So you built a sales playbook. Great job! That puts you a step ahead of many of your competitors, and it’s a powerful resource for driving ongoing sales improvement.
I have some bad news for you – if you don’t have a process for pruning your playbook, its value will drop by the month.
Why? If your sales playbook has the ideal combination of processes, policies, and best practices, they will naturally change over time.
Maybe you added a new role in the marketing department, so the way leads are handled has changed. Or your product mix has changed – new products launched and older ones removed. Or one of your reps discovered an absolutely bulletproof way to respond to a prospect’s objection. Or the brochures and product information sheets you uploaded have been updated.
If all of these changes are happening outside the sales playbook, salespeople won’t trust it to have accurate information. And if they don’t trust the playbook, they won’t use it.
You can avoid this natural decline by applying a basic principle of gardening to your sales playbook – pruning it!
Here are 3 basic principles for pruning your sales playbook.
1. Remove dead content.
This is the most basic, and one of the most important steps. On a regular basis (we recommend quarterly, or monthly if you have a big team and an active playbook), review all of the content in your playbook and remove or archive anything that is no longer applicable. Announcements about past events, outdated marketing and product materials, old processes, and anything else that’s wrong should be gone.
2. Graft in new content.
Along the same lines, you’ll want to add new content where appropriate. If you removed an old brochure, add the new one. Sometimes this will involve a simple switch, while other times you’ll be adding entirely new content. Make sure the sales playbook is fresh and current!
3. Plan for future growth.
This is the fun part! When you’ve completed the first two steps of pruning, take a step back. How is the sales playbook growing? What areas do you need that you’ve neglected? What areas could be merged or changed? What major initiatives are coming, and how can the playbook help the team prepare? It’s important to take a strategic perspective and consider the role the playbook will have for your team.
We hope you’ve been inspired to get out your pruning shears! Share your feedback and ideas for pruning sales playbooks in the comments.