May 5, 2021

What Is A Sales Playbook: The Ultimate Guide To Selling

What is a sales playbook? If sales are what you're after, then it's time to start playing the game. And in order to win, you have to know how sales work. The sales playbook is a set of strategies that will help guide your sales process and increase your chances at closing the deal.

Before we answer what is a sales playbook, you should know that If sales is your game, then you need to have a sales playbook that can help you close more deals. You might already be using some of these strategies but are not getting the results that you want.

A sales playbook provides a map for success in both your business and personal life by providing you with key strategies that will help improve your conversion rates and generate more revenue for your business! In this blog post we will discuss what is a sales playbook and how you can create one.

What Is A Sales Playbook?

What is a sales playbook? A sales playbook can be best described as a step-by-step guide that outlines sales strategies and techniques aimed at converting leads into clients. It also includes tips on how to handle objections most effectively without losing potential customers along the way.

It is a set of standards or rules that are used in your company when it comes to selling the product. It is also another name for "the way things are done." 

If there were no formal playbook, people would do what they think is best, which may not be in line with the overall strategy of the business. It  often includes information on how to sell different items and services offered by the company. 

For example, if you have a mortgage broker web design business, you might have sections on what makes an effective mortgage broker website with examples of sites that are effective or ineffective in meeting that goal. You might also give tips  on what prospective clients should expect from their experience when looking for a new mortgage online.

Everyone does things differently but there should still be some degree of cohesion to ensure the company remains on the same page when it comes to selling products.

This is important because when everyone follows the same playbook, you can maximise your chances of success. It also saves time and money since there won't be any disagreements  or confusion  among employees about what is to be done in a certain situation. 

Having a formal playbook also allows you to delegate tasks at hand more effectively. It's common for large corporations to have an extensive playbook so it covers all aspects of doing business from A to Z. 

For small businesses, a simple set of rules would do but it should still include the most important information that would keep things running smoothly from start to finish.

Some entrepreneurs don't feel the need for a sales playbook because they think they already know everything there is to know about selling their products. While this may be true for some, it's impossible to memorise every page of the playbook so having one is still advisable.

It's important for businesses, both small and large, to have an extensive playbook because it keeps everyone accountable for their actions. Employees should be given the opportunity to read what is in the playbook so they know how to handle situations that call for specific procedures or protocols.

Even though there are no set guidelines, it should contain key elements that would help employees get through different phases of selling more effectively. 

For example, you'd want to include something about lead generation and nurturing prospects so your sales team knows where to start when it comes time for action .

The Different Sections Of The Sales Playbook Should Include:

  • Objectives (What you are trying to accomplish)-  For example, if one of your objectives is to offer a service that would keep in line with the latest SEO trends and help you achieve higher rankings on search engines in due time, then it becomes part of the playbook. 

This requires you to ensure that all employees stay updated about current SEO practices and implement them when necessary.

  • Activities (the process involved)- The mortgage broker website design activities could involve research into what makes a site effective along with ideas from marketing experts within yDour organization. 

You can also conduct surveys among prospects to get their feedback on the usability of mortgage broker websites.

  • Guidelines (The do's and don'ts)- For example, you would want to invest in high quality hosting for your mortgage broker website design business because poor performance reflects badly on you and your company. 

You wouldn't want to risk that happening even if it means paying more than what average hosting costs.

  • Metrics (How you will measure success)- The metrics should be SMART objectives so they are easy to understand and attainable within a given period of time.

 If you can't define how success would be measured, then there's no way of knowing when the objective has been reached or exceeded .

  • Resources (What is needed)- You may need an SEO expert who understands your business, has a background in finance and can create an effective mortgage broker website design. 

You may also need web hosting that offers reliable 24/7 support because you're open 24 hours a day to service your clients.

  • Accountability (Who is responsible for what)- The person who handles the SEO should be held accountable for monitoring the search engine rankings of their sites and alerting management when changes are noticed. 

It's important to know what is causing these changes so they don't do more harm than good.

Image from freepik

Why Do You Need A Sales Playbook?

The benefits include finally achieving your goals. The need of a playbook  can never be overemphasized. Without this, there is no way the efforts and performance of an organization in any sphere can be sustained. 

Whether you're training new employees or showing yourself what you can do inside the company without any boundaries, a good solid playbook will make it all possible. 

The reason as to why organizations need such a strategy has been chronicled above. However, the need for the creation of a playbook has also been explained along with its benefits below:

1. You'll get what you want done in less time- Think of it this way—are you more likely to complete a task if it's something you need to do or something you want to do? 

