What do football, space travel, and high-performing sales teams have in common?

When the Arizona Cardinals need to know anything, they turn to their playbook. It's got everything players need – from how to stand ready on the football field to the precise blocking pattern for the Jet Technique.

Astronauts never leave their vessel without a detailed checklist, usually attached to the cuff of their spacesuit. It's crammed with diagrams and instructions in-situ, for the tasks ahead.

And top sales teams pay attention to the same kinds of details. They follow proven plays when it comes to things like outlining buyer personas, handling objections, and weighing competitive intelligence.

What all three share: that indispensable reference providing clear explanations for complex strategies. In other words, their playbook.

What is a sales playbook?

A sales playbook is the central place that has all the information your reps need to sell. It captures each play involved in moving a deal forward, and all knowledge reps need to pull those plays off.

It outlines things like:

  • Information about the products you sell
  • Details about the people you sell to
  • Steps in your sales process
  • Messaging, questions, and scripts
  • Samples and templates
  • Competitive and industry intelligence
  • On-demand resources for support
  • KPIs for your team

There isn’t one correct way to build a playbook. Whatever your reps need to know, that’s what you should put in there. But remember the focus is about capturing strategies that work and repeating them across your team.

Why playbooks matter

Building a playbook is an involved task that requires work to put together, and work to maintain. So how, exactly, does that effort pay off?

Make training more effective. You can bring new reps up to speed much faster when you spell out all the steps and strategies involved in closing a deal. When you start them off right, those new hires don't have to make guesses or develop bad habits.

Boost performance. Playbooks capture what your best reps do well and make best practices accessible to your whole team. A study from Aberdeen shows the best-performing companies are almost twice as likely to use playbooks than the low performers.

Save time. Reps spend a lot of time looking for – and only sometimes finding – information. With all your key plays held in one place, you slash time spent searching for knowledge and let reps get back to selling.

Consistent messaging. When all your reps reference the same source material (and when they can actually find what they’re looking for), you reduce the amount of content they create ad-hoc, on their own.

Meet expectations. Most customers do their homework before they reach out to a salesperson. They expect that salesperson to be even more knowledgeable than they are. A playbook helps reps prepare for calls and meet those high expectations.

Enter the modern playbook

Once upon a time, a sales playbook was a huge document stuffed in a three-ring binder. Finding information meant digging through 50, 60, even 70 pages. Remembering that information... that's a whole other challenge.

Today, sales processes are more complex and customer expectations are higher than ever. The old approach just doesn't cut it anymore.

Most playbooks have moved into the digital world, accessed as PDFs on shared drives or files organized in a central repository. But at Kiite, we believe a truly modern sales playbook can do much, much better.

Here’s what we’re most excited about:

Surfacing your hidden knowledge. What’s in the heads of your top performers? A modern playbook makes capturing tribal knowledge and sharing it across your team a priority, and a breeze.

Delivering the right micro-content. Your reps need specific information in-the-moment, so you should be able to surface it that way, too. Providing only the nuggets that matter, when they matter, is a huge improvement over that long document that takes hours to read.

Integrations with your best content. A solution that pulls in content across your tech ecosystem makes everything easily searchable. It also makes updates a cakewalk, since you only need to maintain that single source document.

AI-enabled insights. Not only does the modern playbook show you what reps are actually using in real time, but it can figure out what information you’re missing – and how you can fill those gaps.

What does a modern playbook look like in action? Let us show you. Not only can you register for our free trial, but we’ll give you access to over 50 templates to get you off to the right start.

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