LSA Global Insights Newsletter: How to Build a Better Sales Playbook

November 25, 2019

How to Build a Better Sales Playbook

What Is a Sales Playbook?
Like a playbook in sports that plans for the most frequent and most important in-game situations, a sales playbook is a unique collection of sales scenarios, strategies, plans, tactics, and tools to help a sales team consistently win when the stakes are high.  

And because every sales team has a unique sales strategy, culture, solution, and definition of winning, the best sales playbooks are unique to each organization and target buyer persona.

Three Prerequisites to Creating a Better Sales Playbook
While in sales you may need to create a basic or interim playbook to keep the sales wheels spinning, a head coach would never create a game plan without knowing the sport that they were playing and their opponent; unfortunately, too many sales enablement functions create sales playbooks without getting the context right first.

Before you can define your key sales plays based upon key buyer personas, goals, problems, and needs, three foundational sales areas must be addressed.

Sales Strategy
First, your sales strategy must be clear, believable, and implementable enough to set the true north for your sales plays. Our  organizational alignment research found that sales strategy accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing sales teams.

Do not make the mistake of investing heavily in sales enablement tools until you have alignment around and commitment to your target clientsvalue proposition, success metrics, and go-to-market sales strategies.

Sales Culture
Next, your sales culture must be healthy, high performing, and aligned enough with your sales strategy for it to accelerate - not hinder - your sales force. Sales culture, the way sales work gets done across the entire organization, accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing sales teams.  Your sales strategy must go through your sales culture.

Do not underestimate the need for the right sales culture to meet your targets.  Otherwise your desire for a better sales playbook to drive better sales results will falter.

Sales Talent
Lastly, you must assess the key sales skills required to execute your sales strategy and know how your current sales force stacks up against those sales skills and behaviors. Then, based upon your gap analysis, you can create a practical plan to fill the key sales skill gaps that matter most for your sales plays to be successful.

Make sure that any corresponding solution selling training is highly customized to your unique needs and reinforced by frequent sales coaching.  It is not very practical to create sales plays if your sales force does not have the knowledge, skills, and business savvy to run the plays well.

Elements of a Great Sales Playbook
Once your sales strategy and sales culture are aligned and your plan to close key sales skill gaps is clear, you have the context required to design the right business sales training and build a better sales playbook with the right sales scenarios, sales plays, and sales support tools.

About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned