As a sales director, you have a simple mission: to drive the company’s sales results forward. Basically, you are paid to be The Achiever— one totally devoted to your mission.
But, be aware, sales managers often find themselves overwhelmed by holding countless meetings, fixing proposal errors, reviewing reports, onboarding new salespeople, monitoring important sales metrics, motivating their team, working on forecasts. They know all these tasks are high-priority. But what happens if, in the meantime, the desired results don’t materialize and the team does not perform well? They take on bigger deals themselves. They try to fix the revenue gap using their own selling skills, not realizing that they are actually downgrading their own sales team during the process.
Where does this come from?
Most managers were great sales reps themselves, before promotion to a managerial position. They have years (sometimes decades) of experience under their belts. Therefore, their potential is almost as huge as their knowledge. They know exactly how to earn the trust of customers, and they have answers for the who, when, why, and how questions. They are masters of providing value to prospects. A great sales director understands customer pain, but also the pain of salespeople when they miss their quota.
Why is knowledge transfer so difficult?
Why does it seem to be impossible for some sales directors to transfer this knowledge to their teams?
1. A typical beginner mistake for sales directors is the tendency to constantly correct their teams with ad hoc insight on what to do in sales situations. They do not spend sufficient time on what is expected from them every step of the way of the sales process.
2. Great sales managers lack self-awareness of their own sales mastery. You cannot transfer something that you are unaware of. This deep-rooted experience, intuition, and understanding of sales is not documented anywhere.
3. Many sales managers still have an individualistic success mindset of reaching their own targets. They believe that individual knowledge and experience creates success. Sales managers, however, need to make a shift in the conviction that other people’s performance now counts more than their own. Sharing experience and knowledge is the key to reaching sustainable performance.
Consequently, sales managers get frustrated by having to share, all the time, what salespeople should do better or how they could have acted differently.
Knowledge is power, and time is money
Without a true leader, teams cannot make it on their own without proper guidance. Some individuals may have some success by personal effort, improvisation, and various approaches and methods. But these individual successes never reach the level of shared best practices. In these teams, there are contradictory messaging and lack of consistency.
How to fix this problem
The implementation of a sales playbook has proven to be the best way to help implement company best practices, as opposed to a manager who is constantly telling others what to do. By providing a consistent and universally accepted methodology, a sales playbook avoids this disconnection and improves the whole team’s sales performance.
But there’s more: a consistent approach across the entire sales team, new strategies and sales advice can be easily recognized and implemented by the team. These insights and tactics can have a huge impact on sales results. A sales playbook allows the top 5% sellers to share their experiences, best advice, and wisdom to the rest of the team, closing the gap between the best and the rest, thereby bringing the entire sales team up to the next level.
You will find here a great example of everything a sales playbook can entail, from pitches and success stories to the actual sales process.