Arming Reps With Sales Plays That Maximize Rep Efficiency

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Enablement, through sales processes and plays, has the power to help reps maximize efficiency and effectiveness. Sales plays, playbooks, and processes lie at the core of sales performance; especially as the market evolves, reps must be armed with the right guidance to help them effectively land strategic initiatives in the field.

When reps understand precisely what to know, what to say, and how to say it, they are better positioned to continuously drive value in every buyer interaction. To adequately prepare sales reps for every specific selling scenario, organizations need to implement actionable guidance to give reps customized insights on how to approach the buyer.

Organizations can keep the following five steps in mind when refining existing sales processes and plays and crafting new ones to optimize maturity.

Build Sales Processes and Plays for Go-To-Market Motions

As the market grows and requires new knowledge and skills from reps, reps need to be prepared for the various buyer interactions coming their way. Sales processes and plays are the mechanisms to arm reps with the right information and tools to confront the ever-changing market and buying processes.

Being highly effective at crafting sales processes and plays for go-to-market motions means that reps receive support in line with their organization’s strategic goals. The result is an improved capability to land those initiatives in the field.

“[Sales playbooks] have helped us create a unified sales enablement approach to mobilize reps into action on our core GTM initiatives,” said Ian Westbrook, senior director of field effectiveness at DocuSign.

Crafting processes and plays that reflect the needs of the market results in positive business impact. When organizations are highly effective in aligning their sales process and plays with go-to-market motions, they experience average win rates that are 14 percentage points greater than those that are effective.

As the past year has demonstrated, buyer needs and expectations can transform rapidly. Customers are becoming more knowledgeable, and are looking for a strong sense of dependability from their reps. By delivering seamless buying experiences for customers, reps can consistently demonstrate value.

“That’s what is really important to us: to make sure that we have congruence between how our buyers buy and how we’re helping them by adding value throughout the entire buying process,” said Tieg Herman, director of product marketing and sales enablement at Deluxe Corporation.

Continuously Maintain Sales Processes and Plays

As sales organizations grow, it is important to establish a strong governance system to ensure that sales processes and plays are fitting to the current market and are continually updated to support new material. In doing so, reps will be armed with the right materials to execute various selling scenarios that might require new and cutting-edge knowledge. Especially in hyper-competitive and fast-paced environments, with changing competitors and personas, sales guidance efforts thrive when they are relevant and agile.

By solidifying a strong system to manage and maintain sales processes and plays, reps will be prepared to win deals across a range of customers and industries. To do so effectively, organizations should consistently and continuously refine their sales processes and plays to remain relevant to buyers. When sales processes and plays are managed highly effectively, professionals see win rates that are 9 percentage points higher than those who are only effective.

“Establish that sales plays are not just a one-time thing,” said Nieka Mamczak, senior manager of productivity and enablement at Drift. “It’s not a flavor of the month. It’s continuous. We’re going to do this a lot and this is how we’re going to learn together. If you can establish that process and format that’s reliable and scalable, then from what I’ve observed, the adoption is organic.”

Through managing and maintaining sales processes and plays successfully, sales reps can address the needs of specific customers and markets, which in turn, can foster long-term customer retention and consistent revenue generation.

Utilize Data to Optimize Sales Processes and Plays

Organizations can utilize data to optimize success by learning from and improving upon sales processes and plays. Through tangible metrics, enablement can better understand what aspects of sales plays are bringing reps success, and what might need to be refined or improved upon. Mature data practices mean that enablement programs have established systems to determine the usage and effectiveness of guidance efforts.

“It’s about uncovering what data is out there, what story does it tell, and what are you going to do about it, showing a before and after state of that data,” said Kristen McCrae McMullan, worldwide sales enablement leader at AWS.

When organizations do so successfully, clarity is gained around where the gaps are that need to be closed, in addition to identifying how enablement can tailor processes and plays to better land strategic objectives.

“We’re able to actually gather data and really understand how our sellers are executing,” said Remy Khoung, director of sales enablement at Airtable. “Who are the top sellers? What are they saying? What are they doing? How can we replicate that across the board to all the folks that are coming either as new hires or for our existing sellers who are looking to be part of that top five or 10%?”

When organizations are highly effective in their use of data to optimize sales processes and plays, they see win rates that are 15 percentage points higher than those who are effective in these efforts. This represents the growing value of guidance in sales enablement strategy in addition to the critical role data plays in driving the effectiveness of sales processes and plays.

Align to Goals of Executive Leaders

In crafting sales processes and plays, it is important to leverage the goals of executive leaders as a core foundation. When enablement and executive leaders are aligned on how sales processes and plays connect to business priorities, practitioners are better equipped to drive business impact and land strategic initiatives in the field. As a result, executive leaders can be reassured that the behaviors of reps are directly influencing their core priorities.

While sales reps are focused on the day-to-day interactions, executive leaders keep a pulse on how the go-to-market needs to adapt at a macro level. Therefore, it is imperative that sales processes and plays reflect leadership’s greater vision.

“The leadership team is going to be your ally in delivering your messaging, your sales plays to the rest of the roles and the rest of the team, and they’re going to be the ones to help bring awareness, visibility, and participation the best,” said Mamczak.

To successfully align guidance efforts to the goals of executive leaders, sales enablement can gather feedback on the outcomes that leaders want to see, identify obstacles in the way of their vision, craft solutions to overcome those obstacles, and embrace feedback from leaders as programs are put into action. Doing so successfully fosters positive business impact; when organizations are highly effective in aligning their guidance efforts to executive goals, they see a 12-percentage-point increase in average win rates compared to those that are effective.

Correlate Sales Plays to Driving Business Results

Lastly, mature sales processes and plays rely on sales enablement’s ability to correlate these efforts to driving tangible business results against core go-to-market initiatives. Designing guidance efforts that influence an organization’s strategic initiatives means that enablement can connect its sales processes and plays to the core business metrics that align with these initiatives.

“Dig into the sales process to understand if it works and what could be improved,” said Ben Cotton, solutions enablement lead at Google.

By aligning sales guidance efforts to key business results, enablement can communicate and prove its value in supporting the overarching strategy behind go-to-market initiatives. When organizations are highly effective in doing so through their guidance efforts, they see win rates that are 13 percentage points higher than those that are effective.

With mature and effective sales plays, reps will be armed with the adequate tools and information to achieve consistent wins.

“Sales process…is the way you account, plan and think about winning customers for life,” said John Dougan, director of global sales and productivity at Workday. “The way you manage opportunities in terms of always adding value, always adding insight, understanding the goals, pressures, initiatives, obstacles of the organization you are selling into.”

The maturity of guidance efforts is strongly correlated to meaningful business impact. Professionals with mature sales processes and plays experience win rates that are 7 percentage points greater on average and are two times more likely to have above average employee engagement than those who are less mature.

Effective sales plays and processes foster agility among sales reps and arm them with the right approaches to maximize the success of each engagement. By building plays as a reflection of market needs, effectively managing sales processes, utilizing data, and aligning sales practices to the organization’s goals and desired results, reps will be armed with the right tools to make more positive impact consistently.

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