As I started managing sales people, I realized one of my biggest challenges was getting all of them to “sing from the same songbook.” By their very nature sales people like to be independent and do things their own way. So, there typically is a lot of resistance to conformity and process. I like spontaneity, creativity and initiative in sales as much as the next guy, but the effectiveness, efficiency and results that come from a set of well-defined proven processes way outweigh letting the Lone Ranger run the show.
So, I took the plunge and started to put together a Sales Playbook at my company. I was amazed. I thought I would have a rebellion. Instead, I realized what I probably had known all along: People, especially sales people, respond well to, and like, some structure in their lives. And that’s what a Sales Playbook is for – to give structure to your sales team.
Having a well-defined process is the key to consistency amongst your reps. Having it written in the form of a Sales Playbook sets it in stone. One of the biggest benefits to having a Sales Playbook is being able to onboard new sales reps quickly. This means you have to spend less time with new reps and they will start producing quicker.
If your company has a Sales Playbook, the sales people should be using it and not deviating from it at all. If you do not have a Sales Playbook, you need to write one or have one written for you. Note: A Sales Playbook is a living document that needs continual updating, as required.
The Sales Playbook should contain all the job functions, responsibilities and sales practices your sales people are required to know in order to close business. These include:
1. Your company mission statement and core values.
2. Your sales team’s core values.
3. Telephone calling scripts – Cold, Warm and Hot.
4. Telephone voicemail scripts.
5. Qualifying questions.
6. Trial closes.
7. Closing questions.
8. Guidelines for face-to-face meetings.
9. A complete list of your company’s products or service benefits.
10. A list of responses to prospect objections.
11. Procedures on how to deliver demos and presentations.
12. Email templates that address all phases of the customers buying cycle.
13. The competition.
The way to use the Sales Playbook is to have it ready any time you need it. I cannot tell you how satisfying it is when a sales rep comes into your office and asks you a question that is answered in your company’s Sales Playbook. You will love saying the words, “Have you looked in the Sales Playbook?”
(How to create a Sales Playbook is just one of 262 practical lessons covered in detail in Louie’s sales training book for managers and reps. To learn more, visit Sales Getters.)
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