The sales enablement function exists to onboard new sales hires and to drive revenue per sales head up. Neglect sales enablement and forgo adding head count in the future.

The sales enablement function exists to onboard new sales hires and to drive revenue per sales head up. Neglect sales enablement and forgo adding head count in the future. A key part of enabling the sales force is providing a sales playbook.


This article focuses on the following questions:


  • What is a Sales Playbook?
  • When do I use a Sales Playbook?
  • Why do I need a Sales Playbook?


Are you launching a new sales initiative requiring a Sales Playbook for your organization?  Then download this tool here: How to Build a Sales Playbook. You will get a step by step process on how to build a Sales Playbook.  This will drive adoption and acceptance within sales on your new sales initiative. Also, carve out 10-minutes in your schedule to answer the questions in the Sales Enablement phase starting on page 407 of the “How to Make Your Number in 2018” Workbook or interactive tool.


What is a Sales Playbook?


Simply put, a Sales Playbook is the marrying of your sales process and content/tools.  To be more precise a Sales Playbook should:


  • Define your buyer’s process via your sales process
  • Map what tactic to use based on the variables of the sales process
  • Package sales/marketing content intelligently and intuitively
  • Use content to progress the buyer in the buying process
  • Use sales tools to guide the sales team through the selling process


The foundation to any effective Sales Playbook is a custom Sales Process.  If the sales process is the foundation, the content is the structure.  You can’t have one without the other.  The content is sales collateral aimed at the customer.  But more importantly.  The content is also comprised of sales tools with sales as the audience.


When do I use a Sales playbook?


Identifying when to use a Sales Playbook is the easy part.  You can use events such as:


  • New Field Initiative:  This could be a new market opportunity.  You may have introduced a new sales channel.  Or maybe an acquisition of a new company.  The important thing is that you recognize a change in your selling behavior.


  • New Product Launch:  This is self-explanatory.  If you are selling to a new buyer, this is a perfect time to introduce a playbook.  Remember a playbook is just a plan on how to execute on a buyer and sales process.


  • New Sales Process:  Many sales organizations are recognizing the merits of implementing a custom sales process.  By doing this they are ridding themselves of the “canned” sales processes of the ‘80’s.  With the launch of a new process.  Again, perfect time to put a new tool in the sales team’s bag.  This will drive adoption for the new process.


  • New Hires:  A playbook doesn’t need to be a broad brushed tool for the entire org.  It can be a tool for a specific market/persona/sales person profile.  A playbook specific to a new hire will dramatically improve his/her ramp time.  This is a great audience to launch a playbook with, since adoption will be high.



Why do I need a Sales playbook?


Regardless of the initiative that’s driving the need for a Sales Playbook.  The need is there.  Don’t allow your sales team to get lost on the journey.  To use a driving analogy.  When you are driving somewhere you have never been before.  You get the address and plug it into your GPS.  It then tells you how to get there.  You execute on the directions, but the GPS is giving the direction.  A Sales Playbook is the GPS in this analogy.  The execution still needs to happen, but the directions are there. 


Keep in mind.  You can have multiple Sales Playbooks.  The playbook should be based on the sales process you are executing.  One last analogy, this time using American football.  You would not run the same plays in the same order against different opponents.  You would tailor your playbook to the defense and likelihood of success.  The same applies here.  You tailor your playbook to the buyer/market you are selling to.  Not every sales process is the same.  Therefore, your Sales Playbooks should coincide with the process.


You have now determined what a playbook is, when to use it and why you need it.  Click here to learn how to build one.  Sales Enablement leaders need to provide the tools for sales teams to be successful.  Sales Playbooks are an effective way of doing that.


Realizing the full value of your sales program investments often requires a playbook to enable sales. To request a workshop with a sales enablement subject matter expert simply sign up for a MySBI account and check the box in your preferences to request a workshop. Also, review the Sales Enablement phase of the How to Make Your Number Workbook or interactive tool for emerging best practices.


Sales Revenue Growth


Eric Estrella

Helps clients grow by creating innovative go-to-market strategies.

Eric specializes in helping clients solve some of the most prevalent go-to-market problems in today’s complex selling world. He is an expert in many industries including software, telecommunications, ecommerce, manufacturing and technology. He helps them align strategies and develop go-to-market programs to lower the cost of customer acquisition and increase customer lifetime value.


Recently he developed corporate, product, marketing and sales strategies for an emerging telecommunications solution provider that resulted in a quadrupling of revenue and EBITA in two-year span.


Eric’s background in strategy, sales operations and enablement allows him to provide thought-leadership in emerging best practices in sales and marketing.

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