Life is never easy if you are a sales rep. It is a cumbersome task, as there are too many hindrances for happy selling. There are also too many situations where you would need all the help from your sales godfathers, but many a time they are not available.
In order to make things easy for sales reps, most organizations indulge in preparing a sales playbook, that usually help sales reps. This playbook harbors tactics to coach sales beginners. However, at the same time it is important to have a useful sales book and not a dubious one.
Here are 10 Useful Tips to Create The Ultimate Sales Playbook:
1) Define the Objective: The first and foremost thing to know before creating the playbook is to know the objective behind it. It is quite obvious that the main intention is to train your sales rep for closing sales. But, simultaneously it is critical to define the idea behind the playbook. Is it about dealing with product features or having more strategic conversations? Before building the playbook, it is very important to know the exact reason behind creating it, and at no point you should feel that there is a deviation from the actual intention behind creating it.
2) Make it Simple: A sales playbook should be as simple as it can get. The ultimate aim of having the playbook is to be a guide for your sales rep. Having too much complexity in the playbook can be misleading and often difficult to comprehend. Your playbook should leave enough flutter room for your reps to respond intuitively to certain situations. At the same time, be robust enough to support the critical thinking required throughout a deal. Too many steps and you will be left micromanaging; and not enough steps and they’ll see no value.
3) Get Inside Customers’ Mind: Always be aware of the fact that your customer is more important than your products. Hence, it is important to get into the minds of the customers and know them. Your playbook should be aimed at guiding your sales team to find the needs of customers. Once done, the focus should be to make the customer feel that, yours is the solution they are looking for. Find out the challenges of your customer and then map your solution in a way that the customer feels relaxed in your presence, and not intimidated.
4) Think About the Usual Customer Conversations: Your sales playbook is the device that would help your sales rep in numerous ways. They would be using this to enhance the quality of prospect conversations. It must contain the ways to start a conversation and what are the triggers that would stimulate the customer to consider your solution. The playbook should also include tactics and suggestions that would help your sales team deal with common objections. Moreover, this would help them to respond effectively under pressure.
5) Get Valuable Tips from Sales Team: One must keep in mind that the sales team is at the forefront while selling. Hence, it is important to get their feedback, what helps them fix meetings, what are the common difficulties they face, and what works and what does not during a sales scenario.
6) Know Your Competition: Your playbook should contain most of the details about your competition. It should elucidate how they have positioned themselves in the market, their selling strategies, typical sales moves by each competitor, and how to counter these moves. The most likely details include:
- Do they reduce their prices and if they do, how much do they reduce?
- Do they provide incentives to the customer in order to tie up with them?
- Do they have extended offers?
7) Do Not Give Too Much Information: As it is important to feed your sales team, it is equally important to not overload them with too much information. Too much information often leads to complexity. The playbook should be aimed at making life easy for your sales team. Try to put in information that is pertinent and only as per the requirement. As said earlier, the playbook is aimed at making life simpler, but too much information can surely boomerang.
8) Company Offers and Value Proposition: This describes what your company offerings are and how your solution is exactly what your customer is looking for, and also how it is different from your competitors’ offerings. This particular section should also contain answer for the two questions:
- Why should the customer buy from you?
- What is the value the customer receives from buying your product?
9) Include Best Practices: This should include techniques, practices, tactics, methodologies, etc., that was adopted or practiced by your sales team in landing crucial sales deals. Have a list of the proven tips, techniques and when to use them. It may not be a bad idea to add the things that did not work out very well for your sales reps while selling.
10) Update Regularly: To add to the above written steps, it is important to update your playbook regularly. This includes details of new challenges popping up and new perspectives on how your product is being used in the market. If sales teams recognise that the company is investing time in updating the content regularly, the playbooks will be perceived as a credible, up to date source of valuable information. Be sure to add in new objections as they arise and as competitors become more sophisticated in competing with your solution.
Sales playbook is just a device that will help a sales rep in dealing with difficult situations and better understand the organization. Several times it makes the task easier for the sales rep. Nevertheless, using it in the best possible way is what leads sales reps to success.