If you're in marketing and your sales team doesn't have a playbook, you should be concerned! For far too long sales and marketing teams have worked as separate entities; fortunately, with the sales playbook this outdated mentality can change. Alignment creates velocity through a consistent approach to sales. After all, if marketing teams are spending hundreds (if not thousands) of hours researching buyers and producing content that speaks to these prospective customers, then why aren't sales teams leveraging this invaluable knowledge?
Like the missing cog that keeps the wheel from turning, or the GPS that keeps spouting "make a legal u-turn," a broken sales process is not only detrimental to your business, but it is often easy to spot. Unfortunately, far too many companies ignore the broken sales process as they cling to outdated processes or strategies. The good news is that 2019 can be the year that you not only identify areas where your sales process is breaking down, but also take the steps needed to fix it.
Movies like I, Robot and Next Gen portray Artificial Intelligence (AI) as power-hungry robots. However, the latter portrayal couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, AI is posed to not take over businesses, but to provide support to sales departments of all sizes, shapes, and industries. Not only will AI support sales departments, but it will offer the tools needed to transform them into innovative spaces.
Pete Rose was one of the best players to ever play the game of baseball. As a player, Rose was a switch hitter and is the all-time MLB leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053), singles (3,215), and outs (10,328). He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, and the Rookie of the Year Award, and also made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five positions (second baseman, left fielder, right fielder, third baseman, and first baseman). Rose won both of his Gold Gloves when he was an outfielder, in 1969 and 1970. As a Coach, well... we all know how that ended up... so as a player, he was a rockstar, as the coach of his up and coming rockstars, he was a disaster!
In the words of Jeff Bezos, "Part of company culture is path-dependent - it's the lessons you learn along the way." This path-dependent approach stems from the belief that managers can help to mold employees through an environment that leverages lessons learned to encourage growth.
As a C-level sales executive a major component of your job is to lead. However, another major component of their job is to inspire their sales team. Being an effective leader is about more than giving a pep talk; it requires the understanding that training is not simply for onboarding new sales representatives. Instead, by embracing the benefits of sales training and sales coaching, leaders can not only inspire their team, but they can help them reach new levels of success.
Every time a sales associate picks up the phone, sends an email, or heads to an in person meeting the goal is simple ... improve the client relationship to get one step closer to a sale. This might be a simple goal, but far too often achieving it becomes a convoluted process filled with trials and errors. While experimentation can be helpful in the sales process, it is far more effective on a company level to leverage proven methodologies that stem from a cohesive approach. A well-written sales playbook not only streamlines the entire sales process, but it enables your team to more successfully handle a variety of sales situations, while simultaneously communicating a value proposition to each potential client.
I have had a number of our tech prospects and clients talk to me about increasing their current sales. When I ask about what they have done so far in their attempt to grow the business, whether a technology services company or a SaaS company, I often hear they have hired new sales reps. Everyone knows the easiest way to increase sales is to add to your sales team! Right?
Here's a quick test for you to do to determine if your sales playbook is truly modern in todays sales and marketing ecosystem.
To sum it up, you have a truly modern playbook if all of the below statements when applied to you and your playbook are considered to be TRUE...
Every company, or at least every company that we talk to here at Maven, is looking for ways to generate more leads. Not just more leads, but more qualified leads. Sourcing qualified leads is what a sales development team is all about. It’s what gets them excited to come in to work every day – cranking out phone calls to follow up with potential prospects and qualify them for the sales team.