Sales Playbook: An Ultimate Guide of 2021

Sales Playbook: An Ultimate Guide of 2021

Deskera Content Team
Deskera Content Team
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Your sales representatives certainly spend a significant portion of their time on work that might be automated with software or standardized processes, such as manually inputting data or drafting emails that could be templated.

So, the question arises— Is there any smart approach to this problem that offers practical selling strategies and communication rather than sales process guidance?

Sales Playbook — certainly, that’s the solution you are looking for.  It would help you to increase the efficiency of your sales team, streamline onboarding so you can scale rapidly, foster team autonomy, and standardize best practices and resources.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover all the major aspects related to the Sales Playbook. Let’s review what we will cover ahead:

  • Understanding Sales Playbook
  • Significance of Sales Playbook
  • Need of Sales Playbook
  • Benefits of Sales Playbook
  • Elements to Include in Sales Playbook
  • Create your Sales Playbook

Understanding Sales Playbook

A sales playbook is a compiled documentation of methods and techniques that define the best sales practices for each member of sales teams.

Further, it contains methodologies, software tutorials, information, resources, buyer personas, sales strategies, and much more. In addition, it guides you in defining your goals, classifying measuring metrics, and developing an effective sales closing strategy.

All of the tactics and processes utilized by the most effective salespeople are included in the playbook. In simple words, it offers salespeople a framework to follow and close more deals efficiently.

Eventually, a sales playbook can help marketing and sales teams analyze assumptions and extract best practices in a systematic way. Moreover, with the help of a sales playbook, your team will acquire insights on qualifying sales leads and how to crack difficult accounts as a result of this procedure.

Significance of Sales Playbook

According to Aberdeen Group research, 54 percent of salespeople who use Sales Playbooks are more likely to accomplish their sales targets than those who do not have access to a sales Playbook.

Sales playbooks are a valuable resource for sales teams because they ensure that everyone on the team has the same knowledge and access to resources as they work to achieve their objectives.

Moreover, the sales playbook also needs to be updated and modified just like any other aspect. As a result, the sales playbook should be a — live document— that any sales agent may view and update or modify when needed. As your team strives for success, this living resource becomes the go-to resource.

Need of Sales Playbook

Having a sales playbook means you will obtain easy access to track your steps. Moreover, everything in marketing and sales revolves around determining the swiftness of the sales pipeline and making small adjustments that can have a big impact.

Being unaware of every move and their respective results— if you do not have a B2B sales playbook— will only lead to pandemonium.

In addition, when you hire new sales reps, you have to implement a standardized structure. It could be achieved with a sales playbook. As it will further help you to assign relevant roles and objectives to each member of your team.

Your team must also be informed of your team's best practices. Moreover, they should also be familiar with how your team has dealt with disputes and competition in the past.

Therefore, you must also inform them of the information you utilize to assist close deals at various phases of the sales cycle. At this point, the sales playbook will play an important role in your business.

The sales playbook is used by all successful sales teams and sales reps. So, if you haven't used a sales playbook already, it's time to reconsider your option and start using one.

Benefits of Sales Playbook

The underlying concepts and ultimate goals of sales teams still remain the same in today's data-driven sales environment. However, the resources and tools – including your sales playbook – are getting a tech update.

Interestingly, AI-powered software is assisting sales teams in creating new accounts or amending existing ones.

Following is the list of advantages associated with the sales playbook that can help numerous roles in your firm in a variety of situations. Let’s learn:

1. Offers Step-by-Step Guide

Implementation of a sales playbook offers a step-by-step process guide for new hires. Providing customers profile and precise expectations to new hires as a valuable resource offers consistency in training. It further helps them to quickly understand what’s expected of them.

Additionally, sales managers can easily review sales playbooks in advance without much hassle. Moreover, the sales playbook offers uniform training and techniques under a single resource that removes any place for misinformation.

2. Personalization

Customers tend to choose 50 percent of vendors who respond quickly. Therefore, it is important to come on the first spot to obtain a personalization sales proposal.

