Creating a Sales Playbook
A sales playbook details the who, what, and how of the sales process for a rep and includes contents such as customer image, email templates, project information, and sales tactics. Although a detailed and comprehensive sales playbook requires an extensive amount of time. It is a helpful tool for sales leaders to build a scalable, and successful sales team.
Companies look into creating a sales playbook for multiple purposes. The method of only having seniors to coach and train new sales staff can easily result in training inconsistency with gaps. Moreover, the sales playbook not only helps to ramp up new staff faster but is also a reference tool for existing staff. Helping to ease preparation and a great way to learn and share new sales tactics amongst the team, saving valuable time.
Steps to Creating a Sales Playbook
Review Current Sales Process and existing documents
The first step is to review and update if necessary the current sales process. Gather any standardized email templates, telemarketing documents, meeting notes, PowerPoint and other presentation materials, questions, that are currently in use, Don’t let these materials go to waste, arrange and sort according to phrases of the sales process as people tend to prefer using familiar materials.
Outline Sales Playbook goals and sale plays
As a reference source for the sales team, the sales playbook should reflect the current goals and major problems that the sales team faces. Before writing, have a clear direction and consider who will be using the standardized instruction of the sales playbook. When will it be used and what effect does the sales team want to achieve. Specific focused and relevant goals are easier to adopt and use by sale reps. If one major problem is identifying quality clients, then the playbook should include Lead qualification play as one of its sales play.
Form a Workgroup
Once the goals of the sales playbook are determined, the next step is to determine who will participate in the sales playbook creation process. Sales reps are essential, in ideal situations, including sales VP, directors, and managers. Do not limit the sales playbook creation process to members of the sales team only. Marketing teams that are more familiar with buyer personas, product offers, and market trends are important contributors. In addition, bring in subject matter experts with extensive knowledge of the sales play to provide feedback on standardization and whether the sales play is achievable. Furthermore, it might be helpful to set up a project manager for the team, who is responsible for controlling the creation progress and approving content.
Implement and share the playbook
Once completed, ensure that the playbook is easily accessible by everyone in the sales team, along with managers, directors, and VP for reference. The sales playbook needs updates from time to time to better align with the goals and strategy of the sales team. When major updates occur, it is important that everyone is notified of the new changes.
Evaluate the success of the playbook
Based on the goals outlined in step 2, it is important to gather feedback from all levels of the sales team to analyze its success. Other than surveys, the work team can interview key representatives of a group and listen for their opinions. For instance, have an in-depth conversation with a new sales staff, listen for their challenges, how they are using the sales playbook and what kinds of additional guidance and materials they hope the sales playbook will include.
A well-written sales Playbook is a powerful tool that will benefit the sales rep and the overall team performance. When one member achieves success with a special sales tactic, putting it in the sales playbook allows the tactic to be shared amongst the entire team. The creation of a sales playbook is not a one-time process. Bear in mind that sales tactics and sales process improvement and change occur on a regular basis. Many factors, such as the expansion or reduction of product lines, and changing customer demographics, will require the sales playbook to be updated accordingly.