It’s Time to Update Your Sales Playbook(s)


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Can you imagine a sports team running the same plays year after year and still expecting to win? The answer, of course, is no. However, many sales organizations use the same sales playbooks year after year and then wonder why they aren’t closing more business.

Is it time to update your sales playbook?

Since the world has changed dramatically since the first quarter, the answer is a resounding yes!

Here are five areas to update in your sales playbook.

#1. Video / virtual selling. This section of your sales playbook should include: 

  • Expectations of using the right technology. Can your prospects hear you and see you? Prospects don’t want to work at hearing a sales conversation. And they certainly don’t want to feel like they are conducting a sales conversation in a dimly lit bar.
  • Right environment. Sorry, you’ve got to get rid of that backdrop bedroom scene. Yes, prospects were patient as we made the transition to virtual. But now, if they see your seller doesn’t really have a professional work environment, they are wondering what else is not professional or up to date at your company. Your sales team needs a green screen or some type of back drop.
  • Right expression. Salespeople have to be more intentional about facial expressions as they conduct calls. It was a little easier to display the correct emotions when conducting face-to-face calls because sellers could play off of the emotion and energy of the buyer. Today, salespeople need to bring their own enthusiasm and energy to the conversation.

#2. Update your ideal customer profile. There are still too many sales teams aren’t targeting the right type of customers.  They continue to pursue prospects that used to buy from the company but are no longer in a position to invest dollars OR are unwilling to do so at this time.

One of our clients increased their focus on property management companies because they had a unique product and approach to making buildings safe for re-entry. They adjusted their target client profile, directed their sales activity to these buyers and increased sales.   

#3. Update your value propositions. There’s a very good chance that your messaging statements — value propositions — are geared towards selling an old pain your company used to solve for prospects. Time to update your value propositions to describe the new problems your company can solve for prospects.  

It’s not your prospect’s job to figure out that you have a solution for their most pressing problems.

For example, one of our clients selling cyber security revamped their value propositions around the new problem of staff working from home, which is a target rich environment for hackers.   

#4. Update your questioning and qualification model. I’m hearing from more than one seller that new decision makers are showing up at the deal conversation. Design new and thoughtful questions to engage these new decision makers. Too many sales playbooks feature old, irrelevant questions that create stagnant and non-relevant sales conversations. No value. No sale.   

#5. Update the objections handling section in your sales playbook. If your sales team is selling into new verticals to new decision makers, they are fielding new and different objections. Make sure your sales team is equipped to respond to these objections in a professional and confident manner.

Future-proof your sales. Update your sales playbook to equip your sales team with new selling skills needed to win the future.

Good Selling!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colleen Stanley
Colleen Stanley is president of SalesLeadership, Inc. a business development consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training. The company provides programs in prospecting, referral strategies, consultative sales training, sales management training, emotional intelligence and hiring/selection. She is the author of two books, Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages, and author of Growing Great Sales Teams.


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