At Enablix, we talk daily with marketers and sales enablers about ways they prep their sales team for success – and lately we’re seeing a common denominator: sales playbooks. Whether it’s created by marketing/SE for sales or generated by the sales reps themselves, it seems that most teams are creating custom sales playbooks for their reps to guide behavior – either small things like how to handle a meeting, or bigger topics like managing an entire sales cycles.
That’s why, last week, we teamed up with The Playbook House to discuss the potential for playbooks, what it really means to create and manage them, and how to actually use playbooks powered by sales and marketing content to drive revenue. Below is a quick recap alongside the full presentation and demo.
Part 1: What’s a Playbook, Anyway?
To start off, Nick and Morten reviewed what playbooks are, and how they apply to the sales team. Morten, the playbook expert himself, describes playbooks as (video at 2:43):
“There can be many different definitions of what a sales playbook actually is, but from our perspective, it’s a mix of different things:
- It’s a collection of assets. It’s a collection of the collateral that you have in your marketing department that you want to be used by your sales team within the sales cycle.
- It can also be used as a training center for you or for your sales people. It can provide guidance to how they could respond to different objections, how they manage and work with the KPIs, how to use different tools, how to respond on LinkedIn, etc.
- From our perspective, it can also be a collaboration tool. A tool where the sales people actually working together to improve each sale and the sales process. And in that regard, it really can ultimately be a way of work.
And really, to sum it up in one sentence, it’s really a guide to building a scalable, repeatable, and profitable, sales motion.“
A pretty all-encompassing definition, but it drives to the heart of why they’re critical – sales playbooks help the sales team more effectively work together by putting all of the best practices in one place. It can come in many formats and deliver many benefits, but at the end of the day if the team is collaborating together to make their lives easier, they’re probably using playbooks.
Part 2: Sales/Marketing Collateral - Necessary, But Hard To Use
Next, Nick talked through some of the issues that sales teams face in following playbooks that require them to use sales and marketing collateral. The issue isn’t so much that the playbooks are hard to find, but they require the rep to find and use sales content… which gets tricky. He explains:
“The issue that we have is in most of these playbooks, whether it’s the entire sales process or just prospecting, is the need for marketing content in one place or another. A playbook may say ‘Send this case study, or send anything from a case study to a blog that’s been written to a feature one pager for a recent release all the way down to a pricing sheet.’
And what we see in a lot of organizations is there’s almost a wall that appears. Because, for sales, the marketing content is floating everywhere, right? It’s on the website. It’s Google drive, it’s on individual people’s computers.
And then on the other side, marketing the team that is creating this content, has no idea what sales is doing. Are they using it? Are they not using it? Are they using the right assets? We see friction there. And that’s what we call misalignment between sales and marketing“
This sales and marketing misalignment costs real dollars for organizations using even the best sales playbooks. Sales cycles go too long, prospects get the wrong material, and deals often don’t close.
But if playbooks need sales content access, how do reps find and use it?
Part 3: Sales Playbooks Powered by Enablix
That’s why, at Enablix, our platform is made to easily integrate with the sales playbooks and tools that you’re using today. Just watch how Nick uses a playbook and finds sales content within his existing flow:
We had a lot of fun discussing sales playbooks with The Playbook House. If you’re using sales playbooks today and are unsure of how to inject sales and marketing content, or you’re trying to get your head around the best way to organize sales and marketing content, let us know!