B2B Sales Playbook Examples to Help You Build Your Own Playbook

B2B Sales Playbook Examples to Help You Build Your Own Playbook 1024 768 Contemsa

We’ve done the hard work for you and found some readily available sales playbook examples (all available from the company’s own website and freely available on the internet through a simple Google search..).

In each case, we’ve rounded up what works and doesn’t work about the playbook, to give you a bit more insight into what to look out for when building your own sales playbook.

Oh, and should you need a little help building your playbook, we’ve got an amazing offer where you get a comprehensive, enterprise sales playbook template available in Word and PowerPoint format, in 6 color options and with a 60 page guide that walks you through each section, complete with the questions you need to answer to build your playbook. Access it here.

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So let’s get started…

  1. Cisco Cloud Sales Playbook


Busy contents page

Playbook contents page

To start with, that is one heck of a contents page! This could put off a lot of readers so think about how you can make your sales playbook as concise as possible – does it really need 30 sections, or can you slim it down depending on your audience? Or perhaps you can split your playbook into a few different documents, such as: Opening the conversation, Managing our internal sales processes, Post-sale operations, etc.

Text: less is more!

Playbook example text heavy page

This playbook is also very text-heavy. For your own playbook, less is more. Focus on visuals and how you can change big blocks of text into simple-to-consume bullet points where possible.

Remember, the aim of the sales playbook is often to open up a conversation with customers and get them interested in progressing the conversation about a particular product or service. You don’t need to have every bit of information about the product you’re selling in the playbook – that can be left to the Product Specification documents.

Instead, make the sales playbook document a compelling tool that readers want to engage with.

Spotting a sale

Playbook - qualifying an opportunity

The playbook has some great aspects though: for example, it has a detailed section on how to identify a good sales opportunity, showing characteristics that would signal that a customer is a potential prospect.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your customer could be anyone, as that is difficult for sales reps reading your playbook to figure out who would be good to target. Do you work with customers in every country? Do you work with customers with any turnover, even pre-revenue customers? 

2. AIG Insurance


Focus on the visual

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This playbook is very visually appealing – with a simple, infographic-style design that will engage readers immediately. It’s not an intimidating, heavy document – it’s something that all enterprises could aspire to create for their own playbook.

Simple and focused

Playbook example - simple information

In this playbook, information is arranged using icons and bullet points – focusing on a few simple snippets of information rather than lots of heavy text-based pages.

Focus on customers’ objectives and challenges

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This playbook starts by talking a lot about what they do as a company and why they are ‘great’ before it goes into customer concerns and business challenges.

It’s recommended to focus first on customer challenges and business objectives, in order to frame the playbook story – showing sales reps what the customer issue is, how you can help solve it, and the benefits and outcomes from using this product.

3. Microsoft Azure


Telling a good story

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This playbook fulfils its aim of explaining the Microsoft Azure opportunity to new business partners, and focuses on telling a story. The playbook educates potential resellers on what a traditional IT services partner looks like, and what the Azure services partner will look like – to take their partner prospects on a ‘journey’.

Focus on the opportunity

Playbook - focus on the opportunity

This playbook cleverly presents its information; displaying it in a simple and concise way, whilst focusing on the business opportunity for the playbook’s readers.

Linking back as much of the playbook information as possible to what the business opportunity is for the playbook’s audience is critical for playbook success.

Don’t try to boil the ocean with a playbook

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This playbook is a whopping 56 pages long. How many people will actually finish it? Nearly all of the sales playbook examples we looked at had verrrrry long documents – so think about what is going to work best for your audience.

It goes into depth about every part of working with Microsoft Azure, from presenting the opportunity to actually explaining in detail to how to set up a consultancy practice selling Azure services. Does this info need to be in one single playbook? Would it actually be more effective if it were split out into multiple documents that were presented at different stages of the partner enablement process?

4. Dell


Don’t start with ‘Features and Benefits’!

Features and benefits - sales playbook example

No, no, no! Have we learnt nothing from all that corporate sales training? Never start with the features and benefits!

Always start with positioning your product, so looking at the market situation for your clients, or your customers’ business challenges that need to be solved.

Then, introduce your product and show how it aligns to those challenges, and how the features of the product deliver benefits, which result in real business outcomes for your customers.

Arrange complex information simply

Playbook - simple grid layout

So, presumably, your playbook content will be quite technical or complex if you’re working in the B2B space. Think about how you can distil information into simple to consume frameworks, such as tables or grids, where information can be displayed in a straightforward, yet structured and professional, way.

There you go – that’s our round-up of the good and the ‘could be improved’ of some of the world’s biggest companies’ playbooks.

We hope we’ve given you some tips and insights from these sales playbook examples to help making your own sales playbook a little simpler.

Take a look at our Sales Playbook Template Pack for more support and playbook advice:

Sales Playbook Template Pack