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Sales Strategy
Forget The Sales Playbook
Sep 29, 2016 | Matt Heinz lock

The idea that you will have a complete, comprehensive sales playbook is a myth. It’s not even worth pursuing.

I’ve heard sales leaders talk about it and pursue it for more than seven years. I have never seen one completed let alone actively launched and leveraged across a sales team.

What are worth pursuing, are the components of that playbook in their individual but integrated elements.

From another perspective, smart sales leaders concentrate instead on the functional areas of the sales playbook in various states of development and complexity, operationalize them based on their priority or need within the organization, and consider the components of the sales playbook to be separate and fluid.

Think of this as taking the table of contents of your proverbial playbook and treating each bullet as an individual deliverable on its own path towards completion, roll out and optimization.

If you’re patiently waiting for every element of a comprehensive sales playbook to be finished and ready to go, you’ll be waiting forever. During then, some of the completed pieces will become obsolete or require adjustments based on market changes, product changes, new company direction, etc.

Some will see this as a failure, but I see it as a necessary alternative path towards managing and optimizing your sales team in a more agile, flexible and successful manner.

Many world-class sales organizations don’t have playbooks. Instead, they use documented, active and regularly optimized components such as:

  • Defined lead & opportunity stages
  • CRM usage and update guidelines for reps
  • Marketing-delivered lead follow-up steps
  • Needs analysis discussion guide
  • Competitive battle cards
  • Frequently asked questions and objections messaging

Every “playbook” is different, and your table of contents will require a slightly different set and order of components vs another sales organization based on your industry, sales approach, culture, etc.

Don’t let the vision of a complete finished product get in the way of making more active, agile and profitable progress on each component of a required sales strategy, process, and execution to drive scalable growth cycles.

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About the Author:
Matt HeinzProlific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 15 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways. 

Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty. Matt is a repeat winner of Top 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management and Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.

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