Here, your goal is to give reps a clear understanding of who you sell to and what to do and say in every potential scenario.
In these next few areas, we’ll look at what elements must be in place to answer those three questions.
6. Identify target personas
This section provides detailed customer personas that aim to paint a clear picture of your ideal customer and the market conditions, trends, pain points and preferences that influence the buying decision.
A B2B persona may include information such as:
- Company size
- Geographical region
- Job title
- Role in the decision-making process
- Pain points
- Solution requirements
A B2C persona may include information such as:
- Job title
- Business background
- Where they go for information
- Motivations and goals
- Purchasing behavior
These profiles help your team anticipate needs, answer questions and overcome objections. They also provide a framework for helping both your sales and marketing teams to identify and target qualified leads.
For instance, a mid-level marketing manager may be responsible for kickstarting the research process, while the CMO won't enter the picture until it’s time to get serious about evaluating solutions and targeting verticals.
While buyer personas are designed to represent entire segments, it’s important to remember that they’re composites of real customers, not fictional characters.
Capture data from the following sources to inform your personas:
- Sales interactions
- Communications records
- Social media mentions
- Support tickets
- Online reviews
- 1:1 interviews
- Survey feedback
- Customer service interactions
- Website, email and social media analytics
This section should also explain the buying process for each persona. This includes what events might compel them to seek out a solution and what needs to happen at each stage.
7. The “plays”
Sales plays walk reps through the actions and best practices proven to move deals forward.
This section covers a lot of ground, much of it specific to your industry or situation. However, you’ll generally want to include the following elements:
- How to qualify leads
- How to forecast
- How to establish the right cadence
8. How to use sales tools
You’ll also want to create a section detailing the proper use of your company’s tech stack. While salespeople may already know how to use CRM systems and project management apps, every company uses these tools differently.
This chapter must go beyond a basic introduction to using each feature. Instead, focus on how to use the right tools at the right time to move deals forward by creating detailed use cases (e.g. comprehensive step-by-step workflows).
This chapter should include the following information:
- Where to find tools
- Which tools and features should be used at specific touchpoints
- How do you input data into the right fields?
- How do you manage leads?
- How do you track leads?
- How do you track opportunities?
- How does lead ownership work in your organization?
- How are quotas assigned?
- What goes into creating accurate forecasts?
Additionally, it’s helpful for reps to get a sense of how the CRM and other tools connect with organization-wide data.
What other programs integrate with the CRM? For example, does your system capture information from customer service interactions and marketing campaigns?
If so, be sure to give salespeople clear information on how they might use big-picture data to inform their approach.
9. Key performance indicators (KPIs)
Which metrics should your reps focus on the most?
Consider objectives such as time to close, average deal size, number of qualified leads generated and so on.
Make sure you outline expectations around how salespeople’s performance is measured and how all metrics on your sales dashboards connect with daily selling activities.
Keep in mind, you also want to make sure that the sales team understands how sales leaders are measured and what they’re responsible for when it comes to training, coaching and providing resources.
This section might include instructions for leaving feedback about the sales process, training programs and resources, which can be used to fine-tune your strategy.
10. Time management & cadence recommendations
You might also include a section that provides general recommendations for how salespeople should break up their day.
For example, you might include guidance based on how much time top performers spend on prospecting or making follow-up calls, or the cadences that have proven most effective for closing deals.
This section should serve as more of a template for helping new reps get started and should allow individuals to experiment with which tactics work best for them.
Finally, messaging represents the “what to say” part of the equation.
Here, you'll want to provide scripts for explaining your brand's value proposition, products/services, and positioning.
- Elevator pitch
- Discovery questions
- Objection handling & responses
- Positioning guides
- Email & call scripts for prospecting, nurturing, closing and so on
The goal is to provide salespeople with on-demand, context-specific content to support interactions with buyers.
Make sure that your internal and external-facing resources are organized, easy-to-find and tailored to individual buyers.
External-facing content refers to the content you’ll share with customers such as:
- White papers
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Sales sheets
- Product presentations
Internal content is designed for the salesperson and includes the following:
- Battle cards
- Pitch decks
- Training content
- Relevant articles
Collate top-notch external and internal facing content through cross-team collaboration. The best resources are the result of a company-wide effort.
Your client-facing customer success and account management teams can help you uncover customer pain points. Use that information to create product solutions-driven content that helps your reps nurture leads and close deals.