Ep. 380: Creating a Sales Playbook That Actually Works

Building a Sales Playbook

Who should listen: Anyone, including solopreneurs and regardless of industry, who needs reasons and guidance for putting together a detailed sales playbook.

Key idea: You can’t track what you don’t measure, and you can’t measure what you don’t know.

Whether you call it a sales development playbook, a sales enablement playbook, prospecting playbook, or just a simple sales playbook, every organization should have one because every organization needs one.

Even if you’re a solopreneur, a sales playbook will help you learn from past performance. You can’t remember everything, but if you capture what you do and say, you can study those things so you know what works and what doesn’t. Once you’ve got what works, codify them into a framework, formula, or manuscript you can refer back to. Then, even on your worst days, you’ll have something to guide you through the rough patch.

Consider building a sales playbook as part of your Do. Document. Delegate. process. It’s nearly impossible to carry on a consistent process if you haven’t documented it, and that’s especially true as you scale your business.

Additionally, if you’ve listened to Stay Paid for any length of time, you know we’re always coaching listeners to track and measure what can be tracked and measured. But you can’t measure what you don’t know, and that’s where a playbook can make sure you aren’t missing anything.

In this Silver Dollar episode, we delve a bit more into why a sales playbook is an important tool. We go into detail about the 8 sections or chapters that it should include with tips and instructions for how to pull each section together. Finally, we offer advice about how to successfully roll it out to your team.

We want to encourage you to listen to the episode so that you get the full benefit of the detailed information, tips, and instructions we provide. For now, you can review the list of sections we advise a sales playbook should have and a brief description of each.

1. Lead sources

Whatever your industry, there are likely to be more lead sources available than you may currently know about. You want to document them all because you will have slightly different scripts for every source. You’ll also want to track the conversion rate of each and start to set benchmarks.

2. Client persona

Ensure you know to whom you are selling! You need to know as much as possible about your ideal client because that information will inform practically everything you do. A client persona will tell you where to find them (think lead sources), the marketing that will resonate with them, the scripts you’ll write, the best way to communicate with them, and more.

3. Sales pitch

Your sales team should be told what to say, so document your sales pitch (listeners can hear what our pitch is). We talk during the episode about whether enforcing a script word for word or using a sales script as a guide is a better option. However you choose to implement your scripts, be sure to track what works and adjust accordingly.

4. Sales funnel

You want to be sure that everyone knows the repeatable process that moves prospects through your sales funnel. Sometimes referred to as the buyer’s journey, you want to document your process for each stage of that journey. There are many questions to ask about the process, but these serve as a good starting point:

  • What is the process for the initial call?
  • What is said during the first follow-up call?
  • Do you leave a message? If yes, what do you say?
  • How often should your sales team reach out?
  • What is the period between touchpoints?
  • What is the content of each touchpoint?

It’s important to capture the details to ensure everyone on your sales team is following the same game plan.

5. Product or service details

In this section, you can include incentives that your callers are permitted to offer. You’ll also want to include additional services and bonuses they can offer beyond the core offerings. This is also a good place for product demos.

6. Objection handling

Begin by capturing all the different objections you receive, not just the most common sales objections, then document the approaches that work. You don’t have to start from scratch—do some research and find out what has worked for others when responding to sales objections. Also, record the different versions of your responses to customer objections because different types of customers require different approaches.

7. Systems

Include a section in your playbook of all your systems and their individual processes. This would include your CRM, your email systems, your social media platforms, your dialers, and other systems you use. Make sure your team is using your systems the way they are intended to be used.

8. Marketing materials

Your emails, text messages, print materials, presentations, and more will differ based on whether they are being used with cold leads, warm leads, or hot leads. They’ll vary between inbound leads and outbound replies. Automated and personalized messages will also require different content. Segment your materials based on their intended use.

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