6 Essential Parts of a Winning Sales PlayBook

September 5, 2019
6 Essential Parts of a Winning Sales PlayBook

What are the essential parts of a Sales PlayBook?

First, let's take a step back to understand the purpose of a Sales PlayBook.

A PlayBook is a collection of best practices and sales enablement materials a salesperson can reach for whenever they need.

As a sales leader, it’s in your best interest to develop a tool that'll support your sales team by helping them navigate through any roadblocks in their way.

But where should you start? Here are the 6 categories of a Sales PlayBook template to get you off on the right foot.

6 Essential Parts of a Winning Sales PlayBook

Let's jump in:

1. Prospecting – How to Build the Pipeline

Your best-in-class Sales PlayBook should start with information that'll help your salespeople improve prospecting behaviors.

In other words, develop lists of lead sources; networking best practices; expectations around asking for referrals; guidance for planning prospecting activity; and phone or email scripts.

If you have a 30-second commercial, add it in here too!

2. Selling – How to Close Business

Your Sales PlayBook should also contain a section on best selling practices for your products and services.

Remember, the PlayBook will be tested when salespeople pull it up during a challenging or unique situation. Be sure to organize your materials so that salespeople won’t have to dig for important information and align content with each step of your sales process.

Great content to gather or develop in this section includes common objections and pushbacks; clear descriptions of your products and services, especially for cross-selling; information on the problems you solve for your customers; how to follow up after a sales call; and how to deal with radio silence.

3. Support – Sales Management, Marketing & Operations

Sales don't occur in a vacuum.

Your Sales PlayBook will be that much more powerful if you include material on effective sales management practices; marketing collateral; and requirements or guidelines from operations.

If it supports or enables the sales process, put it in your PlayBook.

4. System – CRMs, ERPs, etc.

For most organizations, the obvious choice here is CRM.

You’ll want to include expectations and instructions for your CRM and any other systems your salespeople use (ERP, email, time reporting, etc).

Additionally, you may want to add indicating reports or queries salespeople should run within the system to improve their productivity!

5. Team – How Can A Sales PlayBook Help Us Collaborate?

This area is often overlooked, but critical for top performing sales teams.

Unfortunately, managers aren’t always sure how to include this in their PlayBooks – do you write a memo saying “collaborate more”? Not quite.

However, we’ve found its most effective to outline clear expectations for giving and getting feedback from peers, particularly sharing “win” stories.

It’s easier to encourage collaboration if you build your PlayBook in a web-based platform like a wiki, or by making clever use of chat functions within CRM systems.

6. Accountability – Remain Committed to the Process

Unfortunately, it’s all too common for sales organizations to set up Sales PlayBooks and never look at them again.

To make sure you get the most out of this resource, it’s best to set up an accountability system to keep you and your salespeople using the PlayBook.

Get creative – we’ve seen teams set up scoring systems where individuals get points for their PlayBook activity, which is a great motivator (and fun!) If you’re using a wiki, you can set up coaching pages where salespeople post weekly goals for managers to review and provide comments.

However you end up setting your PlayBook, you’re taking steps towards building a more productive sales team. With the huge volume of sales information being generated daily, alongside the complexity of your business and sales process, keeping everyone updated can be a mammoth task. A PlayBook makes it just a little bit easier!

Let us know how you organize your Sales PlayBook in the comments!

The ULTIMATE Sales PlayBook Guide


  • Jyoti @MarketJoy - Reply

    Alignment with marketing campaign is really a crucial part of slaes playbook. We know it but often ignore it. Great points Lena. On your “How to Handle Sales Objections in 5 Steps” article you already mentioned so many important points. I recommend this playbook to follow.


  • Jim - Reply

    Thanks for the article, Lena. At Lessonly, we’ve incorporated our sales playbook into an LMS. Everything our reps need to be successful is included from best practices to marketing collateral and product information is all in one spot. Because everyone is learning and selling from the same platform, the message is clear and consistent. More importantly, our reps can practice the playbook in a variety of real-life scenarios to overcome customer objections and get around the roadblocks you mentioned. They can also get immediate feedback on their efforts. Results are measurable, and accountability is easy. Most importantly, it allows us to tailor the book quickly to meet customers’ changing needs and pain points. Good stuff! Thanks.

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