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8 Step Guide To Creating A Winning SaaS B2B Sales Playbook

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17 Minute Read

Refine Your B2B Sales Playbook for 2023

Actionable plan and step-by-step guide for creating an effective sales playbook needed to scale your sales team and degree of predictable revenue.

Playbook users report 15% more sales reps achieving annual quota, compared to non-adopters. (HubSpot)

Having an effective B2B what is a b2b saas sales playbook is an essential component of any inbound sales program for any B2B company looking to increase profits, and continue growth. Empowering your sales team to operate within a B2B SaaS sales strategy playbook provides competitive battle cards, call scripts, email script positioning guides and create standardized notes when speaking to prospects and customers.

 

Below are high level benefits of investing time in refining your companies b2b saas sales playbook:

  • Increase your win rate with more effective messaging in your b2b playbook
  • Implement guard rails around the sales-ready messaging throughout your B2B sales hubspot playbooks
  • More deals done, faster, with a proven process that works
  • Standardize closing techniques used by the best salespeople in the world
  • Eliminate guesswork and increase confidence when it comes time to close a deal

 

Even if you hit success in a given month, you won’t be able to repeat sales it if you don’t know exactly which steps you took. This guide will help your sales team create a highly effective b2b sales playbook framework. so you can increase leads, sell more, and skyrocket your revenue.

What is a B2B SaaS Sales Playbook?

A sales playbook is a document that outlines the key steps salespeople need to take in order to close deals. The sales playbook should include information on the buyer persona, the sales process, and the various sales strategies that can be used.

The b2b sales playbook is a specific type of b2b sales playbook that is designed for businesses that sell to other businesses. The b2b saas sales playbook should include all of the same information as a regular sales playbook, but it should also be tailored to the specific needs of b2b sales.

Some of the key components of a b2b saas sales playbook include defining the target market, creating a sales process, and how to use sale strategies.

Defining the target market

In order to create a successful sales strategy, you need to first identify your b2b target market. This includes understanding the needs and wants of your ideal customer.

Using Sales Strategies

Sales playbooks should outline the various sales strategies that can be used and when they should be used. There are a variety of sales strategies that can be used in order to close deals.

Sales playbooks can help salespeople close more deals by providing them with a step-by-step guide on how to successfully sell to their target market. A b2b sales playbook is specifically designed for businesses that sell to other businesses and should be tailored to the needs of those salespeople.

Creating a sales playbook is a great way to help salespeople close more deals. If you're not sure where to start, or if you want to make sure you include all of the key components, be sure to check out our sales playbook template. This template will help you create a sales playbook template that is tailored specifically for your business and your target market.

What should a b2b sales playbook include?

A sales playbook should include information relevant to the specific needs of b2b sales for a given business. Things that can be included may vary by business needs, goals, and industry. 

 

An effective B2B sales playbook might include:

  • Company overview: including the sales process, sales strategies, and sales tools that are available

  • Product info: this could be a product sheet or data sheet that outlines what the product is, how it works, and what benefits it provides

  • Industry research: this could be an analysis of the industry landscape, trends, and other relevant information

  • Competitive analysis: a review of the competition, their products, their sales strategies, and how they compare to your own business

  • Customer persona: a description of your ideal customer, their needs, their wants, and how your product or service can meet those needs

  • Sales process overview: a step-by-step guide on how to successfully sell to your target market

  • Sales strategies: an overview of the various sales strategies that can be used in order to close deals
  • Playbook Goals and KPIs:  an outline of the goals and KPIs for the creating a sales playbook template, so that you can track and measure success

b2b sales playbook

 

The problem becomes even larger when you take sales digital technologies into consideration. Back in the day, it was only about sending sales letters and making calls. Now it’s a lot different. There are so many different factors that influence your sales strategy playbook and its implementation and long-term execution.

Leveraging B2B sales playbook software only way to implement is to pre-plan your moves and execute them effectively.

b2b-sales-playbook

However, learning how to create an effective B2B sales playbook framework doesn’t mean you should be rigid in planning or approach. Everything relating to your sales plays operations still needs to be flexible, scalable, and the old linear approach is lost in history. These days, it is all about setting attainable sales milestones that leverage B2B agile sales playbook rules, not about blindly following someone else’s formula. 

