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How to Create a Remote Sales Playbook?

11 minutes read

What is a Remote Sales Playbook and how is it different from your Existing Sales Playbook?

A sales playbook is a document outlining your sales process; buyer personas; call scripts and agendas; sample emails; discovery, qualification, demo, and negotiation questions; proposal guidelines; and/or competitive intelligence guidelines.

On the other hand, a remote sales playbook is an extended version of your sales playbook. It explains how to carry out all those sales activities remotely

In this blog, we are going to discuss:

  • What a remote sales playbook looks like
  • The elements that go into the remote sales playbook
  • And, how do they differ from your regular sales playbook

Whether you are creating a new remote sales playbook – Or updating an existing one for your remote team – here is how to go about it:

Important Sections in a Remote Sales Playbook

1. Company Overview

A good way to open a playbook is by providing an overview of your company. The purpose of this overview is to get your new hires up to speed. Familiarize them with the basic facts of the company and the sales department.

This section covers:

  • Details of the company, the different departments and structure

  • Information about the sales department

  • Details about the sales reps’ career path

Remote Playbook Version: Get creative while presenting your company’s overview. Use videos and infographics along with the textual information in order to make the content interesting.

Include a video of a senior executive at your company talking about the company’s history, mission, vision, and values. Get the VP of sales to talk about the sales department and how it is organized. Here are some topics that she can cover:

  • How the sales functions are split ( use an infographic along with the video here)
  • Who leads each team
  • What targets each team is held to
  • How territories are assigned (use an infographic along with the video here)
  • Who can the sales reps reach out to in case they have questions or requests and so on

Also, include a video of a senior sales executive outlining the career paths for the sales reps. He can cover:

  • What milestones should a sales rep hit in order to get promoted
  • How long it takes on an average to get from one stage to the next stage
  • The requisite skills or experience for each stage
  • And the incentive structure at each stage

2. Products

This is the most crucial section in any sales playbook. It lists down all the products and services that sales reps will be selling. We will enhance it in a remote sales playbook.

Remote Playbook Version: Apart from including the product collaterals, you need to ensure that the sales reps engage with the content, understand, and retain the product information.

Use videos. Have the subject matter experts explain about each product in a video. They can cover the following information about each product:

  • Features, advantages and benefits of the product

  • Use cases and core value offering

  • Pricing

  • Buyers and end customers

  • Industries or verticals that use the product

  • Competitive products

They should answer this question while describing each product: What is your product and why should customers select your product over alternatives?

Pro-tip: Some companies create one sales playbook per product. Take this route if your products are fairly different and require radically separate buying processes, and are sold by different members of your sales team.

Learn how to use SmartWinnr to makes your sales team deeply knowledgeable on your products.

Also read: Sales Training and Communication Playbook for New Product Launch

3. Buyer Persona

This section includes all the buyer personas that your company targets. It helps your sales reps to quickly hone in on the most qualified leads.

Remote Playbook Version: In the remote sales playbook, the buyer personas’ details remain the same. Here is what you need to mention about each buyer persona:

  • Job title of the buyer

  • The industry that the buyer belongs to

  • The organization that she works for. And the structure of that organization

  • Who does she directly report to?

  • What are the KPIs or targets that she needs to achieve?

  • What are the challenges or pain points?

  • Who has the power to make the final decision?

  • And, when does each decision-maker enter the buying process? For example, the CTO probably won’t get involved until her team has narrowed the list down to two vendors, while the tech team lead may be communicating with the rep from day one.

In addition to this information, incorporate videos of role plays with each buyer type. Strive to provide at least one video for each buyer persona. These videos should portray the behavioral patterns of various buyer personas. And, show the techniques to efficiently do business with them.

Pro-tip: It is a good idea to include the qualification criteria of the buyer. For example, you could mention that a particular buyer is “Able to buy within four months” or “Has sufficient budget” etc.

Also read: Learn more about how to create fun buyer personas - The 6 Buyer Personas and how to train your team to sell to them

4. Messaging

This section offers a concrete understanding of delivering your brand message perfectly to your prospects and customers. It typically includes messaging samples like:

  • Email templates

  • Positioning Statements

  • Phone call scripts

  • Meeting agendas

  • Sample presentation decks

  • Other pre-written resources

Remote Playbook Version: The messaging section in the remote sales playbook contains all those things mentioned above and more. Here are the additional things that go into the messaging section of a remote sales playbook.

  • Video call script
  • Video call etiquette
  • How the sales person should introduce themselves to the new prospects on social media, WhatsApp, video calls, and during virtual networking events and conferences
  • How to win the trust of the customer while selling virtually
  • How to ask strategic questions during the video call to uncover the customers’ needs
  • How to give a product demo virtually
  • What are some common objections at various stages of the sales process and how to handle them efficiently
  • What are the strategies to turn customer objections into sales opportunities

Learn how to use SmartWinnr’s Video Coaching to make your sales reps’ to perfect the messaging skills of your sales reps.

5. Examples

This section of the playbook contains some great examples of sales conversations. It shows the reps, what a great sales meeting or a call or a demo looks like. This helps them to learn from the best and incorporate some best practices into their own sales practice.

