Sales Strategies

Six Tips for a Sales Playbook

By Greta Schulz

Do you have a playbook for your sales organization? If you don’t, how do you know your sales representatives are being successful? The obvious answer is that they meet and exceed goals, right? Well, partly. If that is your only barometer, then how do you know it will continue? How do you create a repeatable process to make sure it does? More important, if success is not continuing, how do you know what to analyze to see the mistakes?

The implementation of a sales playbook can be one of the most effective initiatives for any sales organization. There are several reasons for this tremendous return on investment. By following some simple processes, it can be a remarkably easy initiative to implement. There often is more than 33 percent increased revenue. Here are six considerations.

1. Repeatable winning sales processes.

The key word here is “repeatable.” When everyone adopts the same sales process, there is a common language that is understood.

2. Consultative selling is the only way to sell in today’s environment.

No one wants to be pitched a product or service. The psychology of people must be taken into consideration in sales today. Getting someone to see past your price, your competition, etc., is done consultatively.

3. The ability to manage a team with true consistency.

Having a playbook will map out ways to help both managers and representatives identify successes and challenges, so learning can be implemented.

4. Sales steps at appropriate stages for progress.

At each stage of the sales process, salespeople must employ the right tools at the right time to advance the sale to the next stage. A business-to-business sale usually is not a single event, so the sale needs strong mini-closes all along the way.

5. Integration with your CRM system.

The playbook must integrate tightly with the organization’s customer relationship management system, so when a salesperson works from the top of the sales funnel downward, the sales manager can understand where in the process the salesperson is at any time.

6. Sales forecast ability.

There are two things to consider. Does the sales playbook incorporate intelligence that objectively monitors the close date of the sale? Does the sales playbook provide the sales manager with insight into risks in the sale?

Sales is a social skill, but if you leave it up to your salespeople to use their personalities and their guts to sell, you are taking a big risk. Today, selling is as much of a process as any other part of your organization. If it isn’t treated that way, your results will suffer. ♦

Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting and training firm. She is the best-selling author of “To Sell is NOT to Sell” and works with Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips, go to schulzbusiness.com and sign up for “GretaNomics,” a weekly video tip series, or email sales questions to greta@schulzbusiness.com.

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