Skip to main content

Our recent consulting work with several firms has reminded me of how critical it is for organizations to have a well-defined sales process documented in a sales playbook.

A good sales playbook accomplishes several objectives:

  • Defines your sales process and methodology—not only what you need to do but how to make it happen
  • Identifies how your process maps to your customer’s buying process
  • It tells you how to engage with a prospective customer
  • Accelerate sales effectiveness and accuracy

SFE has developed a formal training process called Sales Playbook, which has proven to be highly successful in quick onboarding new hires and sales teams selling complex product and service solutions. We cover several distinct areas that need to be integrated into the team’s Playbook during this process.

Employee reviewing plans

Customer Analysis

Identifies the market, key trends, essential buyers and influencers, a profile of the ideal customer, the customers’ pain points and preferences, and the critical business issues customers are trying to solve.

Buying Process

Identifies conditions or events that trigger consideration, evaluation, and purchase. What are the behaviors of a qualified lead?

Company Offer & Value Proposition

Describes and clarifies what your company offers and how your products and services address the customer’s pain points and business issues.

This is the place to explain why your company exists and how your company makes a difference to the customer and in the market. This section of the Playbook is not complete until it clearly answers two questions:

  1. “Why should people buy this product from you?”
  2. “What is the value they receive buying this product from you?”

This section will be dedicated to giving examples of questions that draw out the customer’s business needs and pain points. This section is also an excellent place to include use-case scenarios.

Competitive Analysis

Details how competitors position themselves in the market, their selling process, typical moves by each competitor, and recommendations on countering these moves.

Sales Methodology

Maps the customer buying process and outlines your sales process—the standard set of critical steps that move the customer to buy.

While this section should outline the sales cycle stages and responsibilities, it should go beyond just describing the steps in the sales cycle. It should provide instructions on what information needs to be collected at each stage, identify the players in each step, and assess the opportunity.

The opportunity assessment information should recommend standard methods and tools that help determine where customers are in the buying process, enable them to analyze the situation, and anticipate what they might do next. This section of the Playbook should also provide the guidelines for entering and exiting opportunities and a list of the resources, skills, knowledge, and tools needed for each stage in the process.

Countering Objections

Gives specific instruction on how to address each common objection sales might encounter.

Best Practices

Lists proven tips, techniques—and under what circumstances to use them. This section should also capture what hasn’t worked in the past and associated lessons learned.

Your Buyer Personas

A section that answers the question, “Who is my ideal prospect?”

By taking the time to integrate this information into your organization’s sales playbook – and make sure everyone is using it – your organization will set the stage for long-term sales success.

Contact Us to assess your sales process and help you develop your Sales Playbook.