How to Create a Sales Playbook
Let’s face it. The world of sales is complex and busy. From understanding territories, keeping track of conversations with prospects and customers, and moving deals through the sales cycle, sales teams have to juggle a lot of day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. It’s no small feat, which is why the best sales teams establish sales policies and procedures.
A sales playbook helps sales teams sell more efficiently and therefore improve your organization’s bottom line. That’s because a sales playbook outlines and includes repeatable steps that sales reps should follow to keep operations running smoothly. These processes and procedures provide clarity on how to engage with customers, acquire new customers, and expand relationships with existing customers. Every sales process playbook should also include definitions for company-specific terminology to make sure everyone’s on the same page. It should also go without saying that it’s extremely important for your sales playbook to thoroughly explain each step to eliminate the risk of confusion.
Why Do Organizations Need a Sales Process Map and Playbook?
If you’re a sales leader, you’re likely familiar with the seven-step sales process, also known as the selling cycle. This framework moves a prospective buyer from an early stage in the pipeline, like awareness, to a closed sale. However, your team also needs a sales process template that breaks down the policies and procedures that we mentioned earlier for even greater success. This type of sales resource can positively impact your sales team and promote ongoing growth for your entire company. While there are a number of reasons why you should have an established sales action plan, here are some of our favorite benefits.
Improves sales onboarding and training
Since a sales playbook outlines everything from who your customers are to how they buy your products and everything in between, new reps can easily and quickly reference it to learn new information. A playbook also streamlines training in a way that gives reps access to information as they need it instead of learning, and likely forgetting, everything at once.
First, a sales handbook gives your entire sales team the actionable steps they need to take in every deal. This ensures that every teammate marches to the beat the same drum and ultimately creates a consistent salesforce. Once everyone becomes familiar with each step of the process, they’ll feel confident and comfortable with their roles, which means you’ll likely see improved efficiency as well.
Like any team and any organization, employees need a clear understanding of what they’re responsible for and what they’re held accountable for. By giving your sales team a sales handbook that clearly outlines what they’re responsible for, you’ll reduce the risk of confusion for existing and new employees.
When your sales team fully understands the tasks and processes they need to follow, they can focus on what they do best: selling. A thorough and clear sales process makes it easier to keep track of deals, approach new customers, and succeed overall. Simply put, a sales process template guides every sales team to close more deals and do better work.
How to Create a Sales Handbook with a Sales Playbook Template
If you don’t have a well-defined sales process, have no fear! There are a few steps that any sales leader can take to create an effective sales handbook. First, consider talking to the people who know the ins and out of sales the most—your sales representatives. While you may be inclined to just talk to the most seasoned and successful members, it’s also beneficial to talk to newer reps. These conversations can remove the guesswork of what steps your reps are currently taking and where there may be room for improvement.
Once you have a better understanding of the sales process that your teammates are currently following, you can dive even deeper. For some, that may mean documenting and mapping out your sales process on your own and with your team. But, others may want to start with a rubric or sales process template that lays the groundwork for them. No matter which route you take, we’ve got some examples to help you get started.