Glenn Hewson, CRM Product and Marketing Leader at Sparkstone offers this advice…
The average tenure of a sales rep is a mere 1.5 years. Combine that with an average settling in period of 3 months and you get just over a year of selling capacity before the rep moves on. Because of this, many companies put in place CRMs to capture written sales interactions so as tosimply to maintain continuity through sales turnover. Net, net, they want to capture sales interactions in a system so that it doesn’t go out the door with the sales rep.
Savvy sales managers however are going further, much further by implementing sales playbooks within their CRMs to onboard new reps faster and to help them to consistently smash their sales targets and increase their tenure.
What is a sales playbook?
Simply put a playbook brings together your sales processes, buyer personas, sales plays, content and tools. An effective playbook enables your sales team to sell more effectively, accurately position against the competition, and intelligently communicate your value proposition to every buyer persona.
As implemented on your CRM, a sales playbook is a defined set of processes and tools to be used by sales for each stage of the sales cycle. It helps your sales team to understand the best tactics to use, when to use them and with whom.
An effective sales playbook helps guide your sales team on lead development and moving prospects through the sales funnel while ensuring that the maximum number of ideal prospects make that all-important purchase. To that end an effective sales playbook should always:
Define your buyer’s journey via your sales stages and processes within those stages
Define and describe the buyer personas in the process (recommenders, economic buyers, etc.)
Define and map sales plays to buyer persons and your sales process
Define and compartmentalise the competition
Diagram the buyer engagement experience
Review current and package additional sales and marketing content in a way that makes it easy for reps to utilise
Your playbook team
Your sales playbook starts with the deconstruction of your sales and marketing processes. Several departments within your organisation should be involved. There should be a designated leader to own the project; they’re responsible for compiling the team, deciding on content and hitting the deadline for completion.
Ideal candidates for the role can often be found within the sales team, ideally being a salesperson that is an exceptionally high performer, with ample experience and good management skills.
Also, within the team should be representatives from the marketing and product departments who can advise on buyer personas and assist with content creation – making the playbook palatable is essential to ensure successful roll out.
Finally, don’t forget to invite production along. Sales staff need to have product knowledge at their fingertips.
Review and improve
A great playbook will be used – because it works! If content is easy to digest, contains all vital information that the sales team needs, and is distributed effectively then results will be reflected on the bottom line. It’s important to continually review and update your playbook as your product/service and buyer behaviours change. Special consideration should also be given new markets or geographies.
Also remember that you should have multiple playbooks as different products/services have different buyers whom have different needs. A good coach knows that you don’t run the same plays in the same order against different opponents.
Now that you know what a sales playbook is and why you need it, maybe it’s time to rethink both your CRM and existing sales processes. Sales leaders need to provide the tools for their teams to be successful. An enterprise-wide CRM combined with effective sales playbooks are a smart way of ensuring sales success. Sparkstone is ready to help.