A Successful Sales Team Needs a Playbook!

Scaling / March 21, 2012 / Ryan

This is the first guest post for the Marketcircle Blog, written by Jim Martin, an expert in selling.

Jim’s been using Daylite for quite some time now to run his business, Ultimate Selling Solutions.

After reading Jim’s comments on our own post “Shortening Your Sales Cycle“, we thought it’d be awesome if we featured him as a guest writer on our blog.

Without further ado, here it is:

How much did your company invest in developing an employee handbook? Was an outside consultant hired? Did they spend hours ensuring that everyone in the company understood company expectations, benefits, compensation and more?

And an equally important question: Did the company invest a comparable amount of your resources in developing a business development handbook for sales revenue? A filed manual that provides consistent, systematic approach for the sales team to follow when selling your products or services. If not, then it’s time to allocate resources and create one for the most important aspect of your business, revenue generation! After all, isn’t that what takes care of expenses and profits?

Why do many companies who rely on sales revenue for their existence and profitability, resist investing in something that generates, rather then spends revenue?

How can sales practices and processes, which are the policies and procedures in which a company can effectively sell their products and services, be so overlooked?

Unfortunately, many sales managers often approach their job as a challenge to manage a variety of personalities and sales techniques, all doing their best to identify trends and measure outcomes. A salesforce should be more than a collection of salespeople doing “their own thing” in dealing with prospective clients. Sure, you need to coach and develop them based on their unique personalities, but it requires a measurable and repeatable sales process to do so. And you can be assured that certain processes will definitely have a more predictable and sustainable outcome.

This enables the sales manager to be a true team leader, track behaviors, outcomes and effectively debrief and coach for sales skills development. The better you manage the behaviors and processes, the higher your success rate and return on resource investment.

Speaking of managing behaviors and processes, Daylite allows you to build “Activity Sets” to reinforce your tactical game plan, while keeping all team members informed in real-time.

Just like the HR Manual or Employee Handbook but focused on business development and revenue generation, a sales playbook addresses customer expectations, your value proposition, company philosophy, and acceptable and effective practices and processes. It’s the foundation and understanding of a systematic process-driven approach that meets and exceeds customer expectations. There’s no reason to leave sales to chance, especially with the survival of the company on the line.

In sports, a winning coach would never send players out onto the field without a comprehensive playbook – a game plan where each player knows their responsibilities and goals. Likewise, a sales manager cannot implement positive change (like half-time in the game) without first understanding whats happening in the sales role and what they must now do to move forward and change the outcome. And the process is based on how your prospective customer buys, not solely on what or how you sell.

Speaking of process, once you have developed your ideal sales process, you can create “Activity Sets” and “Contextual Menus” in Daylite to manage and reinforce the sales process with the team. And, it can apply to a contact, organization, opportunity or sales project (e.g. responding to an RFP). You and your team will always know where you stand with your game plan.

Additionally, Daylite allows for the creation of customized forms to capture critical data points. I use them to qualify a real sales opportunity vs. suspects and pipeline entries. Essential to determine how best to allocate precious resources while increasing the success rate?

To be truly effective, managers must take a completely different approach to handling the sales force in the traditional “hands-off and hope” style

Having your sales playbook will ensure that company strengths are not left to chance. Nor, will you depend solely on individual personalities and selling styles. Sure, they’ll matter, but as enhancement to your sales process, not in spite of! Only with a consistent approach to selling your product or service, can you consistently produce predictable outcomes.

Effective sales managers and salespeople are the key to the success of an organization. Investing resources to develop your playbook for sales processes and behaviors will provide managers and salespeople with confidence and tools to meet and exceed expectations for the organization on an ongoing basis.

If you looking for the ideal sales force automation tool to support the playbook, I’m confident Daylite will help the team perform better, the coach (manager) coach better, while exceeding your expectations with increased sales.

The time to develop yours is NOW!

Remember to Connect with customers by meeting and exceeding their needs and expectations. The days of Closing and hoping to meet their needs are over!

Jim Martin is author of “Ultimate Selling, The Art and Science of Sales Success”. You can visit his website to learn more, or send him an email to get in touch.

No Responses to “A Successful Sales Team Needs a Playbook!”

  1. Interesting comments–it would be great if MC offered playbook instructions. The things referenced here are not mentioned in the help menus.

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