What is a sales playbook?

What is a sales playbook?

A sales playbook is a template that companies use to manage their sales process. It provides a step-by-step approach to focusing the efforts of the entire sales team on the activities where they create value for customers, and avoiding those activities where they do not.

A playbook’s ultimate goal is to drive revenue with limited resources (e.g. time and money) and to give new account executives a roadmap they can follow to ramp up quickly and hit their targets.

Good playbooks are results focused: they lay out a vision of business success, and then translate that vision into executable activities. The idea is to eliminate busywork for salespeople, so they can focus work on the things that matter most.

SaaS inside Sales Playbooks

Software sales leaders typically use SaaS sales playbooks and inside sales playbooks when implementing new sales processes or repositioning an existing sales process. A playbook contains guidance for both sales reps and managers, identifying the activities where they can maximize their impact and also meet revenue goals.

Examining the customer’s buying journey in a systematic way helps a sales team focus on areas where it will create value for customers. Imagine that you want to implement a new sales process in your company. You want your salespeople to do their best work, and you don’t want them wasting time on low-value activities. 

You start by analyzing the overall sales process in a methodical fashion.

building a sales playbook

Here’s is a rough outline for a SaaS Inside Sales Playbook Template

1) Identify the activities that make up your process

2) Assign scores to each activity based on how much revenue they can drive.

3) Assign scores to each activity based on how much time they take.

4) Identify which activities score high on both criteria, and can be carried out profitably and with a positive impact on the customer journey.

5) Eliminate unprofitable activities from your sales process

6) Refine your sales “player” tools (e.g. training materials, sales playbooks, sales scripts) to ensure that they support the new process

The winning activities from Step 5 and the winning tools from Step 6 form your playbook.

Playbooks are built on “what” you do (e.g. activity or tool), not “how” you do it (process or method). You can change the how if your playbook produces high-value results.

Playbooks are a useful tool for sales leaders who want to minimize the time and effort spent on low-impact activities and maximize revenue potential. They help teams focus on doing what really matters most, and give them clear guidance on how best to do it.

A well-designed sales playbook is a useful tool for any company where sales people are focused on revenue generation.

Sales Playbook Examples

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Hiring, training and supervising sales reps are all part of an organization’s individual playbooks. The specific activities you should undertake will differ depending on the marketing channels you use and your unique mix of existing products and services, but they all need a plan created by someone in the company. As an example, let’s look at how two different organizations might develop their sales rep playbooks to sell into a large organization:

#1 Sales Playbook When An existing product or service is sold

A customer needs to buy new software for its data processing department. It is looking around and has figured out all the details of what it needs and it has also interviewed all its vendors, the only thing it hasn’t done yet is to pick a vendor.

#2 Sales Playbook when A new product or service is sold

A customer needs to buy a new software package for its data processing department and it already knows everything about what it wants. However, this time the customer has not yet made up its mind to buy. It is looking for a vendor that has the best fit and most competitive price.

When these two situations are handled by salespeople, they need to be guided by different playbooks. If the customer needs a product or service that you already offer, then it comes down to the sales rep getting familiar with the new features of your product or service and being able to present the advantages they have over your competitors. This presentation needs to be made in a convincing way that will make the customer buy.

If you are trying to sell something completely new, then there is an entirely different set of actions that need to take place in order for you to get a sale. In this case, the sales reps need to find a way to get an appointment. They also will have to do the research and understand why their product or service might be of interest to the customer, so that they can position themselves in a way that connects with the customer’s needs. With a newly launched product or service you are basically putting together your sales playbook from scratch.

If you want help automating your playbook so you can ramp up reps faster, spend less time on management and close more deals in less time, grab a free demo of Glance Software, a command center for your sales team.

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