The question at the core of any Sales and Marketing playbook is “How do we effectively translate our strategy into day-to-day, operational work that we can implement successfully?”
To do this, a Sales and Marketing playbook needs to incorporate the framework of the organisation and the strategic direction that has been set in order to articulate, step by step, exactly how an organisation’s strategy will be rolled out.
When created and executed well, a playbook can have an enormous impact on a business’s operations and efficiencies as well as their revenues and profit.
Why is a Sales & Marketing Playbook essential?
A playbook is the critical link from strategy to implementation. It should clearly articulate the strategy but also show exactly how that strategy is going to be achieved. A well-articulated playbook will answer three questions very simply:
- “What do I need to do?”
- “What do I need to change?”
- “What do I need to start doing that I haven’t done before?”
A Sales and Marketing playbook can also increase performance and efficiency by enabling faster onboarding, more effective training, and better skill development. For new hires, a good Sales and Marketing playbook will give them, in 30 minutes to an hour, a very good sense of the company they’ve just joined, where they fit within that company and exactly what the company expects from them.
From an operational point of view, a Sales and Marketing playbook needs to cover everything from Buyer Personas and Differentiators to Sales Plays and Methodologies. One of the most fascinating things I’ve noticed in my time in business is that companies tend to evolve and at the forefront of that evolution is usually their sales practices and behaviours, and their processes.
The challenge that I see is a lot of sales-driven organisations often start by chasing down any lead to make a sale which can be a fantastic way to grow a business, but it also creates a very chaotic environment in terms of tracking, selling, and learning. The bigger a business grows the more problems this sort of approach creates – what a Sales and Marketing playbook does, is bring a certain amount of order to that chaos.
Our Top 3 tips for creating a Sales & Marketing playbook.
- Strategy needs to come first
In any sort of discussion about playbooks the high-level process thinking, and the strategy needs to be delivered first. This is not an easy thing to do and I often say that bringing in an objective pair of eyes and ears to help define and articulate sound strategy is one of the best things an organisation can do to future-proof their business.
- A playbook needs to be anchored in experience
Any offering of a Sales and Marketing playbook needs to be anchored in somebody that’s got sufficient breadth of experience within that function. In Sales and Marketing, you’ve got to understand fundamental things like channel segmentation, customer segmentation, how the brand needs to be positioned within that matrix, along with effective sales management and different types of sales activities.
It’s important to have had exposure and experience across many different industries to really help define how a sales team should behave and what successful marketing roll out should include.
- It’s not a set and forget piece of work
Not dissimilar to strategy, a Sales and Marketing playbook is a living and breathing document that needs to be revisited, reviewed, and revised on a regularly basis.
The structure of a playbook always needs to include a company overview and values, which probably won’t change much over time but because markets and customers are always evolving it’s critical to regularly revisit a playbook and look at the sections that are still relevant or need to be adapted.
About the Author
Paul Stansfield is a sales professional turned management consultant. He delivers strategies, sales and marketing plans and improvement programs, as well as data management, and predictive modelling engagements.