5 Situations When Your Sales Playbook is Not Effective

Looking at the market right now, you will notice that sales playbooks are becoming more and more popular for sales organizations around the world; even CRM companies are integrating playbooks. When sales teams use a sales playbook as part of a sales growth program, new opportunities increase by 100%, and closed/won opportunities increase by 60%. There are many consultancy companies and organizations – like SalesPlaybook.pro – helping B2B sales teams getting those sales playbooks developed and implemented.

However, there is a huge risk here: a bad playbook can take you down the wrong path and actually demotivate your sales team, create a negative customer experience, and even kill deals. Obviously, that is not the general idea of what sales playbooks are or should be about.

Here are 5 situations when your sales playbook is not being effective

Why your sales playbook is not effective

1. Your Sales Playbook doesn’t resonate

Your main target audience for your sales playbook is, obviously, the sales professionals themselves. If they don’t recognize it, like it, or see the relevance of it, then you’ve lost the very same team you are trying to enable. Sales enablement is all about empowering your sales team. When they do not see value in the sales playbook that has been given to them, you’ve completely missed the mark. Best-in-class companies reported a 42% current adoption rate of sales playbooks, compared with 29% of industry average organizations and 14% of organizations that lag behind. There is a clear correlation between the level of adoption and performance.

2. It doesn’t work

Sales playbooks may resonate; your sales team may like ­it, or they may recognize it, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually working. The whole purpose of a sales playbook is that you find the best route from lead to close and, ultimately, increase sales results. You do it in such a way that there is profit at the end of the contract and high customer satisfaction on the client-side. If any of these two parameters aren’t met, then the sales playbook is not effective.

3. It’s counterproductive

When a sales playbook is advising you to do certain things, how to qualify, use specific templates, or follow required steps, these could actually be counterproductive, directly impacting your performance. Some best practices may not actually work in your particular situation and they could have a negative impact on your business. Some general best practices could force the salesperson to make poor sales decisions or carry out the wrong interventions or actions making the buying cycle much longer than needed or losing a great opportunity way too soon. Did you know that 65% of buyers reported that the buying process usually takes much longer than they had planned? You need to employ experts to help you implement the best practices that work for your specific company and industry, and reduce the risk of losing out on potential success.

4. It’s too generic

All that being said, your sales playbook may look nice, cover all the basics, and all the elements have been addressed, but you may still be wondering why your sales playbook is still not being effective. Well, if they’re too generic, then there’s little added value. Obvious steps and activities salespeople should follow are not inspiring or actually helping to make a difference in their daily reality. The whole point of the sales playbook is that it is specifically customized to your specific strategy and process in your environment; it is a living sales framework that is constantly updated and improved. It’s not about a general best practice that is practiced around the world, it’s about your specific strategy that is unique, strong, and that is an ideal fit for your particular industry, company, and phase that your team is in. When your sales playbook is too generic, it has little value.

When your sales playbook is not effective

5. It’s missing an outside view

As a sales leader or a sales expert, you may be able to make your own sales playbook. You’ve got the skills, you’ve got the experience, and you’ve already worked at the company for a few years, so you are in a position to create a sales playbook. However, when you miss an outside view, you risk the chance of your sales playbook taking too much of the company’s legacy and its existing ways of selling into account, therefore relying too much on what’s been done already without looking ahead, this means that if you are part of a team that needs change, needs inspiration, or needs a new insight, then doing everything yourself may not be the best way to go.

Create the sales playbook you deserve

These 5 situations clearly demonstrate not every sales playbook creates that crucial positive impact that companies are looking for, which is the whole point of a sales playbook. Avoid these situations and find your ideal partner to create the sales playbook you deserve, and that your sales team would love to embrace, implement, and put to use in their daily routine. This way, your prospects, and customers will experience a more confident, stronger business partner, resulting in success for both sides.

Yuri van der Sluis

Yuri van der Sluis

Founder at Salesplaybook.pro