The Sales Executive’s Guide to Creating the Best SDR Playbook

The Sales Executive’s Guide to Creating the Best SDR Playbook
Updated date:
Mar 16, 2022

Table of Contents

Imagine a world where every sales executive is given a cheat code to use while dealing with life’s hurdles.

Impossible, right?

“So, what does it take to stand out from the crowd?” This is a common question most sales teams ask. A couple of factors can stand in the way of delivering exceptional B2B sales development. Some of these hurdles are not easily recognizable. 

Have you been wondering how you can beat the game? Well, you are not alone. I was hoping you could stick with me to find out the cheat codes you can use in sales. 

The Sales Executive’s Guide to Creating the Best SDR Playbook

The main cheat code is to build a sales development playbook. But how do you know what should be in a sales playbook? Keep reading.

So What Is A Sales Playbook?

So What Is A Sales Playbook?

A sales playbook is an outline that sales reps use to help them get over different sales stages. In simple terms, it helps the sales developer to know what to say in a specific selling situation. 

The playbook includes sample emails, discovery call questions, buyer personas, and many more. 

What’s The Use Of A Playbook In Sales Development 

Are you still not convinced of having a playbook for your team? Here are some reasons that might change your mind:

Some SDR leaders hardly see the need to develop a playbook because sales development keeps evolving. Soon, the materials on the playbook will be outdated.

The truth of the matter is that without the sales playbook, your sales development team will do double the work. 

This is because they will be obliged to come up with different angles every time they talk to a distant prospect. 

If you are a sales rep, you know the hassle of writing the same email in different styles or the struggle of not knowing how to pitch to a new prospect.

This is where the playbook comes in. Having a guideline on pitching or emailing the prospect is like heaven to most sales reps. A playbook will help your team sell more.

Also, having a playbook makes new hire training much more effortless. 

Having a clear picture of your buyers, the pain points you might experience, and how they buy your product will make it easier for the rookie. 

Using a playbook helps in saving up time. It is pretty hard for the sales developer to focus on closing the deal when they are busy trying to come up with ways to pitch to a prospect. 

The playbook allows the sales rep to have more time for selling. The playbook also gives you the chance to spot the most successful techniques. For example, if you notice that a particular sales rep is closing their deal using a specific method. 

You can choose to share it with your team and add it to the playbook for others to use.

What To Check Before Designing A Sales Development Playbook?

What to Include in a Sales Playbook?

Note that not all playbooks are similar. They range depending on its product and size and the market scope. It is unheard of for two companies to have similar playbooks. 

How do you write a good playbook?

While designing the playbook, assessing what is important to you now is essential! 

Later, you’ll continue to add materials as your company grows. Here is what you should know while designing a playbook.

Who We Are?

Defining your company will make it easy to know how you want the market to perceive you. Ensure that you highlight your history, mission, and differentiators. 

What Are Our Goals?

Understanding your goals will help you design a playbook that will guide how the team will reach the goals. 

Assess What You Are Selling

This might seem obvious to you, but the best playbooks often detail the products or services they offer. Some buyers can be demanding; hence, knowing your product’s ins and outs will guide you to creatively develop a pitch that will help you close the deal. 

How Are You Going To Sell It?

This is the most vital part to consider while designing a b2b sales playbook. Ensure that you define the different stages of sales. Do not forget to explain the people required in the different stages. Map out the selling process from when you contact the prospect to when you close the deal. 

Who Are You Going To Sell It To?

One factor that helps improve the odds of closing the deal is choosing the right customer. Given the truth in this, it is best that you clearly define your buyer’s personas. Having this picture in mind will help you know who you should be targeting. 

Ensure that you define what makes a particular prospect fit your ideal customer profile and what will make them not. Detail out the buyer roles you should be targeting; this could be either their title (i.e.:CEO, VP or president) 

What Is The Prospect Saying?

A great playbook offers guidance on how the reps ought to respond to objections stated by the prospects. In this case, it is best that while designing the playbook, ensure that you come up with different responses that the prospect might state. 

Once you create the objections, ensure that you develop responses your sales rep can use. 

How Are You Going To Gauge Success?

Establishing the baseline of your success will help you know when you achieve your goals. Every company has its different measure of success. Doing this will help you see when you are struggling and the areas you are working in.

How Will You Show Success?

 Ensure that you include a section where the sales rep can show its success while closing the deal. This could be in the form of testimonials, case studies, or your company’s stats.

A review like the above goes a long way to show your team’s success without bragging.

How Will You Reach Them?

Ensure that you detail your structure on reaching out to your prospect. While designing the playbook, ensure that you include different types of messaging that the sales rep can use. 

