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All business-to-business organizations that have excelled in their sales performance have one thing in common - a comprehensive B2B sales playbook. A sales playbook is the collection of all secret sauces that the sales team uses to convert a lead.
Here is a detailed guide for creating a full-scale B2B sales playbook.
What is a B2B Sales Playbook?
A B2B sales playbook complies with various sales guidelines and processes that help the sales teams to attract high-quality leads, engage prospects, address their objections, negotiate better, and close more deals. Ideally, a sales playbook includes the target buyer persona, tried and tested sales processes, and the main KPIs for the sales team.
A sales playbook works as a roadmap for B2B sales professionals. If implemented right, it introduces higher efficiency to the sales team. In fact, it allows the sales managers to track the sales teams’ performance and identify the blockers in their current sales process.
Why should Businesses Consider Creating a B2B Sales Playbook?
Creating a sales playbook is time-consuming. In fact, most sales teams may not prioritize it as long as they keep generating leads.
However, the real-life scenarios say otherwise.
According to Salesforce, organizations with a well-documented sales playbook perform 33% better. Hence, as tedious as it may sound, creating a B2B sales playbook is worth it.
Here are a few benefits of creating a B2B sales playbook:
1. Speed-up the training process of new sales reps
Onboarding new sales professionals and training them with the sales technique is a must! Then again, this training process can take up weeks and even months. On the contrary, organizations can’t risk skipping this sales training as it can force the reps to follow senior reps’ selling techniques aimlessly. As a result, your brand will lack personalization.
In fact, following the same old strategies can increase the chances of repeating the mistakes. A B2B sales playbook documents enough information about the target customer profile, what works, and what doesn’t for the sales teams. As soon as a new sales rep is onboarded, sales managers can hand over the sales playbook to the rep to gain detailed insights into the organization’s sales process.
This will help them become well-versed with the sales techniques quickly and add distinctiveness to their selling process.
2. Scatter the most effective selling strategies
If a B2B sales team has already crafted some effective selling tactics, what’s the point in experimenting again and again? Sales managers should instead prioritize scattering these strategies across the team so that all reps can implement those.
A sales playbook documents all these strategies together and highlights which strategies can work for the reps in which scenario. Hence, closing high-value sales deals has become easier than ever for sales professionals.
3. Ensure that sales and marketing teams are on the same page
Sales and marketing teams should follow an aligned business strategy to achieve growth. However, most organizations have a hard time achieving this because they don’t have a well-documented sales process.
A B2B sales playbook can resolve this issue by clearly defining the sales objectives, which the marketing team can well understand. As a result, both teams can collaborate seamlessly without hindering the other team’s activities.
4. Free-up the sales representatives’ time
According to HubSpot, sales reps spend only one-third of their time selling. Sales managers should provide them with all possible resources to make the most of this time. Instead of biting around the bush, sales reps should focus on identifying stellar strategies to stand out in the competition.
A sales playbook contains unlimited resources and tips that simplify reps' jobs. From highly convertible sales pitch templates to discovery questions, it has everything a rep might need for their day-to-day sales activities. Hence, a B2B sales playbook can save sales reps time and help them focus more on selling.
Anatomy of a Perfect B2B Sales Playbook
The structure of a B2B sales playbook can vary from organization to organization. However, some common sections should be part of any B2B sales playbook:
1. Company information
A B2B sales playbook must contain all company information. Some of the essential organizational information to focus on are:
- The mission and value of the business. This will help sales personnel understand what your brand does, what their goal should be, and how they are different from their competitors.
- A detailed organizational chart of the sales department. This will help new sales personnel to understand whom they should report and who is the right person to clear their doubts.
- The training process followed by the company. This will help the sales personnel gain clarity over what is expected from them in the training phase and the onboarding process duration.
2. Product and pricing information
A good sales playbook must provide extensive information about products and pricing. Sales professionals are responsible for communicating pricing information with potential customers. Hence, this information is a must to simplify this communication for them.
Some of the pointers to include in this section are as follows:
- A clear description of your products and services
- The customer pain points your product can solve
- The differentiating factors between your products and that of competitors
- The pricing of each product
- Upsell/cross-sell opportunities
- Sales contracts (monthly, quarterly, etc.)
3. Sales processes and methodologies
This is the essential aspect of creating a B2B sales playbook.
In the sales process section, you must include all the tactics and technologies to follow throughout the B2B sales cycle. For example, if the first stage of the B2B sales cycle is lead generation, the sales playbook should discuss the tried and tested ways to generate leads for the organization. This could mean cold calling, cold emailing, cold social media outreach, etc.