Task oriented work usually includes things listed on our dreaded 'to-do' list, while the other includes everything that gets us excited about going into work every morning. 

It outlines exactly what your job duties entail and allows its user(s) not just to quickly get through some boring stuff, but also gives them more motivation for tasks they enjoy doing.

2. Perform better under pressure- It seems like everywhere we look we're faced with some sort of pressure. Whether we feel like we need to accomplish more in less time, or just want to do better than last month's numbers.

3. Keeps everyone on the same page- it gives your team a clear direction and solid goals that they can work on together.

4. You won't get stuck doing things you don't like- Let's face it... no one likes spending hours at work doing something they don't really enjoy. 

5. Sales numbers get boosted- Sell more or bust? Not if you have a sales playbook, because you'll get motivated by your goals and be able to work hard for them (and achieve them).

6. Get new employees up to speed faster- Your new hires will get acclimated faster, which means they're also up to speed sooner which means they can start generating revenue—which means everyone's happy!

It helps employees to discover their untapped potentials that may go unnoticed if left unnoticed It ensures that there are constant improvements being made which, without such a strategy, would never be possible It ensures that the organization's goals and objectives are achieved

7. Give yourself some motivation- Sometimes we need that extra push—a playbook is just the ticket! If you've ever wondered what it would take to accomplish certain tasks, this plan lays it all out for you in black and white so there are no surprises. 

Without such a strategy, there can never be any successful organization or business in this present world where competition is very stiff. 

Many organizations had fallen because of not having realized the need for such a strategy until it was too late while some who realized it at last could only make half-hearted attempts. 

How To Create A Sales Playbook

A sales playbook. Not only does it allow you to provide employees with clear guidance, but it allows them to own their work and succeed in their roles. 

It also helps your team understand the big picture of what they're working toward. Once all these pieces are put together, your team will be well-prepared for success (and well-equipped to win).

In order to successfully build a sales playbook, consider using these three steps:

#1- What do I want my process to accomplish?       

A solid process will help you identify your unique selling point and it will ensure that you're consistently servicing your clients. In addition, a strong process can be used to train new employees and provide them with a foundation for engaging potential customers.

#2- What happens when a customer engages with me?

Every prospect moves through a predictable path before making a purchase. By taking the time to map out this journey, you'll have increased visibility into who is contacting you and how you should best serve them. Will utilizing a script benefit me/my prospect/my organization?

While many people believe that rambling on during an engagement is the best course of action, this tactic often ensures that the conversation flounders from one subject to another. 

A scripted approach can increase engagement and help you stay on track for the remainder of the discussion.

#3- How do I get started?

The first step of building your playbook is to outline what you want it to accomplish; then, map out how the process should flow from start to finish. Finally, identify any areas where you might benefit from a simple script or formula during engagements.

By following these three steps when creating a playbook, you'll have increased visibility into customer behaviors and an actionable roadmap for engaging potential customers.

The next step is to add key components of a playbook…

  1. The goal : What exactly do you want your team to accomplish? Is this objective something that can be accomplished by multiple people or individuals?  Get specific here; if you don't provide enough detail, there's no guarantee that everyone will be on the same page.
  2. The timeline : How long will it take your team to achieve this goal? Be as specific as possible; if you provide an ambiguous timeline, your employees will be left wondering how realistic your expectations are.
  3. Supporting evidence (metrics): Why does achieving the goal matter? What's the value of hitting the target you've set for them? This is where data and metrics come into play – so include any information that can help them understand why they should care about their objective.
  4. Resources:  What resources do they have access to in order to accomplish their task? Now is not the time for ambiguity; spell out exactly what they need in order to succeed (and how much time they should expect to spend on the task).
  5. Accountabilities:  Who is responsible for what? Will one person manage your team, or will you play a more hands-on role as well? This part is especially important if you're delegating responsibility; make it clear who needs to be contacted and what information they'll need in order to accomplish their task (and when they need it).
  6. The follow-up plan: If your team completes the goal ahead of schedule – great! But if not, what's the next step? What happens if someone gets stuck between now and then? Make sure everyone knows exactly what comes next – that way, nothing catches them off guard.

I hope you have found your answer of what is a sales playbook? And before we depart please know that the best time to start building your playbook is now. By starting off on the right foot, you'll set your employees up for success and show them that you care about their development.

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Himangi Lohar

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