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Lever’s Tips on Building Smarter Sales Plays

Posted in:  Sales Enablement Strategy, Sales Playbooks and Plays

Many of us are closing in on the first quarter of 2021.

Enablement leaders, have your go-to-market (GTM) initiatives been landing? Have you equipped your reps with the guidance they need to turn your strategy into action?

If you haven’t already built sales plays into your enablement strategy, now is the time to leverage them to reinforce your key priorities and equip your reps with the guidance they need to succeed.

Global recruiting software leader Lever has evolved their sales plays from resembling the ‘Wild West,’ where reps created their own sales materials in a disjointed fashion, to full-fledged motions that won the trust of their sales leaders and delivered serious impact.

Giorgia Ortiz and Kaitlyn Buckheit, global enablement leaders at Lever, recommend starting simple and evolving over time.

“To make a sales play easy for your sales reps to adopt, start by observing and understanding their process. Take something that they’re already doing in the field and tweak and improve upon it. By initially keeping it recognisable, your reps can anchor on what they know and learn something new.”
–Giorgia Ortiz, Head of Global Sales Enablement

Unsure of where to begin? Lever recommends you include these four different types of sales plays in your playbook to support GTM initiatives.

Industry-Specific Plays

When targeting a new industry, it’s imperative that your reps know how to walk the talk. Lever uses sales plays to arm reps with industry intel on:

  • Buyer needs and pain points
  • Competitive info
  • Objection handling
  • Discovery checklists to help determine whether the buyer matches the ideal customer profile, and more.

Best-Practice Plays

If you’re trying to get your reps to perform a specific action, build a play that provides best practices to help your reps execute this action. Lever, for example, builds best practice plays that provide all the messaging their reps need to ask clients for referrals. When creating plays like these, be sure to include:

  • What’s in it for your reps (Why should they care? What will motivate them to perform this specific action?)
  • Clear, concise, step-by-step instructions for carrying out a specific action
  • Templatised messaging and examples of what ‘good’ looks like (include snippets or timestamps of calls to listen to from Gong or Chorus)
  • Additional documentation and resources to reference or share with buyers
  • Goals and outcomes to drive towards
  • Main points of contact and subject matter experts to leverage

Internal Plays

Every deal requires team collaboration. With internal plays, you can specify which players to bring in throughout a deal cycle. Who is the right person to bring in during a given stage of a deal cycle, based on the unique challenges your buyer is facing? How do you loop an executive into a deal, and set them up to best support you? These types of plays make team selling less daunting to reps. Consider including:

  • Processes for requesting
  • Team experience and expertise
  • Approved intro templates
  • Best practices

“Our first sales play was designed to help internal teams focus on team selling to help reps win more deals. It was not fancy, and that’s our big takeaway. Start where you’re at, and don’t overthink it.”
–Kaitlyn Buckheit, Sales Effectiveness & Execution

Marketing Plays

Lever runs seasonal marketing campaigns and builds plays that enable their reps. The plays inform reps of what the marketing-led campaign content and activities will be, such as webinars, eBooks, microsites, and more. In each of these plays, the Lever team highlights:

  • What the campaign is
  • How related activities will fit in
  • How to promote the campaign
  • How to craft effective customer outreach to share the campaign

These are just four of the many different kinds of plays you can create. Another key element in reinforcing your GTM strategies is getting the right people to buy-in. Kaitlyn and Giorgia recommend including the following stakeholders:

  • Sales leaders: Work with your sales leaders to identify trends and shape the types of plays you’ll need. They are the “eyes and ears” of the sales organisation.
  • Reps: Reps are your subject matter experts – the audience of the play. The builder of the play can listen to recorded calls to better understand how buyers are engaging, and how the play can support your reps in these moments. Ask several reps to be “early adopters” and share feedback, making sure the play lands with their respective teams.
  • External industry experts: For your industry plays, get an external expert to fill in the knowledge gaps behind new industry motions.
  • Product marketing: As the connection between product and sales, leverage your product or portfolio marketing team as subject matter experts. Rely on them to provide sales content and information on market insights, such as competition and buyer personas.
  • Sales enablement: Your sales enablement team should interview all of the stakeholders above, create and build the play, and provide other resources the reps need, such as email templates and talk tracks.

Finally, to drive sales play adoption, Lever recommends embracing the power of storytelling. Recruit a rep who leveraged the play to share their success in a sales team meeting, and continue to have members of the team share results.

“We involve reps from the beginning. Involving them early-on builds a true partnership, because they’re on the frontlines and know what’s going to resonate. Plays have a lot more traction when the reps are able to share what has worked and what they need. In our Sales All Hands, we have our reps talk about what’s working in the plays, the benefits, and results that they’re seeing. Sharing results live and consistently has been a key part in driving adoption as well as creating awareness and reminders of all the plays that exist.”
–Kaitlyn Buckheit, Sales Effectiveness & Execution

BONUS TIP: Analyse, iterate, and repeat! Sharing anecdotal rep success is a great starting point, but it’s critical to demonstrate the impact to top-level sales leaders and budget-holders in your organisation. This is best done through quantifiable results. Analyze sales play success – from play consumption all the way to revenue outcomes – to find the places where you can optimise your plays to achieve better results.

Take Your Sales Plays to the Next Level

If you want to hone your sales plays to make an impact like Lever did, check out our guide How to Enable Revenue Teams with Plays that Turn Strategy Into Action, and hear Kaitlyn and Giorgia share more tips at Sales Enablement PRO’s Soirée event on April 28th. To browse the other 40 plus speakers sharing insights at the event or to register, go to the Sales Enablement Spring Soirée event page.