The 7 Components of a Killer Sales Development Playbook (Part Two)

Welcome back to part two of our discussion on sales development playbooks. If you haven’t read part one, you can find it here:

The 7 Components of a Killer Sales Development Playbook (Part One)

(Don’t forget to also pick up Trish Bertuzzi’s The Sales Development Playbook (not an affiliate link))

As a refresher (because part one was shared with you two weeks prior to this one), we find the following to be the sections of a sales playbook that you absolutely must have for your SDRs. Remember, there are always going to be differences company to company, industry to industry, but your playbook should really consist of the following:

  • Product/Services Overview
  • Lead Qualification Criteria
  • Messaging Guidelines
  • Objection Kill Sheet
  • Competitor Kill Sheet
  • Customer Stories
  • Industry Glossary

In Part One we covered Product/Services Overview, Lead Qualification Criteria, and Messaging Guidelines. In short, you really need to offer your SDRs a thorough outline of your offerings so that they’re able to answer a first layer-level of questioning from prospects. They need to know exactly what a qualified lead looks like and the answers to the questions that they need to ask to deduce said lead. Your reps also need to know the messages that are going to help them have business conversations with your targeted prospects. Of course, that’s not all, so here’s what else they’ll need…

Objection Kill Sheet

What are the most common objections that come up during sales conversations, and how do you get around them? That’s what you want in this section. There’s really no muss or fuss about this part of your SDR playbook; it’s pretty easy. A great way to figure out what objections are would be to sit in on sales calls with your sales team. I would venture to say that the majority of their time is spent helping prospects understand the abilities of your product or services, so hop on some calls and write down everything you hear. Pass this information along to your SDRs in an objection kill sheet. Create bite sized snippets of how they can get over the most reoccurring roadblocks that they’re going to come up against and you’ll set them up to overcome them on the phones, transitioning what would have been a hang-up to a qualified meeting.

Competitor Kill Sheet

Much like the objection kill sheet, this section of your SDR playbook needs to detail out how you’re different from all of the other players in your space. Use an excel sheet, use logos, I don’t really care how you do it, but make sure this is in there. How does your product or service stack up against your competition? For example, if I were going to put together a competitor kill sheet, I’d want to have my SDRs know how QuotaFactory stacks up against my friends from MemoryBlue, Green Leads, Vorsight, and Alleyoop. I want them to be able to talk about the differences in cost, deliverables, project management, employee backgrounds, and so on, so that when a prospect brings up one of those competitors, we’re prepared to counter. What you do not want is to have a prospect object with a competitor and your SDR freezes because they don’t know how you’re better. That’s a call ender if I’ve ever heard one, so set them up right with a competitor kill sheet.

Customer Stories

You know what speaks louder than your SDRs on the phone? Your customers’ stories of how you helped them solve their problems. I was torn on putting this section as the first one, because it’s that important. I’ve worked with many clients who do not have customer success moments to share with our SDRs, and every time I feel like I die a little bit inside, only because I know how convincing they can be. I have also been lucky enough to work with SDRs who have memorized customer testimonials and can rattle them off during a sales prospecting call to great success. There’s a reason why people go to Yelp or TripAdvisor before going to a restaurant or booking a hotel room, and that’s to see what everyone else thinks about the decision that we’re making. Your prospects are the same way. If they haven’t already researched you before you even pick up the phone, they sure as heck are going to after your reps speak to them. Teach your SDRs to weave these victorious moments throughout their conversations as a form of saying, “see, your peers were in the same boat as you, and here’s how we helped them overcome challenges A and B.” Last word on this one: obviously you need to have these in digital form for them to email, too. I shouldn’t have to say that, but better safe than sorry.

Industry Glossary

The last part of your sales development playbook needs to be a glossary of terms that they’ll encounter during their prospecting. Most likely, sales development reps are calling on titles higher than theirs, and if they’re new to your industry, do things right by them by literally spelling out all of the different words, initials, and anagrams that they will encounter. It’s possible, too, that they’re going to hear ones you didn’t even think of, and that’s okay – they can teach you and add it to your doc for the next crop of new hires that you train. You want them to know that when a lead talks about CRM, that they know it stands for Constantly Refined Materials rather than Customer Relationship Manager. The best way to get this section to be as comprehensive as possible is to get help from other parts of your organization. I’m thinking you sales engineering team, service delivery teams, or customer success would have all of the acronyms that you SDRs are going to need.

That rounds out the seven sections that you need, nay, must have in a killer sales development playbook. Your playbook may have more chapters than the ones I’ve outlined, and that’s fine, but if you want your SDRs to be equipped to handle anything that comes there way, you’ve got to have the seven we’ve already talked about. That said, let me know in the comments below what you think I’ve missed!

Chris Snell

Chris Snell

Chris Snell is Director of Sales and Marketing for QuotaFactory. As the second SDR hired way back in 2002, when the company was formerly known as AG Salesworks, Chris is currently responsible for the sales and marketing efforts of QuotaFactory. Chris lives in southeastern Massachusetts and is the proud father of his two children.

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