Additionally, taking historical sales playbooks and revenue attribution can help refine your B2B sales playbook framework and creating a sales playbook template in support of pipeline forecasting accuracy.

b2b sales playbook examples

 


 

What are the five typical stages of a B2B sales process?

Before you can make an effective sales playbook, you have to really understand what the typical stages of a B2B sales process are.

1. Prospecting

The first stage of the B2B sales process is prospecting, which involves generating leads and identifying potential customers. This can be done through various means such as online research, attending trade shows, or networking.

Sales prospecting can be a difficult and time-consuming task, but it's essential for keeping your pipeline full of qualified leads. If you're not sure where to start, or if you're looking for ways to improve your prospecting skills, consider the following tips:

Make sure you have a solid understanding of your target market and ideal customer profile. This will help you narrow down your search and focus your efforts on those most likely to buy from you. It’s important that you understand who your target market is and what they're looking for. By taking the time to research your market, you'll be able to create more effective sales pitches and messages that resonates with your audience.

Your offer is what will convince potential customers to do business with you, sales strategy playbook so it's important that it's strong and relevant to their needs. Make sure you clearly communicate the value of your offer, and be prepared to answer any questions that prospects may have.

Build relationships. Don't just view potential customers as leads sales playbook framework - get to know them as people. By building relationships with your prospects, you'll be able to better understand their needs and create a more personal connection. Stay in touch.

Stay in touch with your prospects even if they're not ready to buy right away. By keeping in contact, you'll stay top-of-mind when they are ready to make a purchase.

Be persistent. Sales prospecting can be a numbers game, so don't give up too easily. It takes time and effort to build relationships and convert prospects into customers, so stay focused and persist through the challenges.By following these tips, you can improve your sales prospecting skills and increase your chances of success.

Keep track of all the leads you generate, so you can follow up with them later. A CRM system can be helpful for this.

 

2. Qualifying B2B Sales

Once potential customers have been identified, the next stage is qualifying them to see if they are a good fit for your product or service. This involves assessing their needs and budget to ensure that they are able to make a purchase.

Best Practices for Qualifying Potential Prospects

Ask lots of questions! The more you know about their needs, the better you'll be able to determine if they are a good match for your offering.

Listen carefully to their responses and look for any objections or hesitation. This can give you clues as to whether or not they are truly interested in buying.

Be sure to qualify each prospect individually, even if they come from the same company. Their needs may vary, and what works for one person may not work for another.

MQL vs. SQL:

At this stage of the process, you may hear the terms MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) and SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) used. Essentially, an MQL is a lead that has been determined to be a good fit for your product or service based on their needs, budget, etc., whereas an SQL is a lead that has been further vetted by sales and is ready to move on to the next stage of the process.

Determining if they are a marketing qualified lead VS sales qualified lead will help you to know how best to proceed. From there, you can determine if they are ready to buy or if they need more nurturing before they are sales-ready.

 

3. Nurturing

If a lead isn't quite ready to buy yet, that's where the nurturing stage comes in. The goal here is to build relationships and trust over time so that when they are ready to make a purchase, they will think of you first. This can be done through things like educational content, targeted emails, or even just regular check-ins.

  • Ways to Nurture Your Leads: 47.5% of marketers noted that email marketing was effective in reaching business goals- HubSpot.

  • Email Marketing: Send them helpful information related to their needs, such as blog articles, eBooks, or even just tips and tricks.

  • Personalized Content: Create content that is tailored specifically to their needs and pain points. This could be in the form of blog posts, webinars, or even just a dedicated landing page.

  • Regular Check-Ins: Don't be afraid to reach out and touch base every now and then, even if they're not ready to buy yet. Just a quick check-in can go a long way towards building relationships.

 

4. Negotiating

Once a lead is ready to buy, it's time to move into the negotiation stage. This is where you'll work out the details of the deal, such as price, delivery date, terms, etc.

Things to Keep in Mind During Negotiations:
It's important to have a clear understanding of what the other side wants and needs. What are their pain points? What are their goals? Your sales playbooks or hubspot playbooks should keep negotiations in mind.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. The worst they can say is no.
  • Be prepared to compromise. There may need to be given and take on both sides in order to reach an agreement.
  • Always have a Plan B (and even C) in mind. If negotiations break down, it's important to have other options available.

