A comprehensive and efficient sales playbook is essential to maintaining a smooth operation and optimizing your sales tactics. A sales playbook will allow your sales employees to operate independently while representing your organization in the best light. It will also enable leaders to define what a “successful sales call” entails for their organization and ensure every link in the chain is following the proper procedure.
After working in B2B lead generation for over two decades, we know what it takes to craft a dynamic sales playbook and understand the value it can bring to your business.
What is a sales playbook?
“A sales playbook is a document that sales teams use to employ best practices, tactics, and strategies during different stages of the selling process. It outlines what a rep should do in a specific selling situation, such as prospecting, nurturing, or pitching a specific product.” (HubSpot)
A thorough sales playbook should include an overview of each step of client communication – from prospect to qualified lead. Complex B2B sales require precise strategies and timelines to effectively engage qualified leads and re-engage dormant leads. Following a playbook will give your representatives a clear path to follow to ensure they follow every crucial step in the process.
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Why is lead follow-up essential to sales success?
Following up with leads is an essential step in guiding a prospect down your sales pipeline. Often carried out as a call or email, the objective of a lead follow-up is to encourage a lead to take action on your offering.
If you rely solely on inbound methods to draw in leads, you will have to rely solely on what data those methods can collect. This can lead to holes in your information, where you will need to fill in the gaps with assumptions of what your audience wants and needs.
Instead, connect directly with your leads and give them a chance to tell you personally what they need. This one-on-one interaction is much more meaningful and impactful than an automated message, and will give you more actionable data to discern the quality of the lead.
Having an air-tight follow-up strategy will ensure your representatives are prioritizing qualified leads and no one falls through the cracks.
For more on lead follow-up, read 8 Golden Rules for Lead Generation Follow Up.
What are the three steps to crafting a successful sales playbook?
1. Outline your goals for the playbook
Why are you creating this playbook? To craft a comprehensive sales outline, you must understand what your company aims to achieve, precisely who you are targeting, and what your next steps are once you have engaged your target.
What do you hope to get out of creating this playbook? Who is it intended for? If your representatives have friction points within your operation, can those be addressed in this playbook? The act of putting together a playbook can reveal weak points and areas of opportunity before you’ve even begun altering your sales process.
Who needs to be involved in the process of creating the playbook? Including all relevant departments in the creation process will ensure that no key step or information is left out. Inviting sales representatives, management throughout the organization, members of the marketing team, and anyone else in the oranization with relevant experience will help to create a truly comprehensive sales process book.
2. Create a detailed overview of your sales process
While laying out your current sales process, you can review what strategies work best and what needs to be updated. If there are certain sales plays that work best, highlight them so everyone in the organization can benefit from the tip. If your representatives are finding new, effective means of engagement, update the process to keep things fresh.
A playbook will also simplify the onboarding of new employees with an easy-to-follow procedure. Representatives can more efficiently capture new leads and re-engage dormant leads when they have all the necessary resources and content readily available. Your sales playbook will act as a guide to ensure everyone has the tools they need to succeed.
The point of your playbook is not to limit what your representatives can do to a specific set of rules, but rather to ensure that all representatives have the information and resources available in order to follow effective sales practices.
3. Prioritize your follow-up
A playbook can help to avoid losing interested leads due to poor follow-up habits. When someone shows interest in your business, don’t squander the opportunity! Make sure you connect every lead with a diligent representative who will follow up with the inquiry promptly.
Your follow-up strategy must include persistence. It takes an average of eight follow-up calls to make a sale, yet “92% of sales pros give up after the 4th call, [while] 80% of prospects say no fours times before they say yes.” (HubSpot)
However, your persistence should not be annoying. You want to create multiple opportunities to connect without becoming a bother to the lead. Vary your method of contact to avoid becoming monotonous and to better your chances of reaching them at the right moment.
Most importantly, you want to prioritize meaningful interactions with your prospects. We have consistently found that clients respond best when they know the people they are working with on the other side. Connecting with leads as humans will help to build a relationship of trust and mutual understanding, facilitating a closer consumer-brand relationship over time.
For more tips on lead follow-up, visit:
Is your sales playbook successful?
Simply creating a playbook is not enough to bring continued success. You must regularly revisit your process and consider alternatives to the status quo. As your industry evolves and grows, so must your strategy.
Including reevaluation in your playbook will ensure that you are constantly updating your process to meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of your target audience.