What is a sales playbook?
What is a sales play?
Sales plays are tutorials for specific situations during the sales process.
Documenting the sales plays for tricky situations – pricing discounts, objections, or closing a deal – makes it easier for sales reps to move deals forward without spending too much time coming up with new strategies.
What are the benefits of a sales playbook?
The sales playbook is essential to driving repeatable and consistent sales performance with actionable and prescriptive guidance, according to Gartner.
Moreover, the sales playbook frees up sales managers and reps. So, sales managers can focus on sales enablement and spend less time hand-holding new reps. The playbook also makes sales coaching more effective as the guidelines, scripts, and how-tos are already documented.
Meanwhile, sales reps get more time to focus on selling, rather than looking for or putting together sales content.
Faster and smoother sales rep onboarding processes
A comprehensive repository of the best selling techniques, documenting sales plays for specific scenarios
Ready-made content – sales pitches, scripts, and messages – to engage better with prospects
Support for navigating tricky discussions around pricing, value proposition, and objections
What is included in a sales playbook?
Company overview: Details about the company goals, values, business strategy, brand story, and sales organization structure
Product overview: Details about the product and its value proposition, pricing structure, use cases, and case studies
Elevator pitch: A 30-second summary introducing your company/brand story, value proposition, and how you can help a prospect
Buyer personas: The ideal customer profile along with the pain points, interests, goals, and role in the decision-making process
Sales methodology: Information on the sales methodology your organization uses, i.e., MEDDIC, SPIN, Challenger Sales, Solution Selling, or a combination of multiple methodologies
Sales process: An outline of your entire sales process, details on various stages, and qualifying criteria for prospects to move down the sales funnel
The plays: How-to guides on prospecting, nurturing, handling objections, conducting demos, explaining use cases, pricing, and doing follow-ups
Sales targets and KPIs: Essential metrics for your sales organization, such as average calls per day, leads generated, follow-ups, deal size, win rate, and more
Messaging for email, text, calls, and social media: Scripts for prospecting, nurturing, negotiations, and closing leads via emails, calls, and other channels of communication
Messaging tone and personality: Details about your brand personality, tone of voice, conversation style, and vocabulary
Other sales enablement materials and resources: Content that a sales rep would need to further a customer conversation, such as whitepapers, slide decks, case studies, cue cards, training videos, game tapes, and so on
Examples of sales plays to include in a sales playbook
You can create plays for various sales pipeline stages or for different customer personas. Some of the crucial plays to include your sales playbook are:
“I don’t need this solution” or “I’m happy with my current setup”
“I have never heard of you”
“It’s too expensive for us”
“I need to check with my manager”
“It isn’t important for us right now” or “I need to think about it”
How to create a sales playbook
Review your existing sales methodology, sales processes, sales plays, sales organization structure, goals, and KPIs
Examine what’s missing, outdated, or dubious and update them accordingly
List the outcomes you expect the sales playbook to achieve
Put together a team of collaborators and consultants – sales reps, managers, marketing and product team members, and subject matter experts
Create an outline for the sales playbook using the information from the previous step
Design the playbook with plenty of visuals and an easy-to-comprehend language
Audit any other sales enablement content, training material, or resources you’d like to include in the playbook
Get frequent feedback from your sales reps and implement it to keep the playbook relevant and updated
Review the success of your playbook and find ways to optimize it
Sales playbook template
While every organization will have a unique sales playbook, the core elements will remain the same. So, here’s a sample sales playbook template:
An introduction to what the sales playbook is supposed to do
Product overview in detail (add links to other resources, if required)
Sales process details (add links to other resources, if required)
Buyer personas and customer profiles
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and sales goals
Lead qualification criteria
Sales plays relevant to your sales strategy and process
Other resources and sales enablement materials