It would help if you always referred to your buyer persona as it will help create personalized messages. Emails are one form that you could use to help reach your prospect. 

Now that you have created your playbook, how do you know which cheat codes will work for the challenges you might face?

List of Problems Every B2B Sales Executive Has to Face

PROBLEM 1: Reliance On Free Sales Practice

Technology is a valuable servant but a dangerous master. Nowadays, anyone can access any source or video on the internet. Technology has given people the power of self-education. It seems like a good thing, right?

In hindsight, however, self-education produces salespeople who think they know what they are doing, but they do not. Some of the information on the internet is outdated; others are too technical for entry-level understanding.

With deals to close, you’ll find that the salesperson will look up sites and try to implement what they read. The sad truth is that there are no websites that highlight the standards of all companies. 

People fail to realize that sales development is more than reading Hubspot articles. Yes, you can refer to it, but it does not make you a pro. Have you ever noticed that it is hard to find a successful SDR publishing an article on how they achieved their success? Why is that? 

Sales development is competitive, and relying on free sales practice might not offer you the tips you need.

CHEAT CODE: Knowledge is wealth, and in sales development, you have to pay to gain knowledge. You could decide to hire a consulting firm as a start. 

PROBLEM 2: Telling Instead Of Showing 

How many times have you forgotten the name of a person you’ve met just right after they told you? 

I see you smiling; we’ve all been there. A common mistake in sales development is verbally explaining the product instead of showing it. 

CHEAT CODE: Show them what you’ve got. You engage with the prospect by showing the product, which raises your odds of a sale. 

This is because if the prospect is actively engaged, they will remember how your product or service will be of value to them. 

PROBLEM 3: Sales Is Sales Development

What people often think is that sales development is similar to sales. The truth is that sales development requires experience across different disciplines. To gain experience in sales development, you should start as a rep at a company.

CHEAT CODE: Gain experience first.

PROBLEM 4: Failure To Assess Who Your Multi-Buyers Are

In B2B, most consumers use a myriad of sales tactics. Therefore, anyone in sales ought to understand their buyers’ needs. This simple act can help you develop a personalized tactic to pitch to multi-buyers in the same room.

Note that you are likely not to close a sale when you only focus on listing the product’s details. One tactic that helps in sales is to have an authentic conversation with the decision-makers in the room. By doing this, you are building your credibility and illuminating your value. 

CHEAT CODE: To help you better understand the multi-buyer, you should put yourself in their shoes as it will help you have a better overview of their needs.

PROBLEM 5: Making an Assumption of What the Buyer Likes!?

In most cases, most B2B companies hardly ever conduct a survey that will help them know what their buyers like. Note that in sales development, data is everything. It is pretty hard to convince a buyer to buy something they do not like. 

Some of the data you would need to collect to help you know the ideal prospect is like a day in your buyer’s life or how they get to spend their time. 

Such crucial information will help you assess if your prospect is the ideal buyer.

CHEAT CODE: Anytime you build a picture of your buyer through the data you collect, sales development will be easier for you.

PROBLEM 6: Not Making A Couple Attempts To Persuade The Buyers

Nothing ever comes easy; it is a saying that greatly exemplifies sales development. There are times that you might be lucky and get a quick buyer to buy your product. 

But there are those days when you might interact with a buyer who needs some persuading for them to buy your product. Some give up quickly whenever they do not hear from the buyer and decide to move to another one. 

At the same time, some feel that they are nagging the buyer and opt not to reach out. Most sales developers fail to realize that buyers need numerous attempts to reach back; they are also busy just as you are. 

CHEAT CODE: Here at AI Bees, we realized that it is best to make as many attempts as necessary for you to get a sale. 

In most cases, most sales developers will give up after reaching out 2 to 4 times.

PROBLEM 7: Inadequate Training After Hiring The Sales Developer

Sales development requires continuous learning. An aspect that most companies fail to acknowledge. What happens is that after the sales developer is on board, the training will not occur.  

CHEAT CODE: To help nurture successful sales developers, it is best to remember that training should not stop after hiring the professional.

PROBLEM 8: Understand and Learn New Buyer Preferences 

Today the modern customer is looking for more than great deals and products. They want to feel like their needs are being met by the company they buy from, which means that brands have an opportunity in today’s market - if used correctly. 

CHEAT CODE: Brands can use discounts (and other empathy-grabbing techniques) to show clients how much they care about them. This may include offering payment plans or paused payments so struggling people don’t get left behind because of lackadaisical attitudes on the part of doing what’s right. 

PROBLEM 9: Limited Use of Modern Technology

COVID-times were the most challenging part of every business to be more productive. Now, as we move into a post-COVID world, companies need to think about how they can still find success even with new processes and modes of thinking. 

