The Mansfield Sales Blog

Your Sales Playbook: Key Elements to Include

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.
  • Tells you how to engage with a prospective customer.
  • Accelerate sales effectiveness and accuracy.

Mansfield has developed a formal training process called Sales Playbook that has proven to be extremely successful in quickly onboarding new hires and sale teams who are selling complex product and service solutions. During this process, we cover several distinct areas that need to be integrated into the team’s playbook.

Customer Analysis

Identifies the market, key trends, key 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 the ways in which 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?”

Part of 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 a good 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 how to counter these moves.

Sales Methodology 

Maps the customer buying process, and outlines your sales process—that is, 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 in the process, identify the players in each step, and how to 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.

To understand more about Why You Need a Sales Playbook, check out our previous post, Sales Process: Why You Need a Playbook.

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

Topics: Sales Strategy

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