The sales playbook assists salespeople to create a tailored sales call by providing a uniform platform for them to rapidly access particular sales scenarios. After that, you may create a sales proposal without having to spend hours looking for relevant pricing sheets and content materials.

They can develop dynamic, tailored sales proposals for customers quickly and efficiently, saving time and allowing them to be the first to the table with the information their buyers demand.

3. Launching or Testing New Product

A sales playbook may help sales managers and reps get up to speed fast on essential features like audience personas for your ideal customer profiles, existing resources, and sales enablement content, and the KPIs they'll be evaluated against if you're launching a new product or service.

Leadership may also quickly distribute the intricacies of a new sales process, as well as standardized sales plays and expected KPIs if you're testing a new sales process.

4. Shorter Sales Cycle

The sale cycle is shortened in numerous ways when a sales playbook is used to facilitate guided selling. The sales process becomes clear, succinct, and easy to follow when everyone on the team uses the same sales technology.

Moreover, having everyone on the same page will help to avoid costly mistakes. Then, with a defined sales playbook in place, filtering out bad leads becomes a lot easier, allowing you to spend more time on qualified leads.

Finally, guided selling helps salespeople to concentrate on what matters most to customers: resolving their problems. The shorter the sales cycle is, the sooner you may get to this stage of the process.

5. Saves your Time

When it comes to sales management, guidelines and standardized methods are very vital. A sales playbook provides instructions as well as tools to your seasoned reps and managers. It helps to set clear expectations for new personnel. This not only fosters uniformity across the sales force but also saves time for everyone.

When you give established processes and ready-to-use sales enablement content, you save your reps time by eliminating the need for them to constantly re-invent the wheel with their own messaging, content, and resources.

Managers can also devote more time to difficult and unique sales plays by spending less time coaching on repetitive scenarios.

6. Best Practices Circulation

Operating best practices in your sales playbook, accompanied by genuine anecdotes and statistics, serves to highlight what differentiates the top performers from the rest of the pack, thus assisting in moving the middle of the pack up.

The greatest way to shift your average performers — the middle 60-70 percent of your sales teams – is to concentrate on activity level statistics.

Identify the actions of your top performers and examine not only the but also real instances to help your employees understand excellent practices.

Elements to Include in Sales Playbook

Following is the list of elements that you need to include in your sales playbook. Let’s review them:

1. Organization’s Overview

Provides an overview of the organization and then goes into detail about the sales team. Incorporate details about how the sales organization is set up, who supervises each team, and what targets reps and teams are required to meet, among other things.

2. Choose Plays

To clearly explain the playbook's purpose for reps, identify which plays will be used for each playbook you develop. Here’s a list of plays example that you can select to choose your plays:

  • Personalized content play: Emphasize how salespeople may use their interactions and the content they share to personalize and adapt the buyer's journey to specific leads and prospects.

  • Use Case Plays: Focus the playbook on a specific use case that many people in your target audience have encountered.

  • Lead qualification play: Emphasize how reps can quickly identify highly qualified leads to contact in the playbook.

  • Prospecting play: Concentrate on how representatives can prospect on a certain platform or channel, as well as specific strategies they can use to discover ideal prospects.

  • Demo Play: Focus the playbook on how reps can effectively demo certain items to prospects, including features.

  • Follow-up Play: Focus the playbook on how and when sales reps should follow up with leads at various frames of the buyer's lifecycle.

  • Closing Play: Focus the closing play on how reps can naturally, professionally, and effectively move a late-in-the-buyer's-journey lead into the closing phase.

3. Overview of Service or Product

Cover every product or service that sales reps are in charge of selling. Price points, use cases, primary value offers, purchasers, end-users, and associated industries or verticals should all be mentioned.

If your items are highly diversified, need significantly different purchasing procedures, have distinct buyer personas, or are sold by various members of your sales team, you may want to create a separate sales playbook for each.

