What is a sales playbook?
A sales playbook is a sales enablement guide documenting your sales process and offering guidelines on prospecting, lead qualification, sales pitches for specific situations, and more.
A sales playbook includes the ideal customer profile, customer pain points, product and company value proposition, case studies, cold calling/emailing and social selling scripts, and so on.
It can be seen as a guidebook that answers the question – “How will our sales team function and close new deals?”
What is a sales play?
Sales plays are tutorials for specific situations during the sales process.
Documenting the sales plays for tricky situations – pricing discounts, objections, or closing a deal – makes it easier for sales reps to move deals forward without spending too much time coming up with new strategies.
What are the benefits of a sales playbook?
The sales playbook is essential to driving repeatable and consistent sales performance with actionable and prescriptive guidance, according to Gartner.
Moreover, the sales playbook frees up sales managers and reps. So, sales managers can focus on sales enablement and spend less time hand-holding new reps. The playbook also makes sales coaching more effective as the guidelines, scripts, and how-tos are already documented.
Meanwhile, sales reps get more time to focus on selling, rather than looking for or putting together sales content.
Besides that, some of the other advantages of having a sales playbook include:
- Faster and smoother sales rep onboarding processes
- A comprehensive repository of the best selling techniques, documenting sales plays for specific scenarios
- Ready-made content – sales pitches, scripts, and messages – to engage better with prospects
- Support for navigating tricky discussions around pricing, value proposition, and objections
What is included in a sales playbook?
A sales playbook typically consists of:
- Company overview: Details about the company goals, values, business strategy, brand story, and sales organization structure
- Product overview: Details about the product and its value proposition, pricing structure, use cases, and case studies
- Elevator pitch: A 30-second summary introducing your company/brand story, value proposition, and how you can help a prospect
- Buyer personas: The ideal customer profile along with the pain points, interests, goals, and role in the decision-making process
- Sales methodology: Information on the sales methodology your organization uses, i.e., MEDDIC, SPIN, Challenger Sales, Solution Selling, or a combination of multiple methodologies
- Sales process: An outline of your entire sales process, details on various stages, and qualifying criteria for prospects to move down the sales funnel
- The plays: How-to guides on prospecting, nurturing, handling objections, conducting demos, explaining use cases, pricing, and doing follow-ups
- Sales targets and KPIs: Essential metrics for your sales organization, such as average calls per day, leads generated, follow-ups, deal size, win rate, and more
- Messaging for email, text, calls, and social media: Scripts for prospecting, nurturing, negotiations, and closing leads via emails, calls, and other channels of communication
- Messaging tone and personality: Details about your brand personality, tone of voice, conversation style, and vocabulary
- Other sales enablement materials and resources: Content that a sales rep would need to further a customer conversation, such as whitepapers, slide decks, case studies, cue cards, training videos, game tapes, and so on
Examples of sales plays to include in a sales playbook
You can create plays for various sales pipeline stages or for different customer personas. Some of the crucial plays to include your sales playbook are:
- Pricing play: This play should cover how to talk about pricing and what kinds of discounts sales reps can offer.
- Prospecting play: In this play, you can list the various successful prospecting approaches. You can group them as per the communication channel, such as LinkedIn, email, Twitter, and so on.
- Lead qualification play: This play should include discovery questions that uncover pain points, motivations, existing technologies, and the lead’s role in the decision-making process. The play should also explain what factors should be considered to qualify leads and move them to the next stage.
- Product demo play: This play should cover when and how sales reps should offer a product demo, what language they should be using, and which capabilities should be covered in the demo.
- Use case play: Use cases are a great way to help sales reps connect with prospects and speak their language. So, this play should list all possible scenarios that help the prospects visualize how to use your product.
- Winning sales pitch play: You should include transcripts, recordings, and call scripts of the most successful sales pitches in the sales playbook.
- Existing clients play: Including a list of customers worth bragging about can help establish social proof and credibility. So, the playbook should cover a list of customers that can be name-dropped, along with details that can be divulged.
- Objection handling play: Preparing your sales reps to tackle objections is essential to help them move deals forward. So, include a list of objections that are likely to come up, and ways to deal with them.
- Follow-up play: 80 percent of successful sales require at least five follow-ups. This play should include ideas and guidelines on follow-up calls, messages, and meetings.
- Closing play: This play can offer examples of moves that have helped nudge prospects gently toward closing a deal or making a decision.
How to create a sales playbook
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a solid sales playbook for your organization:
- Review your existing sales methodology, sales processes, sales plays, sales organization structure, goals, and KPIs
- Examine what’s missing, outdated, or dubious and update them accordingly
- List the outcomes you expect the sales playbook to achieve
- Put together a team of collaborators and consultants – sales reps, managers, marketing and product team members, and subject matter experts
- Create an outline for the sales playbook using the information from the previous step
- Design the playbook with plenty of visuals and an easy-to-comprehend language
- Audit any other sales enablement content, training material, or resources you’d like to include in the playbook
- Get frequent feedback from your sales reps and implement it to keep the playbook relevant and updated
- Review the success of your playbook and find ways to optimize it
Sales playbook template
While every organization will have a unique sales playbook, the core elements will remain the same. So, here’s a sample sales playbook template:
- An introduction to what the sales playbook is supposed to do
- Company overview
- Product overview in detail (add links to other resources, if required)
- Sales process details (add links to other resources, if required)
- Buyer personas and customer profiles
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and sales goals
- Lead qualification criteria
- Sales plays relevant to your sales strategy and process
- Other resources and sales enablement materials
A sales playbook is useful in sales rep onboarding and offering inspiration, updates, and guidance to existing sales reps so that they get quick answers in real-time.
The sales playbook is an important part of sales enablement as it helps sales reps address their queries and concerns without waiting for a manager’s input.
However, the entire exercise can be tedious and stressful as it involves documenting almost everything about your sales organization. That’s where Clari can help.
With Clari, all sales information is already organized and easily discoverable. It integrates with CRMs and other essential tools in your sales stack.
Clari’s revenue platform can help you bring all sales data regarding the past, present and future in one place. Clari makes it easier for you to create a sales playbook and continuously empowers your sales organization.
Interested in learning more?