There are numerous barriers that sellers will come up against throughout a sales cycle. A few roadblocks are unavoidable, but some may be caused by an inefficient sales process. An ineffective system can result in unengaged clients, overly generalized materials, lack of overall clarity, and wasted time finding resources and information. Sales playbook can be a fundamental solution for these common hurdles.
This article will discuss the overall benefits, guidelines for ensuring effectiveness, and best practices for creating your own playbook.
Table of contents:
- What is a sales playbook exactly?
- The benefits of a sales playbook in your sales play?
- Creating a sales playbook: best practices
- Questions you should ask when creating your sales playbooks
- Final sales playbook tips
What is a sales playbook exactly?
A sales playbook is an organized and informative guidebook that assists in the selling process. Playbooks are internal resources for the sales teams to utilize throughout every stage of the sales cycle.
Playbooks allow sellers to take advantage of data, checklists, and market research while selling. With a sales playbook, reps have the necessary resources to clearly define the product and prepare for every sales call.
The Aberdeen Group, a strategy and research company, found that 54% of reps using sales playbooks are likely to meet their sales goals versus 46% of reps who do not have an accessible playbook in their organization.
Sales playbooks act as a personalized and centralized hub of information. When this information is accessible and scalable, it allows reps to spend less time preparing for meetings and more time focusing on their customers.
Integrating playbooks into your sales process will help your team enhance their skills and cultivate their client relationships.
The benefits of a sales playbook in your sales play?
Sales playbooks are not only a helpful resource during the sales cycle. They can also have a larger impact on the entire sales organization. Here are some benefits of incorporating sales playbooks into your company.
1. Reduces ramp time
A sales playbook acts as a roadmap by giving a new hire an overall understanding of the sales cycle, conversation tips, and common objections.
This benefits new sellers because it enhances the onboarding and training process, which means they can start selling quicker and more efficiently from the start.
2. Maintains consistent messaging
With a common core message that is easily accessible in a playbook format, reps can ensure they are on the same page and using best practices while selling. Sales playbooks can ensure that every salesperson is maintaining the same messages across the team.
3. Increases sales team’s efficiency
Creating team sales playbooks means less prep time for your reps, which is especially important considering 31% of reps' time is spent searching for or creating content.
All of that extra time spent preparing for calls can be eliminated with a centralized source of information and resources.
4. Improves the effectiveness of sales calls
When sellers are informed and prepared for every call, the prospect becomes more engaged — leading to establishing trust and open communication. Playbooks also instill clarity on the next steps, eliminating miscommunication and ensuring the call is as productive as possible.
It’s important to remember that simply creating a sales playbook is not the key to closing the deal. Having open and thoughtful discussions with clients throughout the sales cycle are the most vital steps in the process.
Playbooks can provide essential resources for selling, but the relationship with your customers will always be the prime focus.
Creating a sales playbook: best practices
However you decide to create your playbooks, it’s important to establish certain guidelines to make them as advantageous as possible.
Here are some best practices to follow that can make a sales playbook the most efficient tool for your calls:
Sales playbooks need to be accessible from a central location for all reps at any given time. This is especially resourceful for remote workers who can access and edit their tools from wherever they are located.
2. Consistently updated
It’s important that the information within your playbook is kept current with the market. Sales metrics, data, and feedback are great ways to facilitate regular reviews and improvements of your sales playbook. This also facilitates the continual sharing of useful sales techniques, proven closing methods, and other selling best practices.
3. Easily scalable and adaptable
Playbooks should be user-friendly and easy to adapt in any sales organization. It’s an additional benefit if the playbook has compatible integrations with CRM systems and other sales tools for seamless tracking and reporting.
Questions you should ask when creating your sales playbooks
Versatility is one of the most important aspects of an efficient playbook — this enables reps to customize accordingly.
Here are some helpful questions to ask when creating your sales playbooks:
1. What’s the purpose of the meeting?
The stage of the sales cycle has the most impact on the type of playbook you will want to create. Do you need a playbook to qualify your inbound lead or are you prepping for a demo pitch? Are you onboarding the client or performing a post-sales call?
The purpose of your meeting will dictate the focus of your conversation and how your playbook will be structured.
2. What are the customer’s main pain points and how can you solve them?
If you are going into a discovery call, your job is to ask questions that will help identify the key pain points the prospect has. Then, once you are in the demo meeting, you should already know which pain points to highlight when sharing your solution.
These pain points can already be included in your sales playbook and objection handling battle cards so you are ready for anything that comes up.
As a best practice, try using the One Feature Framework to create focus in your call.
3. How do you use the playbook to increase customer engagement and retention?
Incorporate into your presentation:
- interactive tools
Implement these techniques into your own sales organization to see what works well for you and your team. To level up engagement in your meetings, include websites or use a tool that can allow customers to interact directly with your product.
4. How can you prepare for objections?
Common objections and hurdles should be shared internally across the sales team. Including battle cards in your playbooks with common FAQs, will ensure you are prepared for anything the prospect asks.
Additionally, make sure to allow enough time for questions and track these queries in your playbook as a post-call reference.
6. What information do you want to collect about the customer at each stage of the call?
Before the call make sure you prepare the questions that you want to get information about from the customer. Throughout your conversation, use this information to keep the call focused and on track.
With Demodesk you can prepare specific tokens that will connect to the CRM system. So by the time you finish the call, the important information is going to be in your CRM system automatically. Come up with the next steps or potential roadblocks together with your client. Then document them as preparation for the next stage.
Final sales playbook tips:
- Have a max. of 1 slide every 2 min. (if slides are necessary)
- Contain a font bigger than 30 pt.
- Keep text and design to a minimum
- Include websites, apps, or other interactive aspects to engage
Playbooks will vary in content based on the stage of the sales cycle and the main goals. Take the time to thoroughly think about all of the aspects of the conversation and adjust your sales playbook accordingly. This will ensure it remains the most effective tool for you to have for a successful sales call.
Demodesk’s Playbooks are great examples of how to easily create and organize playbooks that are convenient for all reps in any step of the sales process. Sales playbooks in Demodesk are integrated into the presentation itself so everything is easily accessible in one place.
Presentation slides are prepared in advance, along with battle cards and the corresponding playbook for reference. Even better, everything loads automatically at the start of every meeting. So, you will never have to go searching for any resources during a call!
Want to build world-class sales playbooks? Hop on a free strategy call. We look forward to talking with you.