“Hello, did you read the playbook?”
How often have you wanted to scream this during a meeting? (Don’t worry, I bite my tongue almost every time the impulse strikes me.) I know I’m not alone. We could hold a pretty big therapy session just for marketers suffering from “it’s in the playbook” response syndrome. I’d give out huge bars of chocolate and Do Not Disturb I Need a Minute door hangers for post-therapy coping practice.
We can’t give up on the playbook. No matter how tempted you might become. Whether you’re going after a new segment, launching a solution to market, or combating competitor moves, sales playbooks are a fantastic resource for building a consistent go to market approach between sales & marketing.
Matt McClendon, President of DSG Consulting, and I held a little therapy session of our own as we prepared for the upcoming Product Marketing Community event in Boston. Matt shared some honest truths.
Three big blockers keep playbooks from being used effectively.
- They are not easily accessible from the road.
- They are too static.
- They are hard to search.
You can do something about it, right now. Like really right now.
The first step towards fixing something is acknowledging it’s broken. Say it with me. “Our playbooks could be better.” Luckily, there are two quick things you can implement right now.
- Add a simple feedback mechanism – Keeping your playbook fresh is key to driving long term adoption but to do so means making it easy for sales to provide feedback. It doesn’t matter if your playbook is as simple as a google document, or even a PDF file, you can build in feedback mechanisms by allowing readers to add comments or hotlink an email address you will monitor to critical sections. Encourage sales to share what’s working, and what new information they are collecting while on the road.
- Add an index – When a salesperson is prepping for an on-site meeting or gets a question on a call, they need answers fast. Simply adding an index to the playbook can cut down on time-consuming browsing and direct readers to exactly the information they need. This is particularly important for playbooks that might be downloaded to a device and lack built-in search capabilities.
Consider yourself invited!
If you want more from your playbooks I hope you can join us at the Product Marketing Community event in Boston on April 26th where Matt will be sharing additional tips & tricks for driving greater adoption of your playbooks.
Register here and use CODE: SAMANTHAVIP for a discount.
P.S. Ready to up your playbook game but can’t make it to Boston?
Matt’s pulled together some great videos to get you started. You can find them here.