Being a business development rep is hard. Often considered the hardest part of the sales process, we are tasked with initiating a conversation with a prospect that is not expecting a call, uncovering some sort of need or pain point, and getting them to commit to a next step (i.e. demo, intro call, etc.). All of this has to be done within about 5 minutes over the phone. Any longer and you run the risk of losing their interest. Because of this short window, being prepared with an accurate playbook is crucial to being successful.

A playbook is a well-thought-out mind map of your business and how to talk about it. It describes the target market, key profiles of decision makers and influencers, informs on how to talk about your business and everything that can happen on a call, from the opening statement to closing with a call-to-action. The idea is to use this as a framework for training and a structure for BDR’s to carry a conversation with an unsuspecting prospect.

Precious time and capital are utilized when training new BDR teams. The best way to ensure your team is prepared to hit the phones is to train them with a playbook that accurately defines who to go after and how to talk about your product/business.

This is not to be confused with a script.

Prospects can tell when you’re reading off a script compared to speaking naturally. Playbooks allow you to set a framework, then each individual BDR has the freedom to add their own style and personality on the call and make it their own.

Aside from training, a precise playbook prepares BDR’s to deal with some of the most common objections. We’ve all been there before. A prospect you’ve been dying to get on the phone answers, you deliver a solid introduction only to be met with “I’m not interested” or “I don’t have time”. Mapping out a way to get around these common objections is exactly what a playbook is designed to do.

It’s always a good idea to get together with your team once a week to discuss everything you’re hearing on the phone. Use this meeting to take a look at your playbook and make any necessary changes. If what you’re saying on the phone isn’t working or you’re hearing a different type of objection, you have the flexibility to adjust.

Eventually, the team will become well versed in having these conversations and won’t need the playbook as much. However, by keeping it updated and accurate, it then becomes an important tool to scaling the team and adding new reps. The more accurate the playbook, the faster new reps can ramp, and the quicker your company can grow.