4. Goals and KPIs

Factors such as indicators, metrics, KPIs, goals need to be considered

To give you an example, perhaps you've discovered that salespeople who make more than 50 calls each day are much more likely to meet the quota.

5. Process of Sale

From the initial contact to the final purchase, describe each step of your sales process. This part could just contain a link to your sales process document so that reps and sales managers can easily access it.

6. Buyer Persona

Include your buyer personas so that salespeople may focus on the most qualified prospects and address their specific requirements and difficulties fast.

7. Include Lead Qualification  Criteria

Include lead qualifying criteria so that salespeople may use them in conjunction with buyer persona data. For example, a qualified lead at your company may indicate that the lead is ready to buy within the next three months or that the lead has sufficient cash to make a purchase.

Include prospecting and follow-up requirements as well. Give some criteria for when you should pursue opportunities and when you should let them go.

8. Materials and Resources

You'll need a lot of tools and sales enablement materials for your reps to construct an efficient sales playbook. Testimonials, case studies, and client references are examples of resources that salespeople may use from time to time.

In addition, include all of your current resources that will be useful to your new employees. Furthermore, your case studies will change depending on your target audience. Include all resources that are tailored to specific buyer profiles.

Depending on who you're writing for, your case studies will alter. Include all resources that are tailored to specific buyer profiles. A one-size-fits-all strategy isn't optimal in this situation.

Your sales personnel will be able to use ready-to-use reference material to boost their selling and raise their chances of closing.

How to Create your Sales Playbook

Follow these methods to build your sales playbook. Let’s check:

1. Identify your Selling Point

It is crucial to identify what selling point would work best for your company. It needs to be unique that separates you from your competitors. You must also ensure that your clients are aware of your product or service.

The first step is to determine what your unique selling proposition is.

Focusing your marketing and sales efforts once this important component has been polished to your taste will lessen friction in the complete sales process.

Moreover, your company will not stand out in your field if you don't have a compelling value offer, and your ideal customers will have no reason to select you over your competition.

2. Focus on your Target Customers

The next stage is to determine who your target customer is and construct detailed customer personas for them. If you want to sell something, you need to know what your customer wants and what their pain points are.

When creating a buyer persona, go into considerable depth. Consider your average customer and make a list of their essential traits. Gender, age, social background, education, relationship status, family status, employment status, and average income are some of the factors to consider.

Consider their own interests, hobbies, and anything else that defines them. Give your target customer a name once you've figured it out.

Consider the buyer profile later on when designing a sales funnel and scripts, and whether or not he or she will like what they see.

Make sure the answer is always affirmative, and that your entire sales and marketing process is tailored to your ideal customer's requirements.

3. Provide Script Framework

While you can write scripts with specific processes for your team members to follow in the sales process, or even give them specific things to say to potential clients, it's best to give them some autonomy.

The greatest sales playbooks should act as the scalable foundation for all of your other scripts. Pipeline management best practices should be implemented in your sales playbook, and the script should provide explanations for common scenarios or sales team tasks.

You want to ensure that everyone on your team, including salespeople, is on the same page and working toward the same goals. Never, however, try to be a control freak who hovers over their head all the time.

You should also lead by example for the rest of your sales team. You could, for instance, show them how to conduct a successful sales call or send them sample emails from well-known copywriters.

Another alternative is to provide them with recordings of excellent face-to-face customer meetings. All of these examples will ease them into the process and make the learning curve less steep.

4. Offer Standardized Resources

When your salespeople make contact with potential consumers, they must be prepared. People will demand proof more frequently than not, therefore sales abilities aren't always enough.

Testimonials, case studies, references, and even free samples or trial versions of your items are all good ideas. By demonstrating the quality of your products and services, you will get instant credibility.

When consumers realize that others have purchased before them, they are more likely to do so as well. As a result, once you make a transaction, call out to your customer and ask for a review. Future sales will be considerably easier as a result of this.

5. Give Bonuses and Incentives

To begin, your salesmen must know exactly how much they are paid; you must be open and honest. They should, however, remain eager to sell. To put it another way, you should provide them with good perks.