5. Closing the Deal

Once an agreement has been reached, it's time to close the deal and make the sale. This is where all of your hard work pays off. Sales playbooks or hubspot playbooks should go over how to effectively close the deal.

Ways to Close the Deal:

Get everything in writing. This could be a contract, purchase order, or even just an email confirmation. Having everything in writing will help to avoid any misunderstandings later on.
Make sure that both sides are clear on what was agreed upon. There should be no surprises at this stage of the process.

Get a commitment from the buyer. Whether it's a deposit, a signed contract, or even just a verbal commitment, you need to make sure that they are fully committed to going through with the purchase.
Follow up after the sale. This is a good time to check in and see how things are going. It's also an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell additional products or services.

 

Post-Sale Service

The sale doesn't stop once the deal is closed. In order to turn a one-time buyer into a lifelong customer, it's important to provide excellent post-sale service. This could include things like product support, warranty service, etc.

Ways to Provide Excellent Post-Sale Service:
Stay in touch. Check in every now and then to see how things are going. This is also a good time to upsell or cross-sell additional products or services.

Be available. If they have any questions or problems, make sure that you are available to help. This could be via phone, email, live chat, etc.

Offer support. Whether it's product support, warranty service, or even just general advice, make sure that you are there for them when they need you.

The B2B sales process can be complex, but understanding each stage will help you to close more deals and build better relationships with your customers. Additionally, understanding each step and how the customer moves through the sales journey is critical to creating effective sales playbooks.

 


 

 

 

8 Steps To Follow When Creating A Sales Playbook

 

 

Step #1: Identify Your Rain Makers

Every business has its unique selling point, something that separates them from the competition. You should think about your selling point, and emphasize it, making sure buyers are aware of .

That unique selling point has to be your primary focus when trying to boost sales. It can be something completely unique, for example making custom-made birthday cake candles. Or it can be something about the way you operate—”wall painters that leave the floors stainless.”

b2b sales playbook

Identifying your selling point is a great first step. Once you have this critical component refined to your liking, focus your marketing and sales efforts will reduce friction in your overall sales process. Without an effective value proposition, your company not stand out within your industry and your ideal customers won’t have a reason to choose you over your competitors.

 

Step #2: Identify Your Target Customer

The next step is to identify your target customer and to create a detailed customer personas. If you want to sell, you have to understand your customer’s objectives and compelling pain points.

  • What factors to bring up, in a given sales stage and how to weight those factors
  • Save time by identifying your ideal customer profile for verticals and market cap
  • Get laser focused on niche vernacular that aligns with how your ideal customer is thinking
  • Understand what makes your target customer tick and effective probing to establish consequences of inaction

When creating a buyer persona, go in-depth. Think about your typical customer and note their key characteristics. Here are some of the things to consider: gender, age, social background, education, relationship status, family status, employment status, average income. You can also think about their personal interests, hobbies, anything that characterizes them. After you figure that out, give your target customer a name.

b2b sales playbook strategy

Later on, when creating a sales funnel and scripts, think about the buyer persona, and whether or not he/she will like what they see. Make sure the answer is always positive, and that your wholesales technology and marketing process caters the needs of your perfect customer.

 

Step #3: Standardize Sales-Ready Messaging

While you can scripts with exact steps your team members will follow in the sales process, or even go as far as giving them exact words they should say to potential customers, it is better to give them flexibility.

  • Ensure all sales reps are delivering the same, consistent message to potential customers
  • Eliminate guesswork when determining what content needs to be created in order to start a conversation with a prospect
  • Create a library of pre-approved messaging that can be tailored for each individual prospect
  • Reduce time wasted on creating custom proposals and pitches

The best sales b2b marketing playbook should serve as the scalable framework of all of the other scripts you are making. Your sales playbooks should implement pipeline management best practices, and the scrips should contain explanations for common scenarios or sales technology team roles.

sales playbook strategy

You want to make sure all of your team members and salespeople are on the same page and share the same goals. However,  never try to be a control freak standing over their head non-stop.

You should also give an example to your salespeople. For example, you can show them how to make a great sales call, or you can send them sample emails of famous copywriters. Another option is to give them recordings of great face-to-face meetings with customers. All of those examples will make the learning curve less steep, easing them into the process.

 

Step #4: Prepare Relevant Enablement Resources

When your sales personnel get in touch with potential customers, they better be ready. Sales skills are sometimes enough, but more often than not, people will want proof.

