Can every member of your sales team deliver strong value propositions and elevator pitches that address a prospect’s needs while building credibility and peaking interest? Is your team consistent and effective in their approach strategies, both individually and collectively?
Many CEOs and VPs of Sales would struggle giving a resounding “YES!” to these questions, which brings up today’s topic of the importance of a sales playbook, one of SRi's most best-selling sales consulting deliverables.
A sales playbook, as defined by SRi, is a suite of customized sales tools mapped to an organization’s sales process with a purpose of outlining WHAT you sell, WHO you sell to, and HOW you sell it. When done right, a sales playbook will turn a scattered direct or inside sales force into a formidable selling machine, with easy-to-use tools and clearly-outlined steps for how to approach a new prospect.
Sales playbooks are multi-purpose; they are the best way to ramp a new salesperson, are useful for existing reps to learn the latest best practices and tactics, and are a good reference for everyone involved in a sale, allowing for a consistent approach that doesn’t confuse or turn off a prospect.
The benefits of a playbook are numerous; read on for our top five benefits, and unique approach to the playbook concept.
1. Identify “A” Players: As someone in sales management, you have surely dealt with underperforming sales staff at least once, and likely much more than that. Oftentimes, poor performance is due to a lack of understanding about your company’s messaging and process. A playbook, when combined with proper training, can help these people turn into key players that understand the in’s and out’s of your industry, overall organization and sales organization. On the flip side, it can also reveal people who are resistant to change, allowing management to take proper measures.
2. Increase Consistency: With every member of your sales team using the same sales tools and process, efficiency will increase, allowing for lower lead times. Additionally, everyone will echo the same messaging to their prospects throughout the sales process, providing clarity and eliminating mixed messages and confusion.
3. Improve Positioning: Give your company and its services a boost by speaking the language of the prospect, and knowing your competitors. Sales tools such as a competitive overview and definitions of industry lingo allow the sales person to establish a common language among themselves and the prospect, and strongly pit themselves alongside your competitors.
4. Prospect Better: Any good sales person is driven by the excitement of the chase. While this is a valuable skill, it can also hinder a sales person if they are chasing the wrong prospects. Quit wasting time, energy and money by determining what your company’s sweet spot is and the target prospects within it. Once ideal prospects are identified and profiled, sales tools portraying your company and product as the clear solution to their unique pain points should be used.
5. Close More Sales: Master the final, and often the most difficult, step in the lead process by capturing your prospect’s attention, overcoming their objections, and convincing them that your solution is the one that they need. Sales tools such as a strong capabilities presentation or demo, elevator pitches and value propositions, and campaigns/special offers are some of the tools used to close the sale, however they must be highly credible in order to prove their worth.
SRi takes a unique approach to the sales playbook concept with our Paint-the-Picture® program, which includes an in-depth discovery of the sales organization, information-gathering workshops, a collection of 15-20 customized tools gathered into a playbook, and a final training session to get the entire sales team onboard. While we recommend developing a Winning Sales Process™ along with a new playbook, our playbooks can be matched to an existing process for a more cost-effective solution.
If you're looking to improve sales efficiency and effectiveness in 2016, contact us to learn additional benefits and determine if a playbook is right for you.