Use a Sales Playbook to Avoid Reinventing the Wheel

How do you prevent your sales team from reinventing the wheel? Simple: Give them a wheel they can use to travel far.

The right sales playbook can provide immeasurable value to all businesses. Whether it’s in business or in sports, a team is only as strong as its weakest player. So it’s important to make sure that all players are on the same page.

And the easiest way to do that is by developing a completely customized sales playbook that can help turn a company’s vision, values, and goals into a strategy with actionable steps throughout the entire sales process.

Not only does a sales playbook streamline the entire sales process, but it also serves as a valuable training resource for faster onboarding and stops the sales team from constantly reinventing the wheel. It is useful to set the standard and drive improvements in the team’s overall consistency and performance. Within the sales playbook, you need to provide a way to communicate and apply consistent best practices.

When best practices are only stored in someone’s head and are not documented anywhere, you risk the following consequences:

• Knowledge is hidden and may not be shared

• There may be a high level of dependency on certain staff (sometimes even on just one person)

• You can’t improve what you can’t see or measure

• Sales teams act on intuition and improvisation

• Knowledge can be lost (e.g., when a key person resigns)

How do you prevent your sales team from reinventing the wheel?

A great deal of time or effort can be wasted in creating something that should have already been created by the organization. So how to prevent your sales team from reinventing the wheel?

Simple: Give them a wheel they can use to travel far.

Here are just a few examples of some common situations where you can help your team to focus on the actual selling:

How to do a proper need analysis   

With 69% of buyers saying that listening to their needs would enhance the buyer experience, it’s clear that salespeople should prioritize the needs of their customers.  

Reinventing the wheel

You can assess customer’s needs in all sorts of ways:

• Defining what needs should be discussed (goal, objectives, gaps, pain points, desired benefits, etc.)

• Determining what levels of needs should be captured

• Establishing the key questions that need to be asked based on a person’s, department’s, and/or organization’s needs

• Choosing the right methodology (Spin Selling, Challenger Sales, Consultative Selling, etc.)

• Considering how personality and motivational drivers should be included

• Determining how current experience should be analyzed

As you can see, there are many ways to analyze a customer’s needs. It is therefore vital to choose the best practice that fits your team, product, and market the most. In this way, your team can truly outperform your competitors.

Adapting is great, creating is wrong

When standard templates, presentations, or proposals are not present or are in bad shape, sales teams may start to write them themselves, or cut and paste pieces of content, modifying what they feel is missing. As a result, they end up wasting valuable sales time and create content that may be incomplete, inaccurate, or that even contradicts corporate or product messaging.

Organize your content in a structured way so that your sales people:

• know what pieces of content to use in which stage of the sales process

• have access to content that is already adapted to sectors or buying personas

• can give continuous feedback so you can improve and grow your content library

Expect the unexpected

In sales, things never go completely the way you wish. Leads suddenly disappear, prospects object in the strangest way, or a client may seek to negotiate the weirdest terms.

Without guidelines, the sales team cannot decide what to do. They either freeze, panic, opt out, or simply make up stuff.

Make sure your team is ready to handle these situations wisely. Build the right framework so that whatever they may encounter, they will know what actions to take.

Use the right sales playbook to set the standard

Sales professionals have selling skills, but how they actually apply those skills may not be in alignment with your strategy or company policy or may not even be effective.

Setting the standard with a sales playbook will ensure that everyone is on the same page, saving time and allowing them to fully focus on the customer. They will master any scenario they encounter since your sales playbook will include all the knowledge that is essential to convert your opportunities into profitable customers. Your sales playbook will grow as your sales team grows. In this way, you will continue to perform better, year after year.

Picture of Yuri van der Sluis

Yuri van der Sluis

Founder at