Most organizations have some parts of a sales playbook in place even if they don’t call it that. Often times it tends to be collateral and content that are scattered over the real and virtual world. Being scattered, it honestly defeats the purpose of a true sales playbook. A neatly organized sales playbook that is easily accessible to sales, inside sales, and partners can reap rich dividends for your business.
Why Do You Need a Sales Playbook?
According to Aberdeen, best in class companies are almost twice as likely to have sales playbooks vis-à-vis laggards. While that may not be reason enough to have one, sales playbooks can deliver benefits not just to sales and marketing, but also to the entire organization through:
- Higher revenue
- Faster sales cycles
- Consistent company branding and messaging
- Less time spent searching for content
- Higher attainment of sales quotas
In the absence of a sales playbook, reps tend to continuously reinvent the wheel. Reps don’t always know what content is already out there or may not like what they have found, and invariably create content from scratch. While this is not time well spent, even worse, it could lead to skewed company branding and incorrect messaging. Sales reps should have access to an easily searchable repository of content that guides them through each stage of the buying cycle.
What Is a Sales Playbook?
While the definition may vary a little bit from company to company, the basic concept remains the same. A sales playbook provides a selling guide to sales reps; giving them the whole kit and caboodle that they need to close a sale. With the ability to improve sales effectiveness, a sales playbook gives reps highly specific tools and assets that have been tried, tested, and are known to work.
Let’s suppose your organization has a 7-step selling process starting with lead, qualification, discovery, evaluation, feasibility, proposal, and finally win. A sales playbook will contain all the content and tools that your reps will need at every one of those seven steps essential to close the deal. It tells the rep what tools will work at each stage.
For instance, say Skippy the rep is prepping for an initial meeting with a hot lead in the insurance sector. The sales playbook gives him a presentation suited to the insurance sector. Skippy can see that the presentation has received good feedback from his colleagues, who have used it several times, resulting in multiple wins.
Let’s take a second scenario. Imagine a manufacturing lead refuses to meet with Skippy until he shows what his product has done for other manufacturers. The sales playbook gives Skippy a set of case studies from the manufacturing sector, which he can immediately send off to the lead. Armed with highly-specific tools that meet almost every conceivable sales situation, reps needn’t waste time reinventing the wheel; they can focus on what they do best, build relationships and sell.
Essential Ingredients in a Sales Playbook
A sales playbook will contain a wide variety of tools and should ideally include the following:
- Questions for qualification
- Buyer personas
- Sales scripts and things to expect
- Objection handling and recommended answers
- Pricing information, discounts
- Competitive analysis
- ROI calculators
- Customer videos
- Case studies
Skippy can take these assets, all of which deliver a uniform message, and customize it slightly to appeal to the lead at hand.
Do you have a sales playbook in your organization? Has it worked for you? Write to us in the Comments section.