A Unique Approach to Playbooks
As experts in solutions marketing and sales, we’re passionate about making sure that sales playbooks:
- Are used and useful to sales
- Are easy to maintain and update
- Deliver real benefits to the business
To meet these objectives, we have developed an approach that ensures that our clients get a lot more than just a visually attractive document. It doesn’t take any longer – in fact, we can deliver a finished playbook in as little as sixty days – but our clients have found that working with us on a playbook is a fundamentally different experience.
Ensure Executive Buy-In
At the beginning of each playbook engagement, we talk to the senior executives who are sponsoring the playbook initiative to ensure that we understand their business objectives and why they have chosen to invest in this particular solution or industry.
Define Key Roles and Responsibilities
We’ve found that highly successful playbooks require two key internal resources who are committed to the playbook’s success – a marketing project manager and a “play owner.” The play owner is usually the subject matter expert (SME), and plays a critical role in identifying other key resources that are important during the development process. The SME also can contribute by overseeing the development of other supporting materials that the sales person can access through the playbook.
Involve Sales at Every Step
We involve sales from the very beginning and ensure that they are engaged throughout the entire process. To ensure we have their knowledge and commitment, we:
- Interview selected sales people and hold information-gathering calls with global sales teams to ensure we understand the nuances of different markets.
- Conduct a quick online survey about customer needs and real-world experiences selling and delivering the solution.
- Make sure that at least half the attendees at the playbook development workshop are individuals who are in customer-facing roles such as a sales rep, a sales manager, and a sales engineer.
Provide a Fresh Perspective
Because we have decades of experience in a number of technologies and industries, we pride ourselves on being able to quickly absorb and synthesize a wide array of internal and external content. This allows us to provide a fresh perspective that is useful both for defining the customer-focused play and articulating the company’s unique differentiators.
Employ Best Practices in Writing and Design
It’s easy to create long and detailed playbooks. It’s much harder to write concisely and jargon-free. It’s also difficult for insiders to decide what can objectively be left out since the natural tendency is to tell everything you know. When we design and write a playbook, we work hard to present only the information sales people need – along with one-click access to relevant supplemental documents if they want more. We also adhere to best practices in visual design, intuitive navigation and content presentation.
Support Rollout, Training and Measurement
Your investment will be wasted if the playbook isn’t properly rolled out to the sales force, so our job doesn’t end when we deliver the final document. To ensure success, we provide best practices in how to educate, excite, and coach sales people to use the playbook to reap the expected benefits. We can also work with you to create and deliver face-to-face or web-based training, and also establish measurement and feedback processes.