Nick is the product sales manager of a large automobile manufacturer. He was recently under fire for failing to achieve the sales targets for his company’s newly-launched SUV. Nick conducted a thorough analysis of what went wrong and found out that his people failed to retain several existing customers and effectively convert leads into buyers.
Many product sales managers face a similar predicament. How can their problems be resolved? What does it take to ensure that their sales people achieve their quotas? Well, the managers need to use sales playbooks.
But, what are sales playbooks?
Aberdeen defines sales playbooks as technology-enabled tools and processes that provide “guided-selling” assistance to various selling job roles – internal, in the field, and/or to channel partners. They go a long way in delivering a consistent message to customers and help enhance the brand of the company. They enable sales people to configure their collateral to support individual buyers. Sales playbooks can also be used to capture comments and ratings.
Sales playbooks are very effective in enhancing the performance of sales personnel. Here are the results of a research that prove the effectiveness of sales playbooks.
Source: Aberdeen Group, July 2015
OK. But, how to make the best use of sales playbooks?
Companies need to focus on the following aspects to harness the full potential of sales playbooks.
Telling the customer “what’s in it for him”
Studies by the Aberdeen Group show that sales people who deliver selling messages that are specific to the customer’s unique needs are more successful. The key here is to develop sales training content that explains how a product solves the problems of a particular buyer persona. To know more about how to deliver an effective sales message, check out the post “You” Messaging for Buyer-Centric Marketing and Sales Communications.
Delivering the “right message to the right person at the right time”
Staying on with sending an effective sales message, it is important to ensure that the message reaches the target buyer at the right stage in his buying journey. And, according to the report Sales Playbooks: Taking the Guesswork Out of Sales Enablement, this can be done only by training your reps to match the content to the needs of intended audiences and “sales cadences”. For instance, to sell a high performing, low power consuming washing machine to a domestic consumer, a sales rep needs to harp on the energy efficiency of the product. On the other hand, laying emphasis on the high performance of the washing machine would prove useful when trying to sell to a laundry firm. The report states that 57% of top performers focus on this aspect as compared to 43% of all others.
Integrating marketing and sales activities
An essential ingredient in the recipe to selling success is proper coordination between the marketing and sales teams. Research by Aberdeen reveals that organizations which use sales playbooks successfully have “aligned” their marketing and sales teams effectively. The research also points out that firms with “well-connected” sales and marketing efforts are able to deliver a consistent message to buyers and this helps them sell very effectively.
Harness the full potential of the mobile device
Top performing companies make the best use of the mobile device to provide the necessary information to their sales reps. The report Mobile Sales Engagement: The End of “I’ll Get Back to You” states that 62% of high performing firms use mobile devices very effectively when compared to 40% and 32% respectively of industry average and laggard firms. It is a very good idea to deliver micro-learning content on mobiles to provide effective just-in-time (JIT) support to sales people.
Sales playbooks are technology-enabled tools and processes that help sales staff perform their tasks efficiently. Companies can make the best use of sales playbooks by focusing on the delivery of the right message to the customer at the right time. Organizations need to integrate their sales and marketing efforts to achieve the best results. By using the mobile device to provide anytime, anywhere “information support” to their sales people, firms can maximize their efficiency. Hope you liked this post. Do share your views.