CHEAT CODE: The essential thing is unlocking opportunities through technology. These include finding the right software for your company’s needs or implementing an effective sales pipeline system that includes technologies like CRM (customer relationship management) tools along with side engagement methods such as chatbots. There are many ways today’s business owners could use these resources for better productivity and sales. 

PROBLEM 10: Elongated Sales Cycle

An average B2B buying cycle is often longer than a prospect’s typical purchase. This can be because there are more than one decision-makers and more complex deals to handle. Prospects may sit in sales funnels for months before moving on board with you at any point during this process.

CHEAT CODE: It requires finding a balance between being pushy without holding back valuable information or engagement periods from potential buyers altogether! 

Once contact information has been established through initial communication (elevated by relevant content), delivering those solutions becomes key to closing out business partners faster.

PROBLEM 11: The Information Overloading Issue 

Another challenge in B2B sales is overcomplicating the pitch with too much data. It can lead to wasted time and resources, as decision-makers become overwhelmed by analysis paralysis when looking at all that information for their own company’s use or potential clients. 

In many cases, these complexities make it difficult for them to take action on what needs doing - but there are ways around this problem. 

Pushy sales representatives can overwhelm prospects with information, turning away potential customers. Companies need to simplify how they present and sell their services or products to win more sales. 

It’s easy for businesses to become weighed down with information overload, especially with clients constantly bombarded by sales messages. As a result, they might never convert into clients. - The solution? 

CHEAT CODE: Make buying simpler! Businesses should focus on their top value propositions and repeat the benefits of each one effortlessly so that buyers can easily digest what you’re offering them.

They should be able to do so without feeling overwhelmed or pressured into making decisions too quickly (i.e., “taking it upon themselves” rather than having others make suggestions). 

Furthermore, a good sales development representative will listen carefully during conversations while also asking questions around specific pain points of their clients- listening empathetically ensures success because people want meaningful connections. 

PROBLEM 12: Lack of Customer Trust

With low investment compared to what buyers consider for their business, overcoming a lack of customer confidence is one big challenge for B2B sellers. A transition can be difficult and complex when coming from old ways that may not work anymore.

The heavier a monetary investment is, the more difficult it gets for your customer to trust you and give their hard-earned money away. 

CHEAT CODE: Give your prospects all the information they need in an easy-to-understand way. Be sure to offer proof that other companies have seen success with this solution, so you can convince them why it will work for their business too. 

Your business will need to prove that your selling solution has worked for others in similar positions. This can be done through testimonials or case studies, but it’s essential not only to show off your past successes - offer prospects an insight into what they might expect next. 

It may seem like common sense. Provide valuable information people want and findable on website pages (or via social media), communicate clearly about both benefits & risks associated with whatever product/service offerings exist; remain transparent, so there aren’t any surprises later down.

PROBLEM 13: Poor Retaining of Current Customers 

One of the most critical tasks a sales team can do is make sure they have qualified leads coming in. However, the salesperson should also invest an equal amount of time into retaining customers who are already on their list.

Doing that takes less effort and money than acquiring new ones. It will eventually provide you with overtime after all these steps taken to get people interested enough by first getting them interested through marketing campaigns or other means before even bothering to try out closing deals for new clients.  

So how to elongate the time-stretch of the customer retention phase? 

CHEAT CODE: Appoint experienced sales representatives specifically if possible since this helps create deeper connections within your company’s client base. In contrast, at the same time, uncovering opportunities based on customer growth needs changing from year/decade. 

If you have a sales team that struggles with customer retention, find out why customers leave. However, some of them might not be happy about their current account situation and want to go for another one. 

Remember, your customers can leave you for a variety of reasons. You cannot force them to stay; instead, you can help them stay by identifying why they’re going and what you need to do better. Thus, gathering their feedback is helpful as strategies go live in hopes that retention rates improve for all involved parties.

PROBLEM 14: Poor Email Campaigning 

With time, spam filters have continued to become much stricter. The rules have made it harder to reach out to potential buyers. The systems can easily detect any spam keyword or phrase, automatically triggering the spam filter to protect the user.

It is essential to have someone to help you with the email delivery. Are you looking for a company to help you with email prospecting? 

Well, you are in luck as AI Bees can help with that. They can quickly help you track the lead generation process and acquire clients. 

CHEAT CODE: Your success in email campaigning is just a call away.

The Final Note

Is your company assessing using emails to reach out to prospects but do not know where to start?

You do not have to look any further as Ai Bees has got you covered. We can help you reach out to prospects and generate leads for you. Why not try us today and see your company change for the better.

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