In this week’s Monday Morning Motivator you’ll get:
Sales Playbooks are a big investment in time. A well-done, comprehensive one will be around 60-80 pages long if written or 16-20 modules if done by video. It’s essentially a training manual for new salespeople and a reference manual for all salespeople.
I remember the day I realized I needed a sales playbook or I was going to fall apart… fast. I was training 3-5 new salespeople per week and I couldn’t be in the classroom all day. If I pulled my managers out of the field I’d take a hit on my best producers’ sales.
But it was very important to me that my new salespeople, who took a risk to come on board and start selling for a startup, get the same comprehensive step-by-step training I gave all my other salespeople to this point… so comprehensive it took 12 hours to deliver and was unstainable at the pace we were growing.
I later realized that I didn’t have to wait this long to create it! But no one told me I needed one, or even suggested it. My mentors had all done this face-to-face and, while I didn’t want to lose that 1:1 time building relationships with new salespeople, it was going to stunt our growth if I couldn’t scale my training program and we didn’t have time to spare.
It turned out that by “outsourcing” the repetitive parts of training to a sales playbook I was able to scale faster than any of my mentors had because I could focus on the part of launching new salespeople that only I could do: develop a personal relationship and gain their trust. I could do that more effectively because I wasn’t under pressure to cram in twelve hours of material into our time together.
You can see why I’m excited to share it with you now so you can have the same results.
Sales Playbooks are known to increase closed deals by up to 60% just by having one! But, if not created correctly, your salespeople won’t use it and, though you’ll still benefit from the process of creating it, you won’t see the impact that a great playbook can have on your team.
Here are the 3 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Sales Playbooks:
Mistake #1: Not being comprehensive enough
a. Create an expert in one week or less: Your sales playbook needs to make your salespeople an experts in a short period of time so they can serve your customer. That means they need to understand the problem, the solution, and the competitors better than your customer.. Make sure the playbook includes a full background on the customer, the problem, the universe of solutions, your category of solutions and how you sit amongst your competitors. It can be embarrassing to a salesperson to be in front of a prospect and not know how they stack up against a big competitor when asked.
b. A one-stop-shop: In order to be a reference manual for new and existing salespeople, it needs to be up-to-date and have everything housed within it, including links to other places. If it’s not, they’ll lose trust and still feel they need to ask you every question, instead of referring to the playbook first. So, no more multiple folders with bits and pieces all over the place. One spot. Whether a video playbook or written, you need to make a commitment to keep it up-to-date so you can launch people quickly and make it easy for them to find the resources they need.
Mistake #2: Not providing word-for-word written scripts
Often I see short slide-deck versions of sales playbooks that don’t include word-for-word scripting of how to conduct a discovery meeting or sales presentation.
a. Why scripts are important: Scripts are important because they take the guesswork out of choosing the right words for new salespeople. Often the first question you’ll be asked is, “But what do I say???” They want to know the words, so give it to them.
b. Scripts save the time of trial and error: Scripts are not intended to be read in front of customers, but to be practiced and rehearsed so thoroughly that they become natural for your salespeople to deliver. If your sales strategy is already closing deals consistently at 60-80%, then you have already created a script through trial and error. The purpose of the playbook is to save new salespeople that trial and error and get them launched quickly.
c. Time-saving Tip: If the thought of writing out your whole sales process word-for-word is overwhelming, then record your next demo or presentation with a client. Record all the conversations leading up to it as well (if you’re doing face-to-face presentations you can record it in your pocket as long as it just for internal use). Then upload them to YouTube as private (only you can view) or Unlisted (only people you share the link with can find it), and after about the time it takes to watch the video, YouTube will automatically generate transcriptions. You can find them by clicking on the three buttons under your video when you’re viewing it logged into the owner’s account. Then copy and paste them into a document so you can edit them. You’ll want to share both the video and the script in your playbook.
Mistake #3: No Video or Audio Samples
The last one is there are no links to actual videos or audio examples of the playbook in action.
a. Why this is important: The more you can provide on this front the better. Especially if you have recordings in front of live customers. This helps bring what’s on paper to life for the salesperson so they can appreciate not only the words, but HOW they’re delivered. As we know, 90% of communication is non-verbal, so your salespeople have to see you in action to watch the 90% of how the sale is actually made.
b. Time-Saving Tip to Keep your Videos Up-to-date: If you have a written sales playbook, include a link to an unlisted YouTube video of your demo. Create a subdomain for your demo, like salesdemo.mycompany.com, and forward it to the current demo on YouTube. Whenever you upload an updated version, just update the forwarding link and wherever you’ve already shared the subdomain, it will always be redirected to the most up-to-date demo. If you have a video playbook, you can use an embed code from a video hosting company like Wistia that allows you to update the video without changing the embed code or links, so you never have to worry that your salespeople are looking at outdated material again!
If you start applying these tips to your sales playbook right now, you get to see the massive impact that your sales playbook can have on the growth of your sales team and your sales. For us, that meant generating over $100M in revenue in three years. What might it mean for you?
Remember, I’m always here to help so make sure you check some of my free resources and ask how I can help you create your sales playbook side-by-side together!
Have a great week!
Have a great week!
CEO, JPM Sales Partners
Creator of The Sales Launch Code: Six weeks from startup to conversion machine
© JPM Partners, LLC