Sales Playbook Guide: How to Create a Sales Playbook that Sticks [2024]

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The sales landscape is increasingly dynamic and competitive, making it essential for sales teams to have a clear, effective, and adaptable roadmap to closing deals and fostering growth. A well-crafted sales playbook can make all the difference.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover exactly how to construct a sales playbook that not only serves as a foundational guide for your sales team but also evolves with your business, ensuring it remains relevant and impactful.

Transform your sales approach with strategies that are proven, practical, and powerful–and finally documented in the perfect sales playbook. 

What is a sales playbook?

A sales playbook is an essential ingredient for scaling enablement across your revenue organization. It provides a standard set of expectations that becomes the “secret sauce” for how each individual performs their role and achieves their goals.

Why does your team need a great sales playbook? 

Ingraining a solidified sales playbook within your sales team eliminates the challenge of multiple versions of what good looks like, which is very hard to manage, coach, and tie to measurable impact.

It unifies your sales organization around what good looks like when engaging with prospects, ensuring everyone is marching to the same beat and driving your organization’s key metrics. 

Challenges of making sales playbooks

Traditionally, sales playbooks are created and made visible to sales teams as long-form content pieces, which makes it incredibly difficult for sales teams to use. This is because:

  • Your product is constantly changing, the market is ever-fluctuating, and your competitors are regularly switching things up too. A 50-page .pdf or slide deck is static and difficult to update, let alone find. Your playbook needs to be adaptable to evolve with the rapid pace of business. 
  • They’re not sustainable. Playbooks are often treated as one-time learning for new hires or introduced during power sessions with their initial launch. There’s rarely a plan for continuous reinforcement and improvement. A great sales playbook is valuable to tenured reps, not just the new hires, and easy for managers to use for ongoing sales coaching as well.
  • They’re not there when you need them. Imagine a rep live on a prospecting call. They get a question about a competitor and can’t quite remember the answer from your sales training four months ago. They begin frantically searching emails and documents for details but ultimately have to move on in the conversation and then immediately on to their next call. An effective playbook must be accessible in the moment of need.

Spekit takes all the important guidance that a sales playbook intends to provide and makes it adaptable to change, valuable for learning and reinforcement, and accessible when and where it’s needed. 

With Spekit, you can embed your sales playbooks in the flow of work while making it easy to maintain and update them over time as changes occur. 

In this way, Spekit becomes your agile playbook in action

How to make the perfect sales playbook

Consider this guide, a playbook for your playbook.

We’ll walk you through creating your own sales playbooks and include links to sales playbook templates along the way (because nobody likes starting from scratch). 

Begin with these steps to kick off building your sales playbook:

  1. Define your Playbook Strategy - sales process, activities, assets, and resources needed to perform these activities
  2. Designing and Developing your Playbook in Spekit - detailed steps, features the will make this accessible to reps
  3. Launching your Playbook - testing the experience, engaging the teams, empowering the managers, training new hires
  4. Reinforcing your Sales Playbook - rewarding adoption, using agile practices, differentiating by segment, tapping into managers as force multipliers 

Defining Your Playbook Strategy

Wherever you are in the journey from “having no playbook at all” to “having a fully documented playbook,” Spekit can help make this guidance more accessible and just-in-time. 

If you already have some or all of your playbook documented, you can break it out into Topics and Speks based on how it is currently organized and update the guidance as processes change. If you do not, you can use the following guidance to help you structure your playbook in Spekit.

Playbook Structure

A sales playbook includes three sets of expectations for what the sales teams should be saying and doing throughout the process of getting prospects to “yes” and beyond: 

  1. Your sales process, with specific guidance for each stage
  2. Your methodology, including teaching points and tools
  3. Your sales plays which outline what a rep should do in a specific selling situation 

If you already have some documentation for these, great! That can be your starting point. If you do not already have these defined, start small and iterate by following these steps:

Step 1: Define your Sales Process

Work with your operations and revenue leadership to identify and capture your sales process, which includes sales stages and the activities required for each. This is the backbone of your sales playbook. 

Pro Tip: Learn more about sales pipeline stages here ->

Once you have captured this information, each sales stage is a heading in your sales process document, which easily translates to Topics and Speks. In this case, the Topic is “Sales Stages” and the headings are each Speks.

You can then build out your sales processes in Spekit per the guidance in this document, which is an excellent v1 of your playbook. 

Step 2: Capture your Sales Methodology

The next iteration of your playbook is to add your sales methodology. If you’re rolling out or already using MEDDIC/MEDDPICC, Winning by Design, Corporate Visions, Challenger, Force Management, or one of a number of different methodologies or combinations, you can add those expectations to your sales playbook. 

Your methodology is typically the document's title with different aspects of the methodology as headings. Convert the title and headings to Topics and Speks per the below example.

Sales Methodology Spek Structure

Putting your methodology in Spekit in the flow of work will maximize adoption! 

Step 3: Incorporate Sales Plays

The next iteration of your sales playbook is adding sales plays

A sales play turns sales strategy into action by outlining what a rep should do in a specific selling situation, such as prospecting, nurturing, or pitching a specific product. Every play should offer specific information on when to use the play, what persona it should target, and the strategy behind it. 

