Sales Playbook on a Shoestring: What to Build (Part 2)

Posted by Alana Kadden Ballon on May 24, 2016

In our last post, we asked you to pick out where you want your sales tools to live.

Now we’re moving onto who should create this content & prioritizing what content should be created:

This should be a partnership between sales and either product marketing, sales enablement or another trusted resource that the organization has empowered to create resources.

For sales tools to be most effective, the first part of the process is for the content creator to work with sales to determine:

How do you figure out what content is most needed? Talk to the stakeholders & identify the biggest challenges sales is facing. You can find this out by speaking with sales leadership, managers and individual contributors about the key challenges sales is facing. Also, you can analyze deal data that exists to determine where in the sales cycle reps are getting stuck and why deals are being lost or going cold.  You’ll probably hear a few trends, including, but not limited to:

    • Not enough pipeline → Prioritize creating prospecting tools
    • Low win rates against competition → Prioritize creating competitive playbooks
    • Deals that are stuck and taking too long to close & you are identifying the correct buyers who have the problem you solve → Prioritize creating evaluation plan tools reps can use to with customers

What already exists? Create an inventory of what sales people have created for themselves and do a quality analysis.

Likely, salespeople have taken it upon themselves to create content to help themselves and their team. Don’t recreate the wheel! Figure out what is out there & how it needs to be updated to be rolled out to the broader team. The more you can leverage existing content, the more buy-in you will  get from the sales team. These are great inputs for what the sales team needs, they have likely created a version of what they need the most.

CAUTION: You will probably find some inconsistencies and some inaccuracies. This is normal and part of moving from an oral culture, where everything is shared by word of mouth to a biblical culture, where you write down specific recommendations.

Once you have prioritized the content that you need, identify your subject matter experts. For each type of content this course reviews, we have suggested who you should work with, but once content has been created, you should have a plan for the sales leadership to validate and sign-off on what is created.  

    • Make sure you include leaders of each sales team. This can be the manager or top performer(s) that the manager appoints.
    • The head of sales should review all of the content before it is launched, and ideally throughout the process, he or se should review a draft of each asset, if time allows.
    • It is also great to have a representative from product marketing to help. Although they may not have bandwidth to produce the content, it is ideal to engage them in the review process so that they also have ownership and can provide additional insight that aligns the assets with the overall marketing strategy.

Once the sign-off process is in place, it is also important to create a roll-out plan. The rollout plan will be covered in detail in the final post in this series, but we’ll give you a sneak peek tomorrow. Make sure you have agreement on the review process and sign-off before you start creating content so that you agree with the executive sponsors (the sales leadership in this case) at the outset of the project.

Your task: Before the next post, gather your team and talk about what is most needed and who will be on the team to contribute to, create, evaluate and approve the content.