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So You Have A Sales Playbook, Now What?

So You Have A Sales Playbook, Now What? June 24, 2019Leave a comment

Now that you have a ridiculously good sales playbook, you might be wondering what your next move should be. There are a few things you can do to help your team get the most out of the new playbook.  You don’t want the investment of time, money and energy you’ve made to develop a playbook to be a one-time thing. We have four big ideas that we feel are valuable as you work to keep it a living, breathing resource.

Manager reinforcement and coaching

The sales manager is the lynchpin for implementing change across a sales organization.  You can bet that if the sales manager isn’t coaching from the playbook, the sales team isn’t using to run their sales plays.  The best managers use the playbook to drive their coaching and training, enabling them to get feedback on what is working and what isn’t.  They use the playbook whether it is on their one-on-one’s or sales team calls. incorporating the playbook is a great way to get team members interacting with the subject matter, describing how the playbook has helped prepare for meetings and talking about how concepts or content has helped move real deals forward.  Adding their own experiences and insight into the playbook gives the manager more credibility during their one-on-ones. The sales playbook can provide ample topics and content for additional training and group discussions during team meetings. A best practice is having a seller prepared to discuss how they applied and playbook section to a recent deal, e.g. used the playbook to assist in call planning or how they executed the sales conversation.  We see the best leaders and companies focus making the sales playbook a critical part of the manager-to-rep cadence of meetings.

Related Article: Five Traits of a Ridiculously Good Sales Playbook 

Integrate into new hire training

One of the most important, yet often overlooked, component is incorporating the sales playbook into your new hire training and onboarding program.  And by integrating, we don’t mean simply handing out the playbook. Training exercises and companion videos should be created to introduce concepts and reinforce sections of the playbook.  The most effective selling organizations we work with ask themselves “How do we get our new sellers to adopt the skills and activities of our superstars as quickly as possible”?  Integrating the sales playbook and new hiring training is the answer!

Online/Digital CRM/Training Modules

Building on the manager reinforcement and coaching, taking the playbook to online training modules is also a best practice that adds value to the playbook.  Having a sales enablement function and/or LMS at the corporate level is helpful but not required. We encourage taking segments of the playbook and breaking it down into bite sized chunks for frequent coaching sessions. For example, taking your ideal client profile or a particular buyer persona and building a training module is a great way to showcase the playbook.  We recommend having ongoing training every two weeks for the entire sales team where you take a topic out of the playbook and have a 30-45 minute webinar around a topic and focused skills. Have clear “Sales Challenges” for the sellers to apply before the next team call or their one-on-one. Save the webinar and distribute to the team. We see this as a great way to apply the playbook in segments and reinforce learnings in the field.

Continually update and refresh cycle

Of the four big ideas, this requires the most planning and impacts all four.  Someone or some team must own the playbook and be responsible for updating and refreshing it.  This is often sales operations, sales enablement, and sometimes marketing. Much like the way your playbook was built, the sales team needs to be involved in updating the playbook.  Have a new competitor that is causing disruption? Update the playbook. Launching a new product with clear differentiation? Update the playbook. Recent market trends influencing buyer decisions?  Update the playbook….you get the idea. We encourage our clients to evaluate the relevance and effectiveness of each playbook component on a frequent basis. Again, this requires ownership but well worth the investment.  

If you have questions regarding the value of creating a sales playbook or increasing your return on the playbook, engage with us.

Related Article: Five Traits of a Ridiculously Good Sales Playbook

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