A team is as good as its leader. Think of a soccer team; before they go into the field, they meet with their coach to discuss the strategy. They know whether they are playing a defensive or offensive game. They understand the other team and are aware of the tactics they are most likely to use. These kinds of game plans often take months to strategize, but they are integral to the game's success. The same is true for the business world. You can't expect your salespeople to convert prospects into clients if they don't have a strategic B2B sales plan. Yes, they have the relevant knowledge and experience but is their strategy customized to your unique business needs? Are the salespeople aware of your preferred sales practices? This is where a B2B sales strategy playbook comes into play.
We have compiled a comprehensive guide on how you can create a sales strategy game plan that's tailored to your business. It also covers the general steps you should take to organize your legacy knowledge, make it easy for new salespeople to absorb and practice sales skills, and revise the content over time.
What is a B2B Sales Strategy Playbook?
One of the major mistakes business owners make is adopting an 'anything goes' mindset when it comes to their sales team. While this might get you results, the team won't be optimally efficient. Remember that every salesperson has their preferred mode of closing deals, and sometimes, this may not align with your business objectives. The team also lacks unity since every member implements their preferred B2B sales strategy, which can cause organizational friction.
A B2B sales strategy playbook is more than a simple sale sheet. It's a guideline that helps your sales team tackle their biggest challenge; coming up with a new pitching angle every time they want to convert a new client. It contains all your sales processes and lays out your objectives in a clear manner. A B2B sales strategy playbook also includes a detailed description of who your ideal customers are, explains the roles and responsibilities of the sales team, and lists the main KPIs.
Think of it as a framework that helps your sales team achieve their optimal selling shape. Sales playbooks also enhance productivity among the team and reduce onboarding for new hires. Think of it as a road map for your B2B sales strategy.
When implemented right, a sales playbook ensures that none of the closed deals is random and that if any prospect doesn't convert, the salesperson can trace their steps back to the touchpoint where things went wrong. This is why it's shocking that almost 50% of the sales teams don't have a playbook.
Why Should You Create a Sales Playbook?
You're probably wondering, 'why should I care? I'm getting sales anyway!"
Well. Here's a statistic to start you off; according to Salesforce, companies that have a flexible and well-defined playbook perform 33% better than organizations that don't and have a win rate of more than 50%. This could be you!
Some of the main benefits of having a B2B sales strategy playbook include;
It allows your team to implement the most successful selling techniques.
Part of creating a B2B sales strategy playbook involves analyzing the strategies that are working and those that don't. If you identify an employee whose sales processes are almost always effective, you can make it part of your business's standard of operation by including it in the playbook.
It streamlines the onboarding process.
Training of new sales reps is often time-consuming and expensive. The onboarding process roughly takes 3 to 6 months, and this is by far the most critical time for your business. If you don't provide the new salesperson with enough training, they will be forced to learn on the job or shadow an experienced rep. The problem with this strategy is that if the other salesperson makes mistakes, the new hire will also copy them.
Leaves the sales personnel with more time to make sales.
A study revealed that salespeople spend a third of their time searching for the best content, another third working on administrative tasks. This means that only a third of their time is spent making actual sales. This is such a waste! A B2B sales strategy playbook contains the relevant resources your sales team will need, including the questions they should ask the prospects and ready-made messages. This frees up more time for selling.
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