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The Sales Playbook Framework that You Will Actually Use

The Sales Playbook Framework that You Will Actually Use
Mallory Lieflander
December 17, 2021

Sales enablement means providing your sales team with the resources they need to win more deals and increase revenue. According to a report by Aberdeen Research, more than 40% of best-in-class organizations do not have sufficient skills in sales enablement.

As a Sales leader, you want to ensure that your playbooks are structured in a way that allows reps to run successful sales plays.

What is a sales playbook framework? Essentially, it is the structure on how to efficiently build sales playbooks for your sales teams, so the process is repeatable and scaleable.

In this article, we’ll break down the sales playbook benefits and how to set up the most efficient meeting structure for your reps.

Table of contents:

Why do you need a sales playbook framework?

What to include in your sales playbooks?

  1. Break down each aspect of your sales cycle
  2. Include a product overview
  3. Battle Cards with common FAQs that prospects typically ask
  4. Case studies & success stories
  5. Target client/buyer persona information
  6. Pricing Information

How to improve your sales playbooks?

  1. Get feedback from reps
  2. Analyze market data
  3. Track customer engagement
  4. Bring in your leadership team
  5. Make it accessible
Demodesk - more than just a sales meeting software

Why do you need a sales playbook framework?

A sales playbook is not only a tool for reps to have valuable conversations with their clients. It also acts as an insight into the sales enablement strategy within your organization.

Here are some additional advantages to having a framework for building your team’s playbooks:

  • Standardized selling practices - When you have a thorough playbook, your sellers are more likely to maintain a cohesive narrative throughout the sales process. With a playbook, you know they are using best-selling practices while keeping consistent messaging.
  • Higher revenue (and more deals won) - Aberdeen research shows that companies who used a sales playbook ended up seeing an increase of 3.9% in their average deal size. This is compared to a 2.8% increase for companies that didn’t use playbooks.
companies who used a sales playbook ended up seeing an increase of 3.9% in their average deal size
  • Stronger feedback loops - According to research by Salesforce, 77% of salespeople say that selling collaboratively with other departments is important. Furthermore, 73% of sales teams say that working with other departments is absolutely critical to their overall sales process.
  • Reduced onboarding and ramp-up time - With a sales playbook framework, your new hires are better equipped to onboard faster and start closing deals quicker. Not to mention, new reps will feel more empowered to sell when they have resources readily available to them.
  • Prepares you for scaling your sales team - When departments have a solid foundation in cross-collaboration and teamwork then everyone is better prepared for scaling and growth.

What to include in your sales playbooks?

Every company will have different content within its playbooks. However, a basic sales playbook framework will help get you started on creating a useful tool for your reps.

Free Sales Playbook Template

1. Break down each aspect of your sales cycle

Incorporate each stage into your playbook. This format will help set expectations for your reps as well as provide support throughout each stage of the selling process.

Within each sales stage your sales play should include:

  • Speaker notes
  • Selling tips
  • Battle cards

Your sales plays should include information based on the specific sales stage. Information like:

  • Discovery questions
  • Strategic approaches
  • Common objections
  • Templates for client-specific data
  • Social proof

Your sales cycle breakdown is also a great place to include the key essential slides for every stage in the sales cycle. Reps can pull what they need and then adjust it to fit their prospect.

Sales Playbook templates: Creating standardized sales playbooks doesn't need to be difficult

2. Include a product overview

This way your rep can quickly reference product details during the call. This resource can also ensure the product messaging stays consistent.

3. Battle Cards with common FAQs that prospects typically ask

Reps are more likely to have smoother meetings when they are proactively ready for objections.

Question examples:

  • “What can your company do to help my business?”
  • “How is your product new/different/exciting?”
  • “Why should I go with your product over X’s product?

4. Case studies & success stories

Storytelling is one of the most important aspects of selling. As the sales enablement leader, you will want to collect as many of these success stories as possible. Reps can use these when a prospect asks for an example of how your product has helped others achieve their goals.

5. Target client/buyer persona information

Buyer personas can come in handy for sales teams to understand the goals of the prospect better. They will be more likely to secure better leads in the long run and provide custom solutions when the target client is clearly laid out from the start.

6. Pricing Information

Your reps will need to be ready to talk prices, so have a specific pricing slide as part of your sales playbook content. Highlight any bundles or upfront pricing discounts for easier selling techniques. Don’t forget to also include battle cards here, especially to responses like:

  • “How quickly will I see a return on my investment?”
  • “I don’t have the budget at the moment.”
  • “What are my best pricing options?”

How to improve your sales playbooks?

When it comes to enhancing your sales enablement strategy, you need to consistently find ways to develop and adjust your playbooks. Here are some tips for improving your playbooks as your team grows:

1. Get feedback from reps

Sales reps are the best resource to give feedback on the enablement materials. Set up consistent meetings with the different sales teams and discuss the following:

  • What are they struggling with specifically?
  • Are there certain gaps during onboarding that need to be filled?
  • Any sales plays missing?
  • Are there specific resources needed for the clients in the post-sale stage?

2. Analyze market data

To keep your sales playbook information as accurate and helpful as possible, you need to consistently analyze market data that supports the resources you create. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Has your product’s value prop shifted due to market changes?
  • Is there any new competition in the same space?
  • What information can I find that can help me get ahead of a prospect’s questions?

3. Track customer engagement

In addition to tracking the market data, you also want to track your customer’s engagement with your sales resources. Analyze the data from your marketing emails & your website engagement to determine specific gaps and needs from your reps.

+33% higher lead acceptance rate when sales enablement has more visibility into sales content usage

4. Bring in your leadership team

Incorporate leaders from all the different teams to help diagnose any missing resources or to clarify specific sales points. This includes SDR/BDR, Account Executive, and Account Management/CSM team leaders. In addition, use their insights to create more sales materials.

For example, let’s say the AM/CSM team has been receiving feedback that clients would love a downloadable onboarding guide. With this information, you can create an eBook for reps to offer their new clients during the onboarding process.

Not only does this insight help support your teams internally, but it also shows your clients that you are listening to their feedback as well. A win-win for everyone!

5. Make it accessible

Sales playbooks are only efficient when they are accessible to all relevant teams. This includes everyone from the sales reps to the marketing and enablement teams. When all teams can view the playbook, everyone is better able to maintain its efficacy.

In fact, based on a Salesforce survey, 81% of sales reps believe it is important to have a connected view of data across the entire customer journey.

Create a digital playbook to make it easily accessible and flexible for all reps. Demodesk’s playbooks are a great example of a centralized, digital option that is also user-friendly, quick to learn, and easy to edit!

Final thoughts

Sales playbooks have been proven to be a necessary resource for sales teams. In fact, 42% of best-in-class companies use sales playbooks which in turn led to better quota attainment, greater customer retention, and higher lead conversion rates.

Sales enablement needs to remain a focal point when it comes to a sales organization’s strategy for growth and success. Create a structured sales playbook framework to run efficient sales plays with confidence.

Listen to feedback from different departments. Create additional sales playbook content based on this feedback and customer engagement data.

Lastly, your playbooks should live in a centralized and easy-to-access location for all reps to use. Accessibility and visibility are essential to creating the most beneficial sales resources for your team.

Now that you’ve already learned what to include in your sales playbook framework. It’s time to take the next step and put your playbooks into action! Want to build world-class sales playbooks? Hop on a free strategy call. We look forward to talking with you.

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