A scoop of ice cream is good. But a hot fudge sundae? Great.
When you create a sales playbook, it’s a little like picking between the two. You can have your ice cream – a playbook that arms your sales reps with the steps in your process, your company details, your competitive intelligence, your objections, your customer stories and more. It gets the job done well enough. It’s good.
But good can always be better. You can go a step further. You can do great. You can have that hot fudge sundae.
Greatness isn’t just a nice-to-have. Today’s buyers are different. They do hours of research and scope out the market themselves before ever talking to a salesperson. They’re not looking for product specs or market information – they have enough of that already. They want an expert to help them sort through the noise and fix a problem, not to pitch them a solution.
Sales is also one of those roles where time is, quite literally, money. Hours wasted are dollars wasted. Aa few minutes here and there add up and can impact the bottom line.
Your playbook needs to keep up – so your reps can keep up, too. More than describing how to sell, it should actively help your reps along the way. It’s not just there to be consumed. It’s like a friend that has their back when they need it most, that pulls your team together, that saves you even more time and makes everyone’s job easier (yours included).
Create A Sales Playbook That’s Your Version Of A Sundae
Micro-content your reps can create + find + remember
Micro-content is all about bite-sized bits of highly targeted chunks of content (think one or two quick sentences, a few bullet points, a 20-second video, an image, an audio file, a checklist) that can be smartly combined together to serve your reps, whatever they’re doing.
A great playbook enables micro-content, and arms reps with the resources they need to dig deeper if necessary. On a call with a client who raises a specific objection? Gab the answer without hesitation in seconds, not minutes. Need to prepare for an upcoming call with a client in a specific industry? Give yourself a refresher you’ll remember with an at-a-glance overview of top personas and concerns.
Good: Creating content geared towards your sales team and mapped to your sales process.
Great: Breaking that content down into micro-content that surfaces just the most important, sales-ready nuggets when they’re needed the most.
Collaborative ideas from your whole team
If your information flows only one way – from top to bottom of your sales organization – your whole business is missing out on a ton of fantastic knowledge from the front lines. After all, who knows what works and what doesn’t better than the reps who eat, sleep and breathe your sales process day in and day out?
With a collaborative playbook, everyone on the team can organically weigh in on content and learn from your best tried-tested-and-true tips and tricks. (This is a great place to capture your tribal knowledge, by the way!)
Good: Asking your reps for the resources they find most helpful, from their favourite podcasts to the email templates that work best for them.
Great: Trusting and allowing your reps to independently share those resources directly to your playbook themselves.
Embracing the embed with different media formats
Why share a link to a video, image, website or soundbite when you can just embed the whole thing right into your playbook? After all, no one wants to scroll through a wall of text (no matter how great that text is).
By putting the “multi” in “multimedia,” you not only help your playbook look better and add visual interest to your content, but you also cater to the different ways your reps learn and remember information – and lets them customize their approach with prospects and leads depending on how they prefer to consume information, too.
Good: Creating sales content in different formats, and making them available to your reps in your playbook.
Great: Making those formats an integrated part of your playbook so reps don’t need to open new links or switch windows to read, listen, watch or share.
Updates created the dynamic way
When you hit “save” on your PDF, your content’s essentially frozen in time until you go back in and give it an update. When you finish with a Google Doc, same deal. In both cases, your content’s static – and if you ever want to update a product detail, combine different elements and remix your resources, it’s editing time – which, let’s face it, is a lot of work.
Not so much for playbooks that feature modular, flexible and movable content. So if you want to add a resource to multiple areas of your playbook, it’s as simple as surfacing the source in multiple areas. If you want to shift them around? Drag, drop, and done. If you want to update a detail, you need to change only a single source rather than hunting down 500 different places where it’s mentioned.
Good: Making content easily editable so when you need to make changes, it doesn’t require reinventing the wheel.
Great: All but eliminate the time it takes to make updates and revisions with a modular design that points back to a single source of truth.
Play nice with your other tech
Look at the current sales tech landscape – it’s huge. With at least 950 participants in areas ranging from online meeting and pipeline management to content repositories and sales gamification, the risk of creating a Frankensteinian sales tech stack is real. If you create a sales playbook that doesn’t fit into your ecosystem, it’s just another resource reps need to check – and that time and effort add up.
Integration makes everything just a little bit smoother, especially if your playbook can pull in and connect with different places where your sales information lives. That means, when you need that vital piece of information, reps don’t need to go looking across every shared drive and cloud solution, because everything’s accessible from one central place.
Good: Putting your sales content into one repository so reps don’t need to search around multiple platforms to find what they need.
Great: Automatically unite content by connecting directly with those other platforms and enabling sharing between them.
So… ice cream or sundae? The choice is yours. Our recommendation? Create a sales playbook that resembles your favourite sundae!