A sales team cannot truly perform at its maximum without a sales playbook. The sales playbook contains everything your team needs to successfully close deals. This includes target prospects, buyer personas, their common pains and problems, call scripts, email templates, discovery questions, sample presentations, and competitor info. Reps use this information to understand the best practices, strategies, tactics, and tools that they can use to close deals.
However, the magic of a sales playbook is not just in the information that it provides to reps, its the ability it has to help new sales reps. The average tenure of a sales rep is a mere 1.5 years. Additionally, consider the average sales rep ramp time of approximately three months, and at best, you get one year of full selling capacity before the rep leaves. With every industry seeing increased competition, it’s vital to get reps ramped to full productivity as quickly as possible so you can address more of your market and capture customers.
One of the best way to measure this is new hire ramp time. In fact, ramp time is one of the most important metrics for any sales team. Whether you hire a development rep or an account executive, the faster you can bring them up to speed, the better they will perform, the more your sales will increase, and the more ROI will be delivered.
The reps you are hiring (particularly in SDR and lead response roles) are likely inexperienced. Most newly hired SDRs only have 1-2 years of experience, with many being hired directly out of college. Without the right plan, effectively ramping these reps to productivity can seem like an insurmountable task. Therefore, every sales playbook must include information for ramping reps.
In order to ramp up reps as quickly as possible, it is imperative that the reps follow a specific process. They need to know how many calls they’re supposed to make, how fast they’re supposed to respond to new inbound leads, and how often. They also need to know how your company uses your CRM (since platforms like Salesforce are completely customizable).
Most importantly, they need to know your team’s best practices. If there is a particular message that has worked in the past to overcome objections or beat specific competitors, new reps need easy access to this information. They need to know what content can help deals move forward at various stages and a host of other factors.
To help you draft your own playbook, here are what some of the top sales experts have to say about the importance of a sales playbook, as well as some excellent examples of successful playbooks.
This Altify discusses 12 crucial elements that belong in your sales playbook, including:
This eBook from Marketo and Precision Thinking includes essentials that should be in your sales playbook. It contains:
This video from Demand Metric that does an excellent job of walking you through the creation and management of a sales playbook. It covers:
This eBook from Veelo, which discusses some changes you may need to make to your sales playbook in order to stay at the forefront of sales strategy. It discusses:
Check out our free 90-day Inside Sales Success Plan for more tips on how to build a winning sales team.
This is a fantastic free tool from Sales Benchmark Index that can help you build the ideal playbook to support your business. Key topics include how to:
You can create the best sales playbook of all time, but it will be useless if your team doesn’t use it. This Forbes Business Development Council Article covers how to create playbooks that your sales team will really use. The secrets include:
If you already have a sales playbook but are looking to make it stronger, don’t miss out this awesome post by OpenView’s sales strategist CeCe Bazar. It includes a must-read interview with high Spot’s VP of Sales Jeff Boissoneault on how to build a stellar sales playbook.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingringDNA
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at ringDNA, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 9 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.