- Quick access to all the internal tools (CRM, sales enablement platforms, etc)
- Also: Guidelines for using those tools correctly (digestible “how to” content)
- Easy access to content and resources for buyers
- Also: Frame of reference for key content and resources, explaining when to use it, who it is suited for, how to position it, etc.
- Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
- Also: Detailed buyer profiles or personas
- Lead qualification criteria
- Sales process/methodology documentation
- Key talking points/messaging (elevator pitch, 30-second overview, etc)
- Features/benefits messaging
- Objection handling
- Competitive landscape and differentiation messaging
Sales playbooks aren’t just for sales reps. I like playbooks that also include access-controlled content that for sales leadership & sales ops, like recruiting processes, rep onboarding plans, teams assessments, annual plans, etc.
One way I view the quality of a sales playbook is by how helpful it is. As an outside sales professional, if I can review a sales playbook and understand an organization’s buyer, the sales process, key messaging and how to access resources, that’s an A+.
Sales people need everything accessible to them. As sales leaders, we want to optimize the time reps have to open new opportunities and work their deals. Every minute they spend hunting for information, changing process because they don’t have a quick reference, or inventing new content because they can’t find what they were looking for, is a minute they aren’t opening and closing deals. So, while creating and updating a sales playbook can be a big effort, it’s directly proportionate to the impact it will make on your team. It will save them time, and and help them do their job better. Every investment you make in a useful playbook comes back to you ten-fold in your sales effectiveness.
In his article, “8 Keys for an Effective Sales Enablement Program“, Brandon Redlinger of Engagio said it best. “Simply put, a playbook is a sales facing asset that tells people how to prepare for a series of conversation, what to do in those conversations, supporting materials needed to sell, and how to drive certain outcomes. How many companies have playbooks that are collecting dust and pulled out only when onboarding new reps? Chances are those are out of date. It’s important that a rep not only has quick access to updated playbooks, but also uses them regularly. In the quickly evolving sales landscape, it’s often hard to keep the playbook up to date and relevant, but you must prioritize that if you want to maintain your competitive edge.”
If you like to watch instead of read, check out my video on this topic.