  • Save time by sending prospects only the relevant enablement resources they need
  • Increase conversion rates by sending prospects content that is relevant to their stage in the buying process
  • Differentiate yourself from the competition by sending prospects engaging and visually appealing content
  • Effectively track opens, clicks, and downloads to see which resources are most effective

 

 

You want to have testimonials, case studies, references, or even offer free samples or trial versions of your products. By giving proof of the quality of your products and services, you will instantly gain trust. People are more likely to buy when they see that other people bought before them. So, whenever you make a sale, reach out to your customer, and ask them to leave a review. That will make future sales much easier.

 

Step #5: Raise Rep Compensation Incentives

First, your salespeople need to know exactly what they earn, you have to be transparent. But, they should also stay motivated to sell. In other words, you should offer them excellent bonuses. The following list outlines objectives and results for refining your B2B sales playbook example in order to:

  • More sales reps will sell more product and reach their quotas
  • Reps will be more likely to stick around when they are seeing financial benefit
  • Easier to manage a quota-based system with software that can track actual performance
  • Sales managers can see what works and replicate it across the team

sales playbook forecasting

Put yourself in their skin, and try to give them reachable bonuses. Of course, don’t set the bar too low, but don’t make it impossible for them to earn more. You want them to keep trying and to improve steadily. They will earn more money, you will get more sales, a win-win situation.

 

Step #6: Synchronize Marketing & Sales Alignment

You hear it often: “Every b2b business should have an online presence” “You must have active social media accounts” “You simply must write a blog,” and so on. However, people often neglect the most important thing—what is the point of all that?

While B2B sales and marketing alignment may sounds like some over-hyped industry term, having your sales team vouch that the messaging your marketing team in marketing agencies is publishing aligns wit the over arching messaging within your sales playbook.

  • Get your entire sales and marketing team on the same page
  • Ensure all messaging is consistent and accurate
  • Create a repeatable process that generates results
  • Eliminate guesswork when it comes to what works

 

B2B sales playbook

The point of it is driving more sales. Yes, some forms of marketing like blogs usually don’t directly lead to more sales, at least not in the short term. But they will help you build brand trust, which will eventually lead to more ideal customers coming your way.

Based on the type of service you provide, or the type of products you sell, you need to choose an approach that will show the most results, and focus on that. Every move you make when creating a digital playbook should be sales-driven. Never lose track of that; if you do, you are wasting time and money.

 

Step #7: Set Up B2B Lead Conversion Tracking

The whole point of your sales playbooks is driving more sales. However, there are other things to track that can provide useful information, and balance at the end of the month is not the only number that is viable.

For salespeople, you should aim for things like making calls per day, or emails sent. If you’ve never done this before, just start tracking everything, and after a while, analyze what people who made the most sales methodologies did. While you may be looking at dozens of reports, do you know how much money your top performing pieces of content generated last quarter?

b2b sales playbook strategy
See what marketing channels are driving qualified leads

It's critical to determine what marketing channels are driving the most qualified leads to your business. Once you know which channels are performing the best, you can focus your efforts on those channels and continue to generate high-quality leads.

The first step is to set up lead conversion tracking. There are a few different ways to do this, but we recommend using Google Analytics. It's a free tool that provides valuable insights into your website traffic and conversion rates.

Once you have lead conversion tracking set up, take a look at your marketing channels and see which ones are generating the most leads. You can then focus your efforts on those channels and continue to drive high-quality leads to your business.

 

Track and attribute leads to b2b marketing campaigns

Lead conversion tracking is an essential tool for any business that wants to generate more qualified leads. By understanding which channels are most effective at driving leads, you can focus your efforts on those channels and continue to grow your business by focusing on these in your B2B sales playbook.

 

Optimize your b2b lead conversion funnel

Once you know which channels are driving the most leads, it's important to optimize your lead conversion funnel. By making sure that your lead conversion funnel is optimized, you can ensure that you're able to convert as many leads as possible into customers.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when optimizing your lead conversion funnel:
Make sure that your website is designed to convert visitors into leads. Your website should have a clear call-to-action (CTA) and lead capture form that's easy to find and use.