Sales methodology on the other hand, sales methodology is the way to approach the prospects. Sales teams should include the sales best practices in this section to help the new reps. Some of the common factors to include in this section are:
- The sales model or framework you follow
- The mixed sales strategies you follow to close a deal
- Ways to align your sales strategies with your business goals
Cover sales methodologies and processes as broadly as possible so that there are is no room for doubt.
4. Target buyer persona
Sales reps should have in-depth information about who they are selling to. Some of the information about potential customers that should be part of your B2B sales playbook are as follows:
- Target industry type
- Target company size
- The geographic location of the prospects
- Contact details about decision-makers
- Target pain points and relevant solutions
This information will help the sales reps to understand the prospects inside-out. Hence, they can interact with the prospects confidently during sales calls and answer their questions thoroughly.
5. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
This section mentions the KPIs that your sales team should focus on. These could be deal size, lead conversion to generation ratio, time to close a deal etc. Once the reps know about the target KPIs, it will be easier for them to understand the expectations of the sales process.
Five Easy Steps to Create a B2B Sales Playbook
Here are the main steps to follow for creating the ideal B2B sales playbook for your organization:
Step 1: Identify brand’s USP
USP or Unique Selling Point is what differentiates your brand from the competitors. The sooner your target buyers are aware of the USP, the easier will be the decision-making process for them. So, the first and foremost step to creating a sales playbook is to find out the USP of your brand.
Some of the best ways to identify your USP quickly are as follows:
- Brainstorm new ideas with the team
- Analyze your competitors extensively to find the gaps in their offerings
- Identify your weaknesses and find a way to work on them with your strengths
- Develop the key differentiating factors for your brand and translate them into the right words to create a USP
Step 2: Create your target buyer profile
The next critical part of a sales playbook is to include the target buyer profile. A buyer profile or user persona must include as much detail about the target buyers as possible. For example, include industry type, company size, key decision-makers, location, pain points, etc.
Wondering where to get all this information? The key is to conduct in-depth user research. Here are a few research tips for creating a detailed buyer persona:
- Talk to the customer success team. The customer success team interacts directly with customers and is completely aware of your customers' needs.
- Interact with your existing customers and conduct surveys to understand their preferences related to your existing offerings.
- Search across various social media platforms to find out the common concerns of potential customers and figure out how you can solve these challenges.
- Check the analytics of your social media platforms closely to find out who is engaging with your profile and how you can convert them into customers.
Step 3: Assign the right tasks to the right team members
Preparing the ideal sales playbook requires both time and effort. Make sure to assign the right tasks to the right owners. Here are some of the key people who can play major roles in creating your sales playbook:
- Sales leaders and managers - Sales leaders and managers have years of experience with sales processes. They are the right people to help with sales processes and methodologies for the playbook.
- Marketing team members - Marketing teams already have the buyer persona prepared. Hence, sales teams can collaborate with them on that front. Additionally, marketing teams can also help write content for the playbook as efficient content creators are part of this team.
- Technical specialists - Sales teams may need to collaborate with technical specialists to understand various tools and their user guides.
Step 4: Prepare sales scripts
B2B sales representatives need to participate in various outbound activities like cold calling, cold emailing, social media outreach and so on. A playbook should include scripts for these outbound activities. Senior sales professionals can help in creating convertible scripts for new sales reps. In fact, a smart way to approach this is through creating a reusable template that reps can customize as per requirements.
Step 5: Improve consistently
An “ultimate” sales playbook doesn’t exist. Sales trends are changing, and accordingly, the sales playbook must also change. Hence, updating the sales playbook regularly is a good practice. As your business grows, there will be new opportunities to explore, new prospects to meet and new objections to handle. Sales teams should continue to update these factors in the sales playbook to make it a valuable resource.
Create your B2B Sales Playbook with Salesken
Finding it hard to create a B2B sales playbook? How about using an advanced, feature-rich, SaaS solution to automate your sales playbook?
Yes, it is possible with Salesken.
Salesken can be your sales team’s best friend and help by:
- Providing real-time sales cues which are spread across the sales playbook of each individual organization.
- Summarizing high-intent prospect calls
- Providing actionable post-call intelligence across 14 playbook dimensions and other selling best practices which are widely accepted across industries
- Assessing performance of the sales reps and providing the right coaching recommendations
With information available from different successful and unsuccessful calls and other sources, Salesken auto-generates an ideal sales playbook. All that the sales reps and managers have to do is follow the recommendations provided by Salesken and WIN more.
Want to know how? Book a demo today!
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