What is a Sales Playbook?
So what is a sales playbook? Let's start with what a sales playbook isn't. A sales playbook is not a 90-page PDF with every possible detail a salesperson might need to know about a product, solution or industry. Marketers and product leaders often find that salespeople don't access that type of “playbook” for a number of reasons including the challenging nature of finding the right content and lack of attention span.
What Goes in a Sales Playbook
Salespeople are notoriously “just in time” – meaning that when they have a meeting in a couple of hours, they will grab whatever they can get to quickly that's helpful for preparing. We've found that salespeople value content in four areas, and those four areas become the building blocks of an ideal playbook structure:
What to Know gives the salesperson clarity on what they're selling, who they're selling to, and the world of the customer audience in a way that's practical and creates focus.
What to Do gives the basic steps, strategies, and tactics that will ensure effective engagement before, during, and after any sales conversation.
What to Say gives conversation tracks, messages, questions, and stories that can lead to a compelling conversation connecting with the customer emotionally.
What to Show gives visuals like a whiteboard, infographic, or video that creates “stickiness” through visuals, making the customer conversation memorable.
How to Package a Sales Playbook
What can turn an okay sales playbook into a great sales playbook is the packaging. The elements of packaging we find to be most critical:
Web-based: Playbooks need to be easily accessible by salespeople, from wherever they are, on whatever device.
Interactive: The opposite of 90-page PDFs. In one or two clicks salespeople can get to the specific message, insight, talk track, or other material that is needed in the moment. Salespeople should also have the ability to rate content’s helpfulness, provide feedback, and share alternative content.
Video-based: Like all modern human beings, salespeople learn quickly through video. Watching someone share insights or demonstrate sales conversation best practices can often be more effective than trying to absorb the same information by reading explanations.
Evergreen: Sales playbooks need content consistently updated with the latest and greatest sales messaging tools. Consistent updates give salespeople a reason to revisit the sales playbook to learn more.