Why You Need A Sales Bible

Nicola Cook // December 17 // 0 Comments

Sales Bible, Playbook, SOP – Sales Operational Manual – call it what you want,  but you can’t scale your sales function without one.

I’m often quoted as saying ‘Brand is a promise of consistency’,  but that also applies to how well you codify and deliver a  consistent end-to-end customer journey in your business.  If someone’s experience of being ‘sold to’ differs depending  on how they come across your company, or their point of  entry into the sales cycle, or the employee who picks up  the opportunity and engages with them, then you are  undermining your brand promise.

An unmapped, unmanaged, unregulated and un-templated sales process is as damaging to your business as not knowing your cashflow.

Yet, right now, in your business there are pockets of hidden  genius. Someone has the best opening one-liner that has the  highest engagement on LinkedIn. Somebody else has the best research and analytical method to figure a prospect’s core problems. Someone writes the best sales copy, someone else has  the best qualification technique. Someone is a demon at follow up, or closing. You get my drift.  

This is not about ‘scripting’ your sales process – I hate scripts.  Hated using them as a salesperson, hated it when I had to make  a team I managed use them, hated the reaction and frustration it  created in our customers. They’re rigid, inflexible and suck out all  the creativity and empowerment from your team.

Templates meanwhile – I luuuuuurve a good template. I have a  rule in my business. If you write or say something more than  twice (and it works) template it and add it to your Bible.

Start by mapping out all your core customer journeys. Your  new business process. Your onboarding process. Your account  management process etc. and build your workflows and IT  processes to align your business with the most efficient way to  meet your customer’s expectations. But as always, the devil is in  the detail, and that’s why you need to layer on-top a Bible.

Here’s three core steps to build and populate your Sales Bible;

1.Decide where your Bible will be hosted  

This could be a simple folder structure within your shared work  area. Be that Dropbox (if you’re old school), Sharepoint, Google Drive,  

or many of my clients host their playbook on an internal wiki  such as Confluence.  

Top Tip: Build as many templates or ‘how to’ guides into your  CRM as possible. The more your templates slot into your team’s  daily workflow the better compliance you will have. 

Another Top Tip: Ensure your templated information is exactly  that – templates. Don’t mix live operational content with Sales  Bible guidelines. 

2. Decide how to populate it 

This is often the step that - even with the best intentions - is the  reason most Bibles never get populated. Let me tell you what  doesn’t work. Giving this as a ‘project’ to one team member,  or team leader. My advice is to make this a team task and give  everyone a timescale within which to document all their best  practices.  

We created our Company Shortcuts Bible at a time when we  were switching our systems over to Google. We gave the team  two months to copy over any files or sales templates they wanted  to keep before we restricted access to the old file structure. It  worked a treat and had the added benefit of cleaning up our  internal document library at the same time. 

3. Keeping your Bible current

Now you have the codification of ‘how we do sales around  here’, someone needs to be responsible for maintaining (then  improving) those standards. Watch out for silos forming that  undermine team compliance. Are people following the guidelines  on how to create a customer record for example. Do your team  write Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the city field or simply Newcastle,  and as for Postcodes … don’t get me started!. As a team, review  your results, review your process at least every six months and  update your templates accordingly.  

The world and customers’ expectations are ever evolving, and we  need to ensure we continue to build Sales Engines that enable  our prospects to purchase from us in a way that they want to  buy – and to do so consistently.

Nicola currently has only one space available to support an ambitious  organisation in 2021. If you want that to be your company email helen@companyshortcuts.com for an application form.
About the Author Nicola Cook

Nicola Cook is an award-winning entrepreneur and twice published international best-selling author on professional selling and personal & business growth. She is CEO of Company Shortcuts, a business devoted to improving business results by injecting skill, passion and strategy to help those entrepreneurs and sales enthusiasts achieve the sales results they desire.

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