Identifying just exactly what is a sales playbook can be the first steps that a sales manager can take to get to the next level. In this article, we will discuss just what a sales playbook is and some benefits from using one.
What is it?
The easiest way to think about what a sales playbook is is to think about a playbook for a football team. Even if you do not know much about football, you may be able to picture a playbook being a binder full of different plays. Each play tells the players on the team what to do in different situations.
Similar to giving a binder of plays to each player on a football team, you can give a playbook to each member of a sales team. This would be a set of steps, directions, and materials that the sales person can use in the different situations that they find themself in.
Why use a playbook?
Part of knowing what is a sales playbook is is to know why to use one. If we go back to the football example, the goal is to win the game. In order to win, the team must perform at an optimum level.
They could just “wing it” when it is game time and rely on their instinct and natural ability and see where things go. Or they can have a more structured approach with preparation ahead of time and a plan of what to do. It does not take much to agree that the latter approach will lead to better results and better attainment of the ultimate goal.
The same principles apply with sales and what is a sales playbook and that is that the goal is to win and that involves closing the deal and beating out the competition. And how we mentioned that a football team could use an approach with little preparation, that is actually one of the most common approaches that sales people use as they will commonly go through standard training and then primarily improvise when talking with prospects.
Why are playbooks not being used?
Didn’t the thought of a football team not using a playbook sound like a ridiculous idea? If we can say “yes” to that, then why are most sales people not using a playbook and concerned with what is a sales playbook.
There are three factors that prevent sales managers from implementing a playbook:
Do not need: Some sales managers believe that it is the only natural sales ability that is needed and that leads to success. They hire what they believe to be a natural sales person and give them product training, a territory, and a quota and then expect results.
Do not have time: Another factor is that it takes a level of effort and time to build a sales playbook and some managers chose to not make that investment.
Do not know where to begin: One very understandable reason is that sales managers simply do not know where to begin when it comes to putting together a sales playbook.