  • Have your sales team follow up with leads in a timely manner. If leads are not contacted within 24 hours, they're much less likely to convert into b2b customers.
  • Provide valuable content to leads throughout the sales process. This can help nurture leads and keep them engaged with your brand until they're ready to buy.
  • By following these tips and including them in your B2B sales playbook, you can optimize your lead conversion funnel and continue to generate more qualified leads for your business.

Understand which marketing channels are most profitable

In order to generate more qualified leads, it's important to b2b understand which marketing channels are most profitable. Once you know which channels are performing the best, you can focus your efforts on those channels and continue to generate high-quality leads.

There are a few different ways to determine which channels are most profitable:

  • Look at your lead conversion rate. This is the percentage of leads that convert into customers. The higher your lead conversion rate, the more profitable your channel is.
  • Determine your cost per lead (CPL). This is the amount of money you spend to generate each lead. The lower your CPL, the more profitable your channel is.
  • Examine the lifetime value of your customers (LTV). This is the total amount of money that your b2b customers spend with your business over the course of their lifetime. The higher your LTV, the more profitable your channel is.

Try to figure out what made them more successful, and once you have it isolated, think about ways to implement that into your inbound sales strategy, which your whole sales team can use to improve forecasting accuracy regarding sales cycles, forward velocity in your sales funnel and overall lead to conversion rates.

There are plenty of other things you can also track, such as monthly sales growth, cost per acquisition, average purchase value, and similar. Just make sure you are doing something useful with the data you collect. Those numbers on their own mean nothing if you don’t act based on them- don’t collect for the sake of collecting.

 

Step #8: Never Stop Improving Messaging b2b Sales

Yes, your B2B sales playbooks should be able to withstand the test of time, but that doesn’t mean it is set in stone. Ideally, the criteria for your sales playbook should be conditioned for growth within your sales team over time. Additionally, set aside time monthly To measure the performance of sales messaging your sales team is leveraging inside your sales strategy playbook in order to continually refine your sales-ready messaging to continually improve lead to conversion rates

You should focus on developing the core, b2b evergreen strategies, and approaches. However, don’t be too rigid, and make slight messaging changes along the way, staying in line with the goal.

b2b sales playbook strategy

As long as you are making decisions that are goal-oriented, and as long as you are doing them in a pre-planned way, you are good. If you notice something is hurting sales, ditch it. On the other hand, if you notice that a slight tweak in your sales letters made a significant response boost, include information it in your playbook.

Always be open to new ideas, but also give them enough time to test them. Don’t quit on something only because it didn’t work within the first week.

B2B Sales Playbook Takeaways

Our eight steps will help you create your own digital sales playbook that will help you drive more sales. Of course, in sales and marketing, nothing is guaranteed.

However, if you take a b2b healthy, step-by-step approach, you are much more likely to succeed. Effective Sales Playbooks help you build repeatable and scalable sales operations, and any system is a better option than taking random steps. Sales playbooks also keep your teams on the same page. This can help drive collaboration, innovation, and sales- as well as your bottom line.

b2b sales playbook strategy

While your team may already have these sales playbook software, data points and processes in place, ensure your sales playbook implementation process align with best practices to ensure you deploy a scalable sales playbook software that will adapt as your sales team grows.

While further systematizing your b2b company's sales playbook may not be a top priority with all the spinning plates in your sales organization, investing that time in the coming months can drive WAY more closed deals in 2023.

Below outlines some key benefits to investing the time now to refine your B2B sales playbook:

  • Increase your sales success rate with our proven playbook.
  • Get more leads and close more deals with our step-by-step guide.
  • Stop wasting time reinventing the wheel - use our playbook to shortcut your way to success.
  • Boost your professional credibility with this top-quality resource.

If you aren’t sure where to start, consider hiring an inbound sales agency that can help you evaluate your companies existing sales playbook, provide actionable tips for refining your B2B sales playbook and options for how we can help. 

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Chris Leach

Digital marketing professional with 19-years of tested experience balanced in strategic planning and scaling ROI for lead generation, customer acquisition and client engagement programs. Since starting 310 Creative in 2003, I have had grown it into a Diamond Tier HubSpot® Partner ranked in the top 1% of all HubSpot® partners worldwide and serving as an extension of marketing teams of large brands such as Live Nation and Universal Music Group to help scale marketing and lead generation partnership campaigns for Verizon, Best Buy, AT&T and EMI.

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