Building Sales Playbooks: The Golden Rule

How do you make better playbooks?

I’ve created a lot of sales playbooks in my time, and have found that almost universally, there are a few components that make sales playbooks successful, they must be:

There are three components that matter: 1) Adoption 2) Adoption 3) Adoption. (like the number one rule in real estate)

  1. Engaging and easy to use – salespeople have short attention spans. Nothing against salespeople, it’s just that they have a lot of prospects to talk to and fill their pipeline, and not a lot of time to read dictionary-sized manuals. The key here, is would a human being actually want to use this playbook? Remember that salespeople are measured on sales (shocking, I know), not on their ability to follow a handbook. What I mean is that they don’t *have* to use your playbook, so you need to make them *want* to follow it. So consider how to make it fun and interesting – can you embed video? Add some humor? Use relatable stories and memorable sound bytes?
  2. Focused and concise – there is no shortage of sales collateral in most organizations. Most playbooks that I have seen are too long, too detailed, and too complex, which makes it too daunting for people to use. The hard part is selecting only the best materials. All killer and no filler.
  3. Useful and effective – typically, sales playbooks are created by people who are not in direct quota carrying roles. Often these are product marketing, sales effectiveness, or sales enablement roles. These people have tough jobs and are unsung heroes that enable other people to be successful, but they do not live the sales process every day, which means that they are sometimes more focused on what salespeople should be doing rather than what is working. The key here is to make sure you consult with salespeople directly in the creation of sales playbooks, to make sure that the guidelines and resources are actually effective.