Often sales plays are used within a defined period of time to execute the go-to-market strategy and are built based on data, research, and trends happening in the business to a desired outcome.

Here are some examples: 

  • Industry sales plays
  • Product sales plays
  • Stalled, “raise the dead,” or win back deal plays
  • Multithreading plays
  • Referral plays
  • Competitive plays
  • Cross-sell/Upsell plays

Each sales play can be its own Spek, as in the examples shown here, and the Topic could be “Sales Play” or, even more specifically, such as “Industry Sales Plays.” 

A suggested Topic and Spek structure for sales plays is below.

Sales Plays Structure in Spekit

The mapping of Speks to Topics starts your sales playbook framework. You can start small and build on this framework as you identify new priorities for supporting your sales teams with process guidance.

Identifying Activities and Assets

The top-level organization of your sales playbook in Spekit follows the sales process.

Each Spek in your sales playbook details the activity expectations and links assets such as other Speks or documents with more detailed information.

As you outline each Spek, identify the activities and assets to help your sales teams execute this portion of the process. 

Breaking Down Sales Stages in Spekit

When including assets, you can choose to:

  • Include a link to another Spek 

Pro Tip: use the octopus emoji to signify a Spek link 

Example: 🐙Discovery Questions

  • Add a video or image
  • Link to long-form content in your CMS
  • Add a document via iframe embed code

For some suggestions on how to structure each Spek in your playbook as well as ideas for which resources to include, reference the Sales Playbook Framework

Identifying Metrics for Success 

Clarify the metrics and KPIs you want to impact before giving your end users visibility to the Topics! Once you identify the metrics that matter, pull a baseline for a starting point. Your goal is to show impact on your organization, and without a starting point, there is no measurable basis for comparing the current and future state. 

As you identify how you’ll measure success, use the table below as a template for identifying the leading and lagging indicators of your sales playbook's performance.

Sales Playbook Success Metrics

Visit this blog post for a list KPIs you can track for inspiration, and consider these suggestions as well.

  • Stage-to-stage conversion 
  • Data hygiene 
  • Close/win ratios
  • Profit margins
  • New product goals
  • Revenue targets for specific industries 
  • Cross-selling or upselling goals

Designing and Developing Your Sales Playbook in Spekit

Now that you have determined your playbook structure and identified metrics for success, it’s time to build out your sales playbook. Here are the steps to build your playbook in Spekit.

Writing Your Sales Playbook in Speks

  1. Create a Topic

Create your Topic (e.g. Sales Process) for organizing your playbook. For help in creating Topics, visit this link

  1. Create and Assign Spek Shells

Create a shell for each Spek based on your framework and assign a designated Expert to each. This will feed the expert’s to-do list in Spekit. Be sure to set a deadline for completing the work. 

  1. Gather and Confirm Existing Documentation

Next, work with your leadership team and subject matter experts for each step in the process to confirm that any existing process documentation is still accurate. Ask your operations and revenue leadership questions like:

  • What do the more successful sales team members do?
  • What do the metrics tell us?
  • Who knows the stage-by-stage guidance?
  • What has Marketing built already for this stage?
  • Who is successful at this piece that we should interview?
  1. Elicit Process Information and Steps

Work with your subject matter experts from your operations and sales teams (including successful reps) to capture what good looks like for every step where it is needed. If a standard hasn’t been created yet, ask your revenue leadership how they want the teams to operate. You can also interview your top performers and their managers and observe or listen to their calls to capture their process.

It's sometimes hard for experts to relay how they do their jobs because they are likely to be unconsciously competent in the area in which they have expertise. With that in mind, try using the questions below to capture the correct process information for building out your Speks:

  • Walk me through the steps as if you were talking to someone brand new to this process
    • What is the impact of doing it that way?
    • What would happen if you didn’t do that?
    • What resource(s) did you use for that step?

Ask plenty of clarifying questions to ensure you fully understand that part of the process. You can also ask them to document their process in writing or record a video on the steps that they follow and ask clarifying questions as follow-up.

You can write out your research findings directly in Spekit so that documentation is agile and nimble. After the Speks are complete, add your subject matter experts to the review process to ensure your writing accurately reflects the process. Use your champions or Spekit super users to test out the content prior to making it visible to your end users.

  1. Set up a Maintenance Plan 

Determine the date for review and refresh for each Spek and the KPI or metric tied to it. Review the data in the established time period you are using to review. You can use the customizable governance report functionality in Spekit to track your dates. Ask each Expert to set a reminder on their calendar to review the Speks they own based on your agreed-upon cadence.

Making your sales playbook accessible where reps are working

When people think of a sales playbook, they often think of a Google Doc, Word document, or .pdf file. 

The problem with static documents is that they’re not flexible or agile enough to meet sales reps where they’re actually selling. In contrast, the power of Spekit is that it’s accessible to your sales teams just-in-time, in the moment of need. 

Think of taking your static, two-dimensional playbook and infusing life into it so that it becomes dynamic and interactive. 

