During this Women in Revenue HUG event on October 18, 2022, we learned about the fundamentals of sales playbooks with Vice President of Small Business Sales in North America, Tara DiCristo-Schmitt, at HubSpot. Sales playbooks cover the personas, products, ICPs, and talk tracks in the sales process. We'll cover:
• Introduction to sales playbooks: Why are they important
• Applying playbooks to your sales process
• Q&A on the challenges of applying sales playbooks to your company
• Walk away with a launchpad for having sales playbooks at your company.
What is a sales playbook?
HubSpot defines a sales playbook as this: A sales playbook is a document that sales teams use to employ the best practices, tactics, and strategies during different stages of the selling process. It outlines what a rep should do in a specific selling situation, such as prospecting, nurturing, or pitching a specific product.
Benefits of a sales playbook
- Make new hire training quicker and easier
- Free up valuable time for reps
- Surface the most effective selling techniques
According to HubSpot, Sales plays are a set of repeatable steps, actions, and best practices for sales reps to use during a specific stage of the sales process. Sales reps can use them for moving deals forward without brainstorming new strategies, and customers receive consistent service as a result.
If a sales playbook were a manual, a sales play is a specific tutorial in the manual. These singular sales plays include things like:
- Sales enablement materials
- Discovery call questions
- Sales process details, and more.
These plays are specific to situations and allow the salesperson to use repeatable steps, action,s and best practices to move or close a deal during a specific stage of the sales process.
- Personalized content play: Focus this playbook on how reps can personalize and tailor the buyer's journey to specific leads and prospects through their interactions and the content they share.
- Lead qualification play: Focus this playbook on how reps can efficiently identify highly-qualified leads to reach out to.
- Demo play: Focus this playbook on how reps can effectively demo specific products, and even features, to their prospects.
- Use case play: Focus this playbook on a specific use case that many members of your target audience experience.
- Prospecting play: Focus this play on how reps can prospect on a certain platform or channel or specific tactics they can follow to identify ideal prospects.
- Closing play: Focus this play on how reps can move a lead who's late in the buyer's journey into the closing phase in a way that feels natural, professional, and effective.
- Follow-up play: Focus this playbook on how and when reps can follow up with leads at different points in the buyer's journey.
How to write a Sales Playbook
Sales playbooks are unique to your business. However, the steps to create a playbook apply to nearly any business team.
According to HubSpot, below are the steps to follow when writing a sales playbook:
- Review (and, if necessary, update) your sales process
- Outline your sales playbooks goals
- Determine who should be involved in the sales playbook creation process
- Align your sales team with your marketing team
- Collect your buyer persona information
- Provide product and feature training and education for your reps
- Audit and update your sales enablement materials and content
- Choose your plays
- Implement and share your playbooks
- Analyze the success of your playbooks
What to include in your sales playbook template?
- Company Overview
- Selected Plays
- Product/Service Overview
- Sales Process
- Playbook KPI and Goals
- Buyer Personas
- Lead Qualification Criteria
- Resources and Sales Enablement Materials
Why Sales Playbooks Work
Sales playbooks come in many shapes and styles. Depending on what works best for your company. Sometimes
Sometimes the power of a playbook lies in its length. A two-page outline of what a rep should do before and during a sales meeting to increase the chances of the sale shows that you don’t need to write a 27-page-long manifesto. With just a few quick bullet points, you can guide your sales reps to success. Most importantly, it provides examples of what sales reps can say.
Other times, a thorough, comprehensive, and well-thought-out document that includes extensive information on the state of the industry and challenges the prospective customers face is most effective. While long, it won't deter a great sales rep from reading.
According to HubSpot, a sales playbook will increase efficiency in your team and improve close rates across the board. But don't let eh document stagnate. Update your sales playbook as your sales process changes and improves, your product line expands or shrinks, your ideal customer shifts, your strategy evolves, or your sales compensation plan is tweaked.
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View the presentation slides here.
If you're interested in attending more events like this, we invite you to join the Women in Revenue HUG group.