What the Hell is a Sales Playbook?

Updated: Mar 10

Simply put, a sales playbook should be a sales rep's bible. They should sleep with it, eat next to it, and read it every night. A sales playbook is an aggregation of lots of different documents that will support the sales rep throughout the sales process. It should assist in all stages of a seller's journey from prospecting, cold calling, demonstrating, to overcoming objections, negotiation, and closing the deal.


Similar to the way a quarterback studies a playbook in football, a sales rep should study their sales playbook to understand in detail what they are selling and how to sell it. A sales playbook should empower the sales rep to be a high performer. If done right, the sales playbook is a living, breathing set of documents. As new challenges arise, add them to the playbook. As the pitch is tweaked and changes, update the playbook.


So what's in a sales playbook?


3 things: Who are they selling to? What are they selling? and How are they selling it?


1. Who are they selling to?


This section should contain detailed information about your market, your ideal customer profile, and your buyer personas. How big is our market? Who is the competition? Who are our top customers?


2. What are they selling?


This section will contain product info. What pain does our product solve? What is our pricing model? What does a product demo look like? What kinds of marketing collateral do we have?


3. How are they selling it?


These are the actual plays. How do we prospect? What is our outreach cadence? What are the common objections? Do we use cold calling scripts? What does a contract look like?


The sales playbook becomes a detailed "how-to" when it comes to selling your product or services. It will serve as training documentation for new reps, coaching topics for sales managers, and conversation starters for weekly team meetings.


Every single organization should have a sales playbook. It takes lots of time and effort to put a great sales playbook together but it pays off in droves if done right and used properly.

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