they’re prospecting. The end goal for your sales rep? Solve the problems of their potential customer. Provide useful tools to help them convey the services and solutions your company provides, strengthening their storytelling ability. One tool we suggest utilizing is Salesforce. They provide custom button and link features that present direct access and insight into the metrics we track for our teams. Other tools that prove useful are buyer personas, call scripts, sample emails, and proposal guidelines.

Step 4: Offer Examples

A crucial step, though often overlooked, is providing examples for your team. There are such things as bad first impressions, so don’t succumb to the myth that messaging isn’t vital for success. Messaging is important throughout the entirety of the sales process but particularly in the prospecting and initial engagement phases because that’s where a client begins formulating emotional and intellectual assessments about your company. Give your team proven messaging examples, including but certainly not limited to, email templates, call scripts, qualification questions, meeting agendas, and best practices. Another great way to confirm your messages and examples will be the most professional and effective is to ask your communications or marketing team for feedback on the message, the tone, and if it’s grammatically sound. Also, encourage your sales reps to conduct AB testing to see which messaging performs better.

Step 5: Present Well-defined Metrics

Everything your sales team needs to stay on track to hit their targets should live here. The information, technology, and platforms they’ll be using should be documented here to make data and results easier to find and measure. No two roles will have identical work paths, so having alternate selling paths documented should diminish any confusion about which metric falls under which step in the sells process. Consider which measurements will make or break the success of the rep, and be sure to discuss those in depth with them.

There You Have It

Use these steps as a foundation to get started on your way to top-notch sales playbook so yours will become a go-to resource amongst your sales reps, old and new, and will be a one-stop-shop for all relevant information of the entire sales process. At minimum, the digital version of this should have real-time, pertinent information readily available for your team.

Want To Know More?

Regardless of how hefty your sales playbook or sales strategy are, we are always here to help. MarketSource sales experts will work with you to define your challenges and design a turnkey solution that produces results in the areas of gaining new customers, launching new products, growing market share, optimizing sales expense or maximizing a mature product. Contact us today for a free assessment.

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Topic: B2B

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

An accomplished executive with more than 30 years of experience translating strategy into results for Fortune 500 companies, Steve Bonvissuto is the Executive Director of Innovation at MarketSource. Steve leads, motivates, and mentors to continuously improve the delivery of services to create more value for customers and employees.

At MarketSource, we believe better sales begin with better relationships. Our proven alternative to traditional outsourced sales is led by a proprietary process that helps businesses thrive by fostering deeper connections between people and brands.