Marketing and sales often live in different worlds. Marketing’s day-to-day focuses on strategies, campaigns, and demand generation. Sales lives in deals, opportunities, and customers. Marketing typically has a list of content they want to create. While sales has a different list of resources needed for sales conversations. So how can you bring these two groups from different worlds together?
So what is a sales playbook? Let's start with what a sales playbook isn't. A sales playbook is not a 90-page PDF with every possible detail a salesperson might need to know about a product, solution or industry. Marketers and product leaders often find that salespeople don't access that type of “playbook” for a number of reasons including the challenging nature of finding the right content and lack of attention span.
A common mistake is viewing sales playbooks as primarily about what to do – defining sales processes, planning disciples that will enable a “specific play” or help a new sales person get on-boarded.
Many sales playbooks heavily emphasize “What to Know” and “What to Do” like a tactical sports playbook. That is good information, however, focusing solely on process only partially equips salespeople for their daily activities.
In our work, we meet a lot of sales and marketing leaders who are puzzled as to why their salespeople avoid conversations with executives and miss all the potential benefits those conversations might yield. Salespeople may have the ability to get the meeting, but they don’t feel as though they’re equipped with the right strategies to engage executives and provoke responses. PowerPoints are too dull, and interrogations don’t leave a great impression or elicit a positive response.
Companies are spending 20 billion dollars a year on sales training, according to the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) – 20 billion! Yet almost ¾ of those companies say that they’re not getting the ROI they expect from their sales training. A large part of that is because companies are not responding to the trends and shifts in sales training. They’re not understanding how learning is happening today.