Ever tried starting a conversation with someone on a dating app when they don’t have a bio?
Your options are limited to:
- Kickstarting the conversation with a joke, which just might be in bad taste because you have no idea what their tastes are
- Telling them how nice they look, which they have probably heard way too often, at least if it's true
- Saying something about yourself, except that you might be unsure about which parts you should start with since you have no idea what they might like or dislike (and, of course, you want to be liked)
- Doing something that might be seen as inappropriate, like inviting them over or asking them out right off the bat
The point is, you have nothing really useful or meaningful to say - there’s no proper launching pad for your conversation.
Now, if they have a bio, it's a different story:
You can start the conversation by talking about things you have in common like, “that’s my favorite book too,” or “my neighbor is such a Karen too!” or “I am also vegan… on my good days.”
The connection between sales playbook and conversation intelligence software:
We haven’t suddenly started doling out dating advice.
You’re in the right place: We’re still about maximizing sales.
The point we’re trying to make is that putting together a sales playbook without actual, real-life customer insights to go on is a lot like striking up a conversation with someone you know zilch about.
Like teaching someone to play guitar when you have only a vague idea of what one sounds like.
Of course, you have your experience to go on. As a sales leader, you’ve handled and helped trouble-shoot tons of these calls for the whole sales team.
We can’t argue with that.
You’re the man!
Instead, we’ll put it like this: Conversation intelligence software is like the whole basket of peaches at the supermarket. But in most cases, you need to pick and choose from the basket. It takes a good eye to know which peaches to pick. The sales manager and the team of salespeople selected to put together the sales playbook comprise the good eyes that will pick the most useful insights for the sales playbook from all those delivered by the conversation intelligence platform.
But introductions first …
(Where are my manners!)
Even if some of you might already be fully acquainted with both sales playbooks and conversation intelligence.
What is a sales playbook?
It is a ready reckoner for sales reps to use when
- They’re new to a sales team/ product
- The going gets tough
- They need inspiration on what to say/ write next to a prospect
- They need ready info on pricing and packages, payment norms and so on
It typically consists of
- company and product overview
- buyer personas (and any other relevant information on the customer segment)
- highlights of the customer experience
- sales process and targets
- payment options and methods available (and pricing-related related information including discounts or packages currently on offer)
- scripts for various methods of sales outreach such as email, text, calls, and voicemail
It works for B2C and B2B sales. The idea is to make it easier for sales team members to improve their know-how quickly and to close deals with less hand-holding.
What is conversation intelligence software?
It consists of insights, data, and metrics arising from calls and also includes the transcripts and recordings of sales calls that the insights are drawn from.
Conversation intelligence platforms (like Wingman) leverage transcripts and recordings of sales calls, CRM data, and notes from sales reps, and use artificial intelligence and NLP (Natural Language Processing) to get actionable insights and sales metrics.
How conversation intelligence helps build a more sound sales playbook
There are two popular ways to get the information you need for solid, realistic, on-point buyer personas and sales pitches that work:
- Go out there and spend a ton of capital doing real, hard-core customer research. Repeat the process every few months. Data gets stale quicker than a bag of potato crisps.
- Go through calls to understand from customer conversations what their pain points are.
(You can read about how to use calls recordings for sales enablement here) but…
…there’s actually a third method (that’s also easier and more cost-effective) to building a sales playbook:
And the third way of gathering data for buyer personas is:
Tedious note-taking! ...
… Just kidding!
It's conversation intelligence.
With conversation intelligence software, you can avoid burning a market-research-costing-shaped hole in your profitability, save yourself the tedious task of going through every call recording, and gather data from sources beyond just calls. You tap into every sales conversation.
Sounds too good to be true?
Well, remember what we said earlier - conversation intelligence uses AI and ML, technology which makes possible a lot that previously was not even thinkable.
With tools like Wingman’s conversation intelligence, for example, you get analysis and insights from all sales data, not just calls, and this helps you to understand the:
- Buying behavior of your prospects
- Performance of your sales reps, laggards, and top performers alike
- Lead quality
- Sales enablement strategy
How to get nuggets for your sales playbook from your conversation intelligence software
You can use real-time win/loss insights delivered by your conversation intelligence software to build a repeatable sales playbook. Better yet, tweak it in minutes and share with the team.
- Phone call scripts
Get a whole variety of call scripts - from previously successful calls - to give salespeople ideas on how to break the ice and project customer success in different situations and with different types of prospects.
- Email scripts
A lot of people with the charm that is absolutely essential in sales - might not have the same flair when it comes to the written word. Having a stack of go-to email templates that have proven successful in the context of your product and for your salesforce will certainly help them overcome writer’s block when it comes to reaching out to prospects over email.
- CRM data for buyer personas
Conversation intelligence trawls through your CRM data to give you all the essential information on customers to build truly useful buyer personas that are rooted in data. These will be useful not just for the salesforce but also for marketing teams.
Welcome newbies with recordings of your most successful calls by top performers so that they have some direction. You’ll also build confidence and give them an idea of what they are aiming for.
- Objection handling scripts
This is a must-have in the sales playbook. It can also be a completely and utterly redundant section that achieves zero to nothing in terms of sales coaching and sales enablement if you fill it up with proverbs and platitudes.
Failures might be stepping stones to success. But how helpful is that proverb when your sales rep feels so frustrated with the rejections of the day that he wants to tie the whole bag of “stepping stones” he has encountered today to his feet and jump into a lake?
With conversation intelligence, you can have useful recordings, transcripts and actual response suggestions for a whole long list of specific, relevant sales objections.
- Winning product and feature introductions
“Our product has a scan feature for your receipts and other paperwork. We have an abc package going right now that can help you —
Hello? Hello sir? Are you still there?”
“We get how you have absolutely no time to sort out all those sales receipts. Besides, the ink has faded from half of them, hasn’t it? Our software can solve this with its click-to-scan feature” Oh look, they’re still listening.
Share the most creative and engaging product and feature introductions instead of a boring product overview. Your reps will remember all of it better and also have a better chance at getting a foot in the door with new prospects.
- Realistic targets and KPIs
Conversation intelligence gives you metrics and data help sales managers to establish a baseline for the team’s current performance — the average number of new sales made multiplied by the average contract value. From here, they can set realistic targets based on each team member’s capabilities linked to average calls per day, follow-ups, average deal size, leads allocated, and so on. All this data is easily available thanks to conversation intelligence software.
Building a sales playbook is a piece of cake when Wingman has your back
Wingman is a conversation intelligence platform that puts insights at your fingertips, which means that you can create your sales playbook with far greater ease and efficiency using:
- Call transcripts (that you can skim through till you reach the meaty bits)
- Actual recordings, especially of particularly winning and losing calls - “how to win a client over” and “how to put your foot in your mouth and lose a client”
- Metrics, data, and analytics, drawn from all sales data, not just phone calls
...all presented on easy-to-use dashboards.
Moreover, because the data comes to you in real-time, you can overcome one of the most common sales playbook failings out there: outdated sales playbooks and correspondingly outdated benchmarks and targets.
Real-time data and analytics mean that you can constantly update your sales playbook in a way that actually allows you to improve sales performance.
It's almost like waving a magic wand and using a quick spell to bring your sales playbook to life.