High performing organisations will have developed their Sales Playbook, to enable them to scale and grow.
Playbooks are an organisational guide for ‘what good looks’. Aberdeen Strategy & Research did an in-depth research piece on playbooks and found a disproportionate number of high-performing teams use playbooks. It drives ‘best in class’. They found people with playbooks have 10% shorter sales cycles, a 12% higher number of reps achieving quota and 7% greater revenue growth.
Playbooks provide an understanding of key sales processes associated with each role and a benchmark of high performance and expectations. They give us the blueprint for performance and support improved onboarding. Ideally, you want it as part of your CRM, but it might be part of a sales productivity tool or even a standalone document.
Having a properly defined and executed Sales Playbook can initiate the shift from everyone doing their own thing, to everyone doing the best thing.
Some people in your team might be really good at specific parts of the process, but poor at others, and we need to help our teams level up by making them better at everything.
Let’s start with what your current sales process looks like. As an exercise, have everyone in your team define it. It should take 5-10 minutes, it doesn’t have to be incredibly detailed at this stage. Do you think everyone in your team would write down the same thing?
Then we need to define what our ‘gated’ sales process is. For example, gate 1 on your sales process might be a qualification call. We need to understand what we need to cover in gate one for both the salesperson and the prospect to feel comfortable moving to step 2.
What do we need to take care of in each gate to move an opportunity forward? One of the big benefits of clearly defining this is that it helps us remove prospects that we really shouldn’t pursue, as we can quickly identify points in each ‘gate’ that were not properly agreed upon.
If we know what our gates are, and what is expected in each, we can move on to the pivotal points of each section, and the potential objections and challenges.
Pivotal Points are the really exciting part. These are the points that make you go from function to form, from science to art. The best way to work this out at each stage is to ask this question:
What do you need the prospect to conclude and what must you see or hear as evidence you are on the right track?
That is what makes the point pivotal. It needs choreographing, it won't just happen.
Once we have defined all of this it is then a fairly simple process to coach and train to the exact requirement that we have set out - and this is what creates our Playbook.
As a Sales Leader or Manager, your role will involve a blend of having to Supervise, Train, Coach, and Mentor. Your Sales Playbook helps you clearly define how you can do this with your team.
Once you have a clearly gated sales process, the playbook is the system and tools that help you embed it across the entire organisation.