Technical Sales by Hub
Sales Engineering Playbooks – Great Way To Optimize Your Presales Performance
The value of playbooks
The nomenclature of playbooks is well understood in most areas of sales. Essentially, sales playbooks are documents that sales teams use to employ best practices, tactics, and strategies during different stages of the selling process. Some even argue that sales playbooks can hold intellectual property on how to best sell to get the win. According to SalesForce, companies utilizing sales playbooks are 33% more likely to be high performers with win rates exceeding 50%. So it should not be any surprise that presales professionals who want to enforce best practices utilize sales engineering playbooks. But how are sales engineering playbooks different from other sales playbooks? Let’s look at that in more detail.
What is a sales engineering playbook?
Sales engineering playbooks reflect best practices associated with particular jobs that presales professionals perform on a regular basis. Those jobs may include presales activities like:
- Guided Product Trials – applicable to product-led growth (PLG) where the presales professionals help users extract value from a free trial.
- Technical Discovery and Qualification – presales determine the technical needs of the prospect to ensure that the seller’s solution can meet requirements and deliver differentiated value.
- Technical Presentation – presales delivers a compelling story of why now, what the sellers are offering, and how it differs from other solutions.
- Product Interactive Demos – the presales professionals follow an interactive dialogue on key product capabilities that mirrors what the prospect cares about the most.
- Personalized Workshops – when the presales professional may prepare a very personalized demo environment that reflects the prospect’s operational environment.
- Proof-of-Concept (POC) / Proof-of-Value (POV) Management – The presales professional manages a time-bound project where the seller is conducting an in-depth evaluation of the product under purchase consideration, which is applicable in sales-led growth (SLG) approaches.
- Pre-to-Post-Sales Handoff – a framework where the presales professionals hands-off pertinent information to post-sales to ensure a rapid onboarding experience for new customers.
- New Hire Presales Onboarding – a process in which new presales hires become proficient on products they sell, technologies they must learn, and presales methodologies they must be familiar with to become more effective presales contributors.
It is common for most of these presales playbooks to reside as tribal knowledge in people’s heads. Or spread out across disparate tools, like Word, spreadsheets, PowerPoints, or PDF documents. Or both.
Needless to say, vendors will have a hard time scaling if their best-practice playbooks are simply held as tribal knowledge or dispersed across various artifacts that must be found and maintained regularly to be effective. The problem compounds itself further with the dynamic nature associated with playbooks that highlight key product updates and/or respond to shifting competitive environments.
A better approach to utilizing sales engineering playbooks is needed desperately. And needed now.
Sales engineering playbooks in a unified presales productivity platform
To vastly improve presales productivity and ensure that all sales engineering professionals can consistently follow the most current best practices, a dedicated system that is opportunity- and presales-stage aware is needed.
Hub had developed a unified presales productivity platform that enables sales engineering professionals to easily — and within minutes — create, amend, and apply pertinent playbooks to all presales stages. Sales engineering playbooks can be amended based on product attributes, on the latest competitive capabilities, by people in the front lines or upper management, or to cater to particular use cases and industries.
Furthermore, sales engineering professionals can ingest best practices and existing presales methodologies, like Great Demo! 5 Imperatives, to ensure that all sales engineers can perform to their fullest potential by following a prescriptive approach that is known to win.
Sales engineering playbooks can hold key intellectual property and best practices on how to best execute middle-of-the-funnel presales activities. And if refined over time and, more importantly, effectively applied to the right opportunities using a system of execution built specifically for presales professionals, they can unleash tremendous middle-of-the-funnel productivity gains and growth for the company.