Do you have a sales playbook? If not, you could be missing out on a lot of potential revenue. According to a recent article in HBR by Jason Jordan and Robert Kelly, companies that defined a formal sales process grow revenue 18% faster than those who don’t!
And guess what? Sales reps know it, too. During our recent panel on sales coaching at Dreamforce, Bridget Gleason, VP of Corporate Sales at Sumo Logic, said,”When sales reps are coming to interview with us, a lot of them are asking, ‘is there a playbook?’ They understand that a lot of their success is dependent upon a company understanding what it takes for a sales rep to be successful.”
We couldn’t agree more. Companies need to not only provide reps with the tools they need to succeed, but also process. Even though our products help optimize process and productivity, our sales team still uses a playbook. Why? Because they work and they’re indispensable.
In order to help you set your reps on the path to success, here are seven examples of things that you should be in your sales playbook.
Don’t be fooled into thinking your reps will automatically know who your buyers are and understand them. Sales reps need authoritative workups on who you’re selling to, what they care about, and how you help them. Include:
It’s foolish to try to control everything your sales reps say and write – you hire smart people because they will bring things to the table that you haven’t considered. But when it comes to repeatable messaging, you should still still be their Cyrano. Ensure that all your messaging is consistent with the company’s value propositions, culture and tone. Include:
It should be clear as daylight what is expected of every rep in every role. This is especially true for SDRs. If you want your sales reps engaging in a certain number of conversations per day, or following up with specific types of leads a specific make sure that this goal is communicated in your sales playbook. This can be paired with analytics (in your CRM) that show reps whether they are meeting those goals. For example, RingDNA provides dashboards that reps can use to track their own activities against activity goals. This can help reps see, in real time, whether they are dialing and emailing enough prospects. Include:
What’s your sales technology stack? Which tools should reps use, and at what sales stages should they use them?
Reps need to be trained on every tool you use. If they don’t see value, and it’s not documented, your technology investments will be wasted.
Also: procedures for lead handling in your CRM must be documented. Every company uses CRM differently. Salesforce, for example, is extremely customizable. So even if your reps have used Salesforce before, it doesn’t mean they know how to use Salesforce properly at your company. For example, at some companies, SDRs convert leads to contacts with opportunities while at other companies this is handled by account executives. Set clear guidelines for how they should be using Salesforce in order to ensure that your process is streamlined.
This is the backbone of your playbook. What do your reps in various roles do, and in what situations do they do them?
In sales, follow-up is key. Thus, a clear communication plan should form the backbone of any sales playbook. Reps should have a clear strategy for when they’re going to call and email reps. As an example, in our recent interview with Sales Hacker CEO Max Altschuler, Max outlines exactly when reps should send follow-up calls and emails with prospects in order to move deals further. Include:
Interwoven in your SLAs, cadence and messaging should be the role of marketing and marketing technology in the sales process. For example, some leads might not have an SLA for sales, but rather, for marketing through a variety of automated responses and campaigns. Some lead types shouldn’t have any marketing contact at all. Include:
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William Tyree is the Chief Marketing Officer of ringDNA, where he works collaboratively with the team to drive breakthrough growth while creating an iconic brand that inspires companies to improve sales experiences. Previously, he was CMO at FaceFirst and VP of Marketing at DemandResults. His thought leadership has appeared in Forbes, Entrepreneur, the Atlantic and elsewhere.