How to Create an Effective Sales Playbook

What is one truth about life that also applies to your sales playbook? Evolve or die. This may sound a little harsh, but your playbook is a living thing. If it doesn’t adapt to change, it won’t survive.

Too many sales leaders forget this. They recycle their sales processes and expect one approach to work for every prospect.

Markets change and buyers have a wider choice of providers than ever, so your pitch has to grab them in a way no other can. It has to offer them maximum value. Otherwise, why should they bother?

Knowing what doesn’t work is as vital as knowing what does – allowing you to trim the fat and get right to the good stuff.

AI Is Your Gateway to a New Sales Playbook

One of the most effective ways to update your sales playbook is by applying artificial intelligence (AI) to your CRM data. With AI, the burden of staying up on the evolution of sales is no longer left to you and that tiny corner of your schedule allocated for planning. AI spots opportunities and helps recommend adjustments that will make the most difference.

Before taking advantage of AI, however, map out both your sales process and your goals. What can you offer that competitors can’t? What problems are you fixing?

Think about these key points to make sure you are fully in touch with your sales process:

  • Building quality leads that offer real value.
  • Identifying the prospects’ needs – and those of their end users.
  • Understanding the exact benefits you can offer customers.
  • Making sure the reps assigned to a lead or opportunity know why the prospect absolutely cannot reach their own potential without your products or services.

After identifying these issues, it’s time for AI to step in. With AI, you can better understand where reps are succeeding or failing by capturing a fuller picture of how each agent is handling quality leads, what they’re doing with weak leads, how marketing plays into sales team success, and other aspects such as an agent’s overall sales effectiveness and morale.

Dig Deeper into Your CRM

AI can automatically sift through your CRM data, helping craft your new sales playbook. It creates accurate pipeline forecasts and booking estimates to show you what to expect and how best to grasp upcoming opportunities. You can see how these leads continually improve as you acquire higher-value prospects. It’s about streamlining your sales process for maximum reward – sorting the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

If you aren’t mining your CRM for insights, you probably aren’t spotting all the adjustments that can make a difference.

AI Brings Other Perks, Too

Updating your sales playbook with AI has the potential to radically transform how you conduct business – not only giving you more efficiency, but improving training, creating more time to sell, and making sharing best practices easier.

Instead of training your teams on the same topics and then sending them out into the field, leverage AI to identify teaching moments, spot areas needing additional or specific training, discover where individual reps are lagging behind their peers, and come up with personalized suggestions on how to fix those weak spots.

AI performs the analysis, freeing your sales team for more selling. The AI we use in our company can spot the leads ready to close and provide next best action recommendations – leaving the sales team to sell, not hunt for the right leads to pursue. This cuts down on the time spent on team meetings, performance assessments, and generalized training.

Lastly, AI helps you rise to the top. High-quality leads practically sell themselves, leaving your sales team little to teach. A closer who knows how to handle the lower-quality leads, however, has much to teach those around him. By spotting the deeper dynamics, AI uncovers the actions making the real difference for your organization – actions other team members should be learning, too.

So, use AI to evolve or die – but evolve smartly.


About Rob Käll


Rob Käll is CEO of Cien, a new sales productivity app that gives sales leaders an immediate edge by using the power of artificial intelligence to increase the productivity of their teams.

You can connect with Rob on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The original version of this article first appeared on Sales 3.0 Conference.


Subscribe to our newsletter

all reps can achieve quota - cien

, , , , , ,