What are the Benefits of an Effective Sales Playbook?
A sales playbook is a document defining your sales process, target personas, ideal messaging, negotiation questions, call scripts and much more. Inside these playbooks you will also find content and industry/competitor information that supports your sales team in closing more deals with your prospects. Essentially these playbooks are designed to arm your sales team with all the information, content and tools they require to close deals faster and more consistently than before.
Salesforce have previously reported that nearly half of sales teams in the U.S.A do not have a playbook to work from even though companies who have a well-defined sales process are 33% more likely to be high performers. Why is this and what are the benefits of an effective sales playbook that allow these 33% to become high performers?
It aligns your sales team
In all areas of your business, alignment is key, but in sales it can often be the difference between your team hitting their quota or not. By having a set playbook that defines how you want your team to engage with prospects it becomes possible to ensure that your preferred method of sales is being used, allowing everyone to be consistent and use best practice in their pitches.
Reduces training and admin time
When you bring a new member into your sales team it’s with one purpose – to sell. A sales playbook allows them to do this faster and without the need to learn from trial and error. Your new team member is able to follow the playbook that has evolved from previous experience to provide them with the most efficient methods of selling. There is no need to spend hours with each individual explaining what to do in different scenarios or what platforms to engage with prospects on, because this is all documented. The only thing you will have to teach them is how to use the playbook and maximize its benefits.
The playbook will also provide the content that your new team member requires to overcome objections and drive their prospect through the sales funnel. This eliminates wasted time trawling the internet or archives during the different phases of the sales process.
Ultimately by spending less time being trained and looking for resources, your new team member is able to get on with their primary goal of selling.
You can utilize the skills and experience of your top sales professionals more efficiently.
By making your leading salespeople responsible for designing and building your sales playbook, their knowledge and expertise is easily transferred to less experienced sales professionals.
While the primary benefit is the time saved and the knowledge shared, it will also allow these leaders to spend more time working on theories, analysing results and innovating the playbook in the future.
Promotes agility within your sales team
If consumer preferences change, your target persona adapts, a new technology is released or even if your playbook is not delivering, your sales leaders will be able to quickly identify this and make changes to the playbook in real time. This allows your sales process to be highly agile and personalized to current trends and demands which will have a huge impact on your ability to effectively close deals.
While the benefits of an effective playbook are clear, adopting new plays isn’t always as simple as it sounds. We have discussed why this is and how to overcome it here. At its core, the simplest way to get your team to adopt a new playbook is to build one that delivers results. Here are three simple and easy steps to support you in building your first playbook;
- Get the right people involved in the design and build phases of the playbook. Ensuring that you have top performing sales professionals ,whom the team look up to and respect, will guarantee that your team trust and commit to it!
- Start with the basics and add complexity over time depending on results and feedback from your team.
- Remain agile whilst always testing and measuring results before making performance enhancing changes. It’s when you stop innovating that you stop performing.
When building a sales playbook ensure that the right people are in charge of designing and building it because your entire team is going to work from it. Also be prepared for it not to revolutionize your sales figures immediately but after a few phases of innovation and change, it will begin delivering above expectations.