Also, provide them with attainable rewards. Of course, you don't want to set the bar too low, but you also don't want to make it impossible for them to earn more.

You want them to keep trying and getting better. They'll make more money, and you'll make more sales, so it's a win-win situation.

6. Merge Marketing and Sales Goals

Culminating marketing and sales goals would help you to increase sales. Use techniques of blogging and content to earn the brand trust of your potential customers. And, it will eventually lead to more perfect clients approaching you.

Depending on the type of service you give or the products you sell, you must select and focus on the technique that will yield the best results. When building a playbook, every decision you make should be based on sales.

7. Track and Drive Sales

The goal of your sales playbook is to increase sales. Moreover, there are other numbers to keep track of that can provide useful information, and the balance at the end of the month isn't the only one.

For salespeople, goals should include the number of calls made per day and the number of emails sent. Also, make sure to track and manage everything to obtain accurate knowledge on what exactly is going on in the sales team.

Try to figure out what made them more effective, and then think about how you can include that into your inbound sales approach. This method could be used by your entire sales team to enhance forecasting accuracy for sales cycles and forward enhancement in your company.

Make sure to track a variety of other metrics. It includes—  average purchase value, monthly sales growth, cost per acquisition, and so on. Eventually, use the information you gather for actual usage. Those figures are meaningless if you don't act on them, so don't gather only for the sake of collecting.

8. Consistency and Improvement

The criteria for your sales playbook need to be conditioned for long-term growth within your sales force. Furthermore, set aside time on a monthly basis as well.

To track the effectiveness of the sales messaging, fine-tune your sales-ready message, and enhance lead-to-conversion rates.

In addition, you should concentrate on creating core, long-term strategies, and approaches. However, don't be too strict, and make little messaging adjustments along the way to stay on track.

Make sure to get rid of factors that affect your sales. In addition, focus on making goal-oriented judgments and carrying them out according to a predetermined schedule.

On the other hand, if you observe that a minor change to your sales letters resulted in a substantial increase in response, include it in your playbook.

Here’s a pro-tip: Always be open to new ideas. However, make sure to provide enough time for testing. Don't give up just because something doesn't work after the first week.

How Can Deskera Help You with Sales?

At Deskera, the team understands that the sales process is essential for your success. They will help you formulate your marketing and sales strategies according to the product or services you offer. Using Deskera CRM can be quite beneficial for you as you will be able to track your sales lead in the best possible way.

Deskera CRM is a simple, fully-featured platform that can help you with contact and deal administration, sales pipeline management, email marketing campaigns, to name a few. You can generate leads for your business by creating email campaigns and view performance with detailed analytics on open rates and click-through rates (CTR). Deskera CRM is an easy-to-use platform that will assist you in contact and deal management, sales pipeline, email marketing campaigns, customer support, and ticketing management, to mention the important ones.

It will also assist you with real-time updates about your business like cash flow status, customer satisfaction, inventory management, sales, purchases, purchase orders, customer tickets, customer satisfaction, managing leads, revenues, profit, and loss statements, and balance sheets.

Try Deskera CRM Today
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Crucial Takeaways

We have summarized all crucial key pointers for your reference. Let's take a closer look:

  • A sales playbook is a compiled documentation of methods and techniques that define the best sales practices for each member of sales teams.
  • The sales playbook should be a — live document— that any sales agent may view and update or modify when needed.
  • Having a sales playbook means you will obtain easy access to track your steps.
  • Implementation of a sales playbook offers a step-by-step process guide for new hires.
  • Testimonials, case studies, references, and even free samples or trial versions of your items are all good ideas.
  • Include lead qualifying criteria so that salespeople may use them in conjunction with buyer persona data.
  • Use techniques of blogging and content to earn the brand trust of your potential customers.
  • Make sure to track a variety of other metrics. It includes—  average purchase value, monthly sales growth, cost per acquisition, and so on.
  • The criteria for your sales playbook need to be conditioned for long-term growth within your sales force
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