Remote Playbook Version: In the remote sales playbook, incorporate some great examples of remote sales conversations with the prospects and customers. Strive to give at least one example for each stage. Here is how you can go about it:

  • Provide two ideal WhatsApp chat and/or social media DM chat conversations with the prospects
  • Upload the links to the recordings of two discovery calls
  • Upload one connect call recording
  • And, three demo recordings and so on

Learn how you can use SmartWinnr to share some of the best sales conversation videos with your entire sales team to drive best practices

6. Technology

This section guides your reps to efficiently use the technology that they need to do their job. In a regular sales playbook, this section would typically include instructions on using a CRM system. Because the main tech tool that a regular sales rep uses on a daily basis is the CRM. But this scenario changes in remote sales.

Remote Playbook Version: Remote sales reps have to use a set of tech tools every day to do their job. Right from prospecting to closing deals. And, from communicating with their managers to collaborating with their teammates. They depend on some or the other tech tool that creates a virtual work environment for them.

Therefore, it becomes extremely crucial that they have a handy guide that will help them to use these tech tools efficiently.

Incorporate instructional videos on using tech tools (along with the textual instructions). Below are some of the common tech tools that a remote sales rep would use.

  • A CRM to manage customer and prospect relationship data

  • A sales training/ coaching platform to receive consistent sales training remotely

  • A sales performance management system that will track the sales performance of each rep and reward good performance

  • A video conferencing tool like zoom to have virtual meetings with customers and prospects

  • A team communication and collaboration tool like slack to collaborate with the teammates and managers

  • And, a resource sharing tool like google drive for information sharing

Pro-tip: Make sure that you explain the below 3 things about each tech tool:

  • When to use it?
  • How to use it?
  • What activities should the reps be doing in the tech tool on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly/quarterly basis

7. Sales Process

This section is absolutely critical. It explains each step in the sales process. And, the key activities that the reps have to do at each stage.

When it comes to remote sales though, the sales process changes slightly. So, automatically this section will change too. Let’s see how.

Remote Playbook Version: Here is how a remote sales process differs from the regular sales process. In remote sales:

  • The sales activities are done virtually

  • And, the sale progresses quickly

When compared to the regular sales, it takes much less time in remote sales to get to the closing stage. Since it’s all done virtual, it saves the sales reps a great deal of traveling time and waiting time (the time they spend waiting for someone or something). So, they can quickly finish prospecting or meeting with a customer and move on to the next prospect/customer (they can nurture multiple clients at the same time).

So, explain a step-by-step process of how a typical remote sale progresses. Write about each step in the process and the ideal timeline for each step. Right from the first connect to the deal closed and done.

Here is what to include in this section:

  • What virtual channels should the reps use for prospecting?
  • How to qualify a prospect?
  • How frequently should they send emails, get on phone calls, and/or video calls with a prospect who shows interest?
  • What are the key activities that define each stage?
  • Who is going to be involved in each stage (the rep, their manager, the prospect, the buying authority, etc.)?
  • What are the deliverables?

8. KPIs

Here is what to explain in the KPIs section:

  • Which metrics do your company’s sales managers track most closely?
  • Which metrics should sales representatives pay the most attention to?
  • Based on previous data, what KPIs are most associated with sales success? For example, maybe you’ve found that reps who make 50-plus calls per day are significantly more likely to hit quota.
  • What’s the preferred process for tracking individual KPIs?

How to make it remote: This section is not going to change for a remote sales playbook (since your key metrics are going to remain the same irrespective of the way sales activities are carried out).

However, you can emphasize on the metrics that are important to you in the current situation. For example, in the insurance industry, healthcare insurance is in high demand right now. So, the “sale of healthcare insurance” becomes the main metric for the next few months. The reps’ performance will be mainly measured against this KPI.

Also read: KPI Gamification Part 1 - How to Select KPIs

9. Incentive Plan

This is the section that all the sales reps look forward to excitedly in a sales playbook. It outlines how incentives, commissions, and bonuses work at your company. This is an important section to have in a playbook because it carries a motivational factor for the reps. The better your reps understand how your pay structure works, the more likely they are to work towards earning it.

Remote Playbook Version: Just because your remote sales reps are working remotely they don’t have to miss out on the fun aspects like sales contests and incentives. You can very well conduct virtual contests and reward the top performers with exciting incentives.

If you already have this section in your existing playbook then update it to reflect the remote sales incentive plan.

Mainly, you need to include information on:

  • How quotas are set
  • The frequency of virtual sales contests
  • And the bonuses and incentives

Present this information in the form of videos and infographics to make it interesting.

Also, provide examples of what total compensation looks like at different levels of performance. If your organization has different compensation plans then this section is a little more difficult to construct, but you should still describe the basic process.

Pro-tip: Here are some incentive suggestions for your remote sales reps:

  • Money Bonus
  • Amazon gift cards
  • Buy lunch and get it delivered to them
  • Additional vacation days
  • Offer profit sharing
  • Offer educational opportunities (gift them an eLearning course on anything that they want to learn)

Also read: 23 Sales incentive ideas to keep your sales team motivated

Want to create a successful sales environment for your sales reps?

Click here to learn how to build a successful sales environment at your organization

Read what sales experts are predicting about sales in the year 2021

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Learn how sales enablement helps in driving sales revenue growth in 2021

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How SmartWinnr Can Help?

In addition to your remote sales playbook, use SmartWinnr’s easy-to-use mobile platform to keep your remote sales team up-to-date with the latest product knowledge, market information, competitor information, selling techniques, and more.

Interested to learn more about SmartWinnr? Talk to us today!

Published on Thu Jun 18 2020

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