How to Create and Embed a Sales Playbook

I’ve recently written a lot about sales playbooks, and customer persona’s (read my blog here) the two go hand in hand with the personas being a significant part of the sales playbook.

Any great sports team will have a step by step playbook that all the team know inside out, they are all aligned on their role, and how they execute a particular play, and this drives their success.

It should be no different in sales. Sales playbooks are a means of capturing sales best practices and communicating them to salespeople. They concisely describe what a salesperson should do in different situations.

A sales playbook documents your company’s sales process and methodology, outline sales objectives, and provide a framework for each stage of the sales process.

It can engage marketing and sales and align them across the sales process both in terms of activity and messaging.

Over my 20+ year career in sales operations and enablement roles, I have worked with many sales teams to improve their efficiency and effectiveness through a sales playbook.

A sales playbook should be accelerating the effectiveness of your sales team, ensuring they are having improved conversations and ultimately closing more deals. But what should it include?

  • Sales roles and responsibilities
  • Customer Persona’s
  • Customer pain points or challenges
  • The sales process
  • Value Proposition
  • Product Information – the challenges your products solve (not a feature list)
  • Competitors information – their strengths and weakness – How you sell against them
  • Minimum expectations
  • Metrics/KPIs
  • How to use your tools and technology

A sales playbook is not just for sales but is a tool to align all teams that are building for or

engaging with your prospects and customers. It can cost well over $50,000 to build.

That’s a big investment – you want to see a significant and long-lasting return.

It’s essential that you not only embed your sales playbook but also keep it alive. Here are five ways you can do this:

  1. A sales playbook must be a single document, and that document needs to be kept current – review its content every quarter to ensure its relevance and any new best practices are captured.
  2. World-class organisations make it an interactive document meaning that it can continuously evolve with new learnings and best practice – leverage technology.
  3. Continually refer to the playbook – if someone asks a question about the sales process, or a competitor refer to the playbook. If the answer is not in there update it as something is missing.
  4. Make your sales meetings more effective by picking an element of the playbook to focus on as part of the agenda to share learnings and best practice.
  5. Use the playbook in your 121’s, identify a development area for each team member and document this on your huddle board – it creates focus.

Finally, don’t let your playbook go dormant. Your customers are going to change over time, you might start selling new products, and your company might expand into new regions.

A sales playbook is a significant investment of both time and money but will help you create and embed more effective sales processes and tactics into your business.

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