The B2B Guide to Creating a Sales Playbook That Converts

By: Jack Reamer |
 October 16, 2023 |

Imagine you have planned a holiday in a foreign country.

You’re excited to drive around and explore the local area. But you have to be careful because some of the areas are not as safe as others. 

But luckily, you have your trusted GPS to guide you.

In a similar way, having a sales playbook can guide your team out of dangerous territory. It can reduce the risk of failure and increase sales by being a compass for your sales team

So if you are struggling with conversions and need more sales, you might just need an effective sales playbook that will help your team know what to do at every stage of the sales process.

This article will share some of the key components of a successful sales playbook, along with a free template that will align your sales team, streamline your processes and boost overall effectiveness. 

(If you’re really struggling to find qualified sales leads for your company, we would love to help you. Salesbread guarantees 1 qualified lead per day, with no locked-in contracts. 

And the best part? We will even help your sales team learn how to incorporate our strategy so that you can bring the entire process in-house. Book a free 15-minute consultation call here)

What is a sales playbook exactly?

In short, a sales playbook is a document that outlines your company’s sales processes, strategies, and best practices that will help your sales team move prospects down every stage of the sales funnel to achieve success. 

For example, it might help your team figure out how to handle objections, it could include call scripts, and show your sdrs what to do at every step of the sales process

It’s basically just a guide that will help your reps perform to the best of their abilities. 

Why a sales playbook is important.

A sales playbook is a centralized resource for everyone in your team. This can be especially helpful when you’re onboarding new salespeople

These kinds of resources can save a ton of time because your reps won’t be going after the wrong prospects who aren’t interested in what you have to sell. 

But besides this, it helps your sales team know exactly what to do at every stage of the sales process

For example, they will know exactly what to say if a prospect objects, or how to answer any questions that a prospect might have about your product/service. 

When everyone knows their role and which strategies to implement, it will help you win over more deals. 

A good sales playbook will help your team run like a well-oiled machine. 

What should you include in your sales playbook:

 As mentioned above your playbook should be a very detailed guide for your team. It can include things such as:

  • Your specific buyer personas (or your ideal target audience)
  •  Messaging that should be used in your outreach campaigns
  • A step-by-step strategy to follow at each stage of your sales process
  • Discovery questions
  • Objections that potential customers might have and how to handle them
  • Call scripts
  • Pricing for your services
  • Your company overview
  • Various sales plays
  • Your value propositions
  • Sales team structure
  • Case studies

Sales Playbook template

B2B Sales Playbook Template by michaelastrydom2015

How to figure out your ideal target audience

When clients come to us and ask us to help them build a list of their ideal target audience, we always ask them for a list of customers who have purchased their product or service within the last 6 months. 

Why do we do this? 

It helps us create a customer profile but more importantly, it also helps us build a list of look-a-like customers for them. 

These insights are based on current buyer’s data, which helps us target the right kinds of accounts. 

You want to go after prospects who need what you’re selling, and who have the budget and the purchasing power.

So you have to dig deeper. 

Most companies have a basic idea of who they want to target.

For example, they might say they want to go after companies in the healthcare space that have 100+ employees and are in a specific location.

But we dig deeper.

When you look at current buyer’s data, it gives you a very clear idea of who to target based on patterns. 

For example:

  • Which industries are buying from you? Health and wellness? Is it psychology? Cardiology? Homeopathy?
  • What’s the industry size? Is it clinics? Hospitals with a certain number of beds? 200+ employees or less than 10?
  • Do they have a marketing team? HR? 
  • Who is the decision maker? 
  • Where are your buyers located? The USA? 10 miles from Alaska? 
  • Do they use a certain CRM tool?

Once you start looking for patterns it’s much easier to build a list for your sales team to go after.

The video below shows you how we do this.

Here’s an example sales strategy for b2b outreach

Once you have built a list of your ideal target audience, based on data, plug it into LinkedIn Sales Navigator. 

You will then need to filter this list by your 2nd-degree network and by recently posted. 

Why?

Metrics have shown that when you reach out to your second-degree network, prospects are more likely to respond. The reason? They have already accepted someone like you into their network in the past.

And when you filter by recently posted, you’re making sure that the prospect is active on Linkedin. There’s no point in sending a LinkedIn connection request message to someone who never uses the platform. If your prospect isn’t active on Linkedin, add them to a cold email or SMS campaign.

Next, you have to research each prospect on your list in order to write them a specific personalized connection request message.

At Salesbread we use a method called CCQ.

It stands for:

  • Commonalities
  • Compliments
  • Questions

Basically, you want to find something to use to either compliment the prospect, mention something that you have in common or ask them a question. 

Below are some examples:

Lastly, we will follow up between 3 and 6 times.

We follow up every 3 days until we get a reply. If the prospect doesn’t reply, we will add them to a cold email campaign.

