There is a significant difference between a Sales Playbook and a Sales Saybook, as we will discuss in some detail below. But, to quickly give you the key differences… A Sales Playbook is a complete discussion of how a company plans to go to market with its various products to achieve very specific sales goals. It is for Senior Leadership; Account Executives (AEs) and the Enterprise Account Executives (EAEs); for the Marketing department (especially product marketing managers), and the like. It is comprehensive, detailed, and…impressive.
A Sales Saybook, on the other hand, is designed to give a very junior Sales Development Representative (SDR) exactly what to say in a 3-4 minute conversation so he can book a qualified meeting. It is everything the SDR needs during the call—and nothing more.
Sales Playbooks are Great—for Account Executives
A Sales Playbook is likely hefty, with lots of information on the various market segments, and the various buying personas within each segment that it sells to. Not to mention details on the products sold, pricing, qualifying for pain, negotiating pricing, who the supporting Go To Marketing team is for each product/market, and much more.
Now, the average Account Exec that most B2B companies hire tends to have at least 10 years of sales experience. So this AE is not going to need to read the playbook from cover to cover. Most likely, the AE is going to skim the playbook, take what she thinks works, and build her own, much lighter version of the sales playbook. She can do that, because she knows a lot about selling already—she is just filling the gaps regarding the product, market, and some competitors. And if she came from the industry (most AEs change companies within the same industry), then she has even less “new” stuff to learn.
Sales Playbooks Don’t Work Well for SDRs
This, however, is not the case for SDRs who tend to be very junior, typically with less than two years of experience in phone prospecting. Furthermore, the average SDR changes jobs across industries far more than within the same industry, partly because they want to try a different market to see if they will be more successful there.
Now, imagine a 24 or 25 year old recent hire (as in two weeks ago) grappling with dozens of folders and hundreds of pages that comprise your Sales Playbook—and expecting him to remember what he needs when he is actually calling a prospect. As they used to say in NYC, “forget about it!”
Why a Sales Saybook is Right for a SDR
The 10 second rule
In an article titled, “Two Hidden Competitors your SDRs face every day”, we showed why time was the #1 competitor that every SDR has to overcome in order to get a meeting with a busy decision maker.
Experience shows that, once a SDR connects with a decision maker, he has less than 10 seconds to either win or lose that decision maker’s attention. And those first 10 seconds give the SDR the legitimate right to ask qualifying questions so he can book a qualified meeting that goes on the pipeline.
What happens during those first 10 seconds practically determines the rest of the conversation that the SDR has with the prospect.
Why It Matters
To illustrate, let’s say that you have a service that enables auto-repair shops to significantly improve their cash flow by dramatically reducing their average account receivable cycles.
Let’s say your SDR calls the owner of such a shop, and once connected to the owner, says, “Hi Joe?”…”Joe, my name is Justin with Cash Flo. We help auto repair shops with significant DRP business cut their average AR cycles to under 32 days. I just have one question for you. Do you have a minute?
Here is how this works. DRP stands for “Direct Repair Programs”. Auto insurance companies have pre-negotiated rates for auto body repair jobs. When a vehicle owner who recently was in a crash files a claim, the auto insurance company sends her to one of their nearby DRP shops. The vehicle owner doesn’t really care which shop as long as it’s nearby, the repair job is satisfactory, and all she has to pay is her deductible.
But for the auto-repair show owner, not only are they getting a significantly reduced amount from the insurance company on the bulk of the repair job, but they are getting the money 60-90 days after they complete the work.
Therefore, from a cash flow perspective (which is the lifeblood for most small to mid-sized companies), this is a big problem.
So, when the SDR makes that opening statement, not only is he quickly getting to a critical problem that auto-body repair shops face, but he is using the term they use (“DRP”) to indicate he has experience working with auto-body repair shops. So, he gets the owner’s attention very quickly.
And, when he follows up by saying, “I just have one question. Do you have a minute…” the owner is intrigued and wants to know what the question is and is likely to say, “Yeah go ahead…”
This works just as well for a CFO in a biotech company—as long as the SDR knows the key issue that CFOs in biotech companies grapple with, and he states that in the words they use to describe the challenge. That is very critical.
It’s All About Situational Fluency
As you can see, the reason your best SDRs seem to consistently hit or exceed both their meeting and pipeline quotas is because they have situational fluency and can “talk the talk” of their prospects. They sound like an insider. Therefore, the prospect quickly makes a decision to hear this out a little bit more because, so far, it doesn’t seem like a waste of time.
Even if your Sales Playbook provided all this information, it will be hard for your SDRs to find the exact page it’s on while they are on the phone with the prospect. In other words, unless they memorize several openings (one for a CFO in biotech, another for a controller in pharma, and so on), they will not come out sounding like an insider. Which means, they get the usual, “I don’t have time now”, “I was just walking into a meeting. Call me back tomorrow…”
Why Sales Saybooks work
A Sales Saybook, on the other hand, is designed to provide situational fluency to a junior SDR who knows little or nothing about the industry nor the persona he is calling.
A Sales Saybook walks the junior SDR through the mechanics of the actual prospecting call, as the SDR is talking to the prospect—how to open, get the attention of the prospect, handle objections, then move to qualifying questions, then book the meeting if there is a fit.
Furthermore, each Sales Saybook is 100% customized to the specific buying persona in a specific market segment, so that key phrases are all accurate. This is how your SDR gains the legitimacy to ask the qualifying questions.
Furthermore, the qualifying questions are not generic, but come from a pain bank built specifically for that buying persona/market segment combo. Therefore, in just asking those highly relevant questions, the SDR continues to build on legitimacy and credibility.
Which is why SDRs who use the SOMAmetrics Sales Saybook increase their effectiveness by at least 25% within 2-3 weeks.
Want To Find out More?
If you want to see a Sales Saybook in action, click here to book a demo for SIP, the SOMAmetrics Intelligent Prospecting Solution.