Picture this: you’ve just been given a lead. A hot one. You were told that this lead is a sure buyer, and the only thing left for you to do is convert them and close the sale.
You’re nervous. You’re not that experienced yet in converting leads, and you feel the pressure of a make-or-break situation. How do you know what to do to successfully convert a lead into a client and eventually close?
Or maybe you’ve already made a few sales, and the question you’re asking yourself is, “How do I close more deals and increase my revenue?”
Regardless of your level of experience, a sales playbook is a must-have for any entrepreneur looking to take their business to the next level.
A sales playbook is essentially a compilation of the best sales practices for every sales situation that can arise. A more apt term would be “sales guidebook” because it basically contains instructions on what to do.
From the start until the end of the sales process, a sales playbook contains guides for all of the different scenarios, all intending to help an agent close a deal. Without a sales playbook, you have to start from scratch every time you talk to a prospect or a lead.
You even risk relying on guesswork, intuition, and instinct a lot of the time. And in such a competitive industry, you don’t want your success to be dependent on luck.
So how do you write a sales playbook? It might be a little tricky at first, especially if you’ve been operating without one for years.
Reexamine your current sales process
If you already have an established sales process, you don’t want to flip everything on its head by writing a sales playbook.
Instead, you’ll want the playbook to fit in seamlessly with what you’ve already been doing. Sure, there might be minor revisions or improvements along the way, but you don’t want to start everything from scratch at the end of the day.
A sales playbook should complement your existing procedures and increase your efficiency. It’s hard to do those when you’re scrapping everything.
That’s why before writing anything, you’ll have to reexamine and review your current sales processes.
Know your playbook’s goals
Once you’ve outlined your current processes, you have to know your goals. No, they can’t be as vague as “get more clients” or “close more leads.” You can’t also just copy another organization’s goals just because they are seeing more success.
You’re going to have to ask yourself questions like, “What should be in the playbook?” or “What are my team’s current struggles?” Asking yourself these questions can point you to a more accurate assessment of how you or your team is doing, and they can give you a concrete milestone to aim for.
The goals in the playbook should be specific. If they’re too vague, it won’t work as a playbook should. Sales reps are more likely to successfully adapt what’s written in the sales playbook if the goals are short and to the point.
Get other people on board, but not too many
As a team, you won’t be the only one using and reading your sales playbook because other people also work alongside you with similar obligations.
You also want to draw on other people’s wisdom and experiences so that you can ensure that your sales playbook covers everything.
At the same time, you don’t want too many people involved. As the saying goes, “Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.” The same principle applies to writing a sales playbook.
Keep your co-writers to experts, staff, and managers who are directly related to the sales process. These are the people who will benefit from and be impacted the most by a sales playbook, so you’ll naturally want their input.
Gather information about buyer personas
Buyer personas are one of the first things studied in marketing school, and the team has to know about them.
By giving your team detailed information about your businesses buyer personas, you are placing them in a better position to know where leads are and how to get to them.
Keep in mind that information on buyer personas should be regularly updated as the business grows and the customer base includes more and more people.
Write down the plays in the sales playbook
You’ve reviewed your procedures, you’ve outlined your goals, you’ve got the necessary people on board, and you have given them the information they need.
The only step left is the most crucial part: Writing down the actual plays.
This is where everyone’s experience comes in. There is no cookie-cutter or blanket approach to making sales plays. Different things work for different industries with different people. It’s ultimately up to you to find the best plays that work for your team.
Still, it might be helpful for you to include some things in your playbook as a start.
First, you’ll want to lay out your plans to personalize content for your clients. Clients like feeling that their journey as a buyer is tailored to them. Based on how you know your clients, you’ll want to unify your approach as a team to make this approach personalized.
You’ll also want to include a play on how you qualify leads. The more your team uses a structured, unified approach, the more efficient you will be since everyone is on the same page. It also allows for more collaboration as your members can ask one another for help throughout the different stages of the buyers’ journeys.
Finally, you should also include some plays on closing sales. This is also where junior members of your team may find themselves most confused.
A playbook is an essential tool for any business team. It’s like having a handy reference that you can always turn to no matter what is happening in your business. We hope this has helped you get started on writing your own sales playbook.
Let us know how it works out for you!