We always ask for a booked sales call in our messages

For example, we might say:

  • Do you have a quick 15 minutes to talk next week?
  • Is this worth a quick conversation?
  • Send me your calendar link, and I will book a slot.
  • Are you available next week? {time and date}

Does this work?

Well, it does. In the past 24 months we have been able to generate close to 7000 qualified sales leads for our clients using this method. 

Read some of our case studies below:

So think about what kind of strategy would work best for your company. Whether it’s a bit of inbound marketing, outbound or even a mix. 

Try some A/B testing to see which sales strategy works best for closing deals and implement that into your playbook.

What should be included in objection handling.

Objection handling is a pretty important part of your playbook; especially if you have new hires who might feel nervous when making phone calls. 

So having an objection handling section can help your sales reps know what to expect and how to handle any objections prospects might have. 

(This article from Hubspot is really helpful when it comes to objection handling.)

When it comes to writing a section on objection handling in your playbook, think about common objections your ideal customers would have before buying your product. 

Team members should be prepared to answer any questions the prospects might have. 

For example, if they complain about the price, how will your sales reps respond? Would you offer a free trial for 2 weeks? Or a discount?

Do they already use a similar product? Why is your product better? What’s your elevator pitch

How does your product solve their pain points and what sets you apart from every other company out there?

Common sales objections include:

  • Lack of budget
  • Lack of urgency
  • Lack of trust
  • Lack of need

If you would like to handle objections be sure to do the following:

  • Listen to what your prospect is saying and try to understand with empathy what their issue is.
  • Repeat back what you hear.
  • Validate your prospect’s concerns.
  • Ask follow-up questions.
  • Use social proof and case studies to establish trust
  • Set a specific date and time to follow up.

If your team is prepared to handle objections then the chances of new reps and even experienced employees to succeed will be so much greater.

Ideas for call scripts 

Remember when it comes to call scripts, focus on how you can make your prospect’s day better. Be polite, listen and try to understand the pain points that are keeping them up at night. 

Here are some ideas to include in your sales playbook:

Hello [Prospect’s Name], this is [Your Name] from [Your Company]. How are you today? I’m reaching out because we’ve been working with companies like yours to [solve a specific problem or offer a benefit]. I’d love to learn more about your business and explore how we might be able to help. Do you have a moment to chat?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hi [Prospect’s Name], it’s [Your Name] calling from [Your Company]. I wanted to share a quick idea with you. We’ve been helping businesses like yours [achieve a specific result]. Our clients often see [quantifiable benefit], and I believe we could do the same for you. Can we schedule a brief call to discuss how our [product/service] aligns with your goals?

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hello [Prospect’s Name], it’s [Your Name] again from [Your Company]. I wanted to follow up on our previous conversation and see if you had any further thoughts or questions. I’m here to provide any additional information you might need. When would be a good time for you to continue our discussion?

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I understand that [Prospect’s Concern]. Many of our clients initially had similar reservations. What I’ve found is that after [implementing our solution/learning more about our approach], they’ve seen [positive outcome]. I’d be happy to address any specific concerns you have or provide more information. What would be the best way to address those concerns for you?

Remember to personalize these scripts based on your product/service features, customer pain points, and the nature of your sales conversations. Adjusting the tone to be conversational and allowing for flexibility based on the prospect’s responses is key for successful calls.

Include sales goals 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for B2B Sales Playbook:

Monitoring your goals and data is essential for success.

Why?

Because it helps you see where to improve and how to improve. If you aren’t tracking your KPIs and goals, you won’t know what’s working and what’s not. Here are some KPIs to include in your playbook.

Below is an example of what you should track.

1. Lead Conversion Rate:

Goal: Increase the percentage of leads converted into customers.

KPI: Track the ratio of closed deals to the total number of leads generated.

2. Sales Cycle Length:

Goal: Shorten the time it takes to close deals.

KPI: Measure the average duration from initial contact to deal closure.

3. Opportunity Win Rate:

Goal: Improve the success rate in converting opportunities into closed deals.

KPI: Calculate the percentage of won opportunities against the total number of opportunities.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC):

4. Enhance customer experience and retention:

KPI: Measure the percentage of customers retained over a specific period.

5. Sales Team Productivity:

Goal: Optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales team.

KPI: Evaluate metrics like the number of calls, meetings, and emails per representative.

Need some B2B sales advice?

Hop on a free 15-minute strategy call with us. 

If you aren’t happy with your current sales playbook and would like more qualified leads, get in touch. 

Salesbread has over a decade of experience in generating qualified sales leads in various industries. From saas to lawyers and even podcasting.  

We would love to help you crush your quotas and empower your sales leaders with the knowledge to win over more sales.

Have a Question? Let's Talk.

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