  1. You’ve broken out your playbook into chunks by making your title and headings Topics and Speks. 
  2. You’ve made your playbook dynamic and interactive by identifying where other Speks and resources could be linked. 
  3. Now, be sure to place those resources at the top of the Spek and identify Speks with the octopus emoji 🐙. 

To make your playbook interactive and accessible, architect the sales rep experience so that your playbook is available and reinforced right where the sales teams live and sell. You can accomplish this with three features: embedded Speks, related URLs, and Knowledge Checks.

Embedded Speks

The power of Spekit is supercharged with embedded Speks. Embed the step-by-step process guidance directly in their CRM to guide the sales teams right in their workflow. Follow these instructions for embedding Speks in your CRM.

Related URLs

Link each topic to your tool’s URL so users can access related Topics and Speks without leaving that tool. This way, users are served only the relevant guidance based on where they are in their web application and don’t have to leave the application to search for what they need. 

Follow these steps to relate a Topic to a website.

Knowledge Checks to Validate Learning

Knowledge Checks help solidify your team’s knowledge of their playbook. They’re bidirectional in that they not only give you insights to determine what your sales team members know, but they also give them a good “pulse check” on what they know and which areas of the playbook they need to focus their attention on. 

Ask your sales teams to answer a few questions related to the playbook to gauge their understanding of specific portions of your process or methodology. 

For guidance on how to create Knowledge Checks, visit this article.

Launching your sales playbook

Now that you have built out your sales playbook in Spekit, here are some best practices for enabling your sales teams.

Testing the User Experience

Before giving access to your sales users, put yourself in their shoes and walk through the end-to-end learning journey for them accessing and reading the components of the sales playbook you want them to review for the first time. Keep in mind that you aren’t just designing learning…you are designing an experience! 

Pro Tip: do some search engine optimization (SEO). Unless your sales motion is simple and straightforward, you may not be titling your Topics “Sales Playbook”, since there are likely multiple Topics that make up your agile playbook in Spekit. You can add “Playbook” or “Sales Playbook” or “BDR Playbook” or “AE Playbook” at the bottom of each related Spek as a keyword so that all Speks that have this phrase in them appear in the search results.

Walk through the steps below from the users point of view and make any changes and corrections.

Viewing Your Playbook from the Sidebar

  1. Log into computer
  2. View Spotlight
  3. Access Topic
  4. Review all Speks
  5. Access all linked resources

Searching in the Web App

  1. Log into Web App
  2. Search for the Topic
  3. Search for Speks
  4. Search for name of resource within Spek
  5. Search for “Sales Playbook” (see Pro Tip above)

Viewing the Playbook from Tools in your Sales Stack

  1. Log in
  2. View embedded Speks while completing a process
  3. Validate that you are seeing the right Speks
  4. Open the Sidebar and ensure that the Topics are related to the application
  5. View all Speks in the Topics 
  6. Access all linked resources

Completing Knowledge Check 

  1. View Spotlight
  2. Click on Knowledge Check link
  3. Complete questions
  4. Review score

Engaging the sales team with Spekit

Encourage the teams to use the built-in engagement features in Spekit such as Mark as Read, viewing and engagement with a Spotlight, and feedback.

Mark as Read

Direct your users to “Mark as Read” your playbook-related Speks. Encourage them to mark a Spek as read when announcing new Speks via a Spotlight, and direct them to Mark the Spek as read in the body of the Spek itself. You can see Mark as Read analytics at the individual Spek level.

  1. After building your Speks, create Spotlights to send to your sales teams to draw attention to new playbook Topics as you add them. Be careful not to inundate the teams with too many Spotlights at once; space them out so that it isn’t overwhelming. 
  1. If you already have a weekly newsletter in Spekit that you trigger with a Spotlight, you can put the call to action to review the Topic in the newsletter so you don’t have to send two Spotlights to the team.
  1. If you are sending a weekly email with tips and tricks, replace that email with a weekly Spotlight highlighting a playbook tip and point them to the Spek. Some ideas include:
  • A success story that works
  • A response that has overcome a common objection
  • The new, improved demo flow
  • The talk track that is getting prospects to “yes” faster
  1. Create a Knowledge Check for them to take one week after launching your new sales playbook Topics to help solidify playbook knowledge and gain real-time insights into what your sales teams know and what might be more challenging. 


In addition to seeing what Speks have been marked as read, you can see who has viewed each Spek and engaged with each Spotlight. Monitor progress and follow up with those who have not engaged with the content.

Sales Playbook Analytics by User


Monitor the emoji reactions to your Speks and adjust the content based on what users have said is confusing or not helpful (users will be prompted to provide details, which will be sent to the assigned Expert via email).

Some team members may be reluctant to use the emoji feature, so encourage them to provide feedback in this way so that you know whether the guidance is on target or could be improved. 

Empowering your managers 

Your front-line managers are the linchpins for your playbook’s success. Give them visibility to the Topics before their team members, and send a special Spotlight for them to review the Speks. 

Ask your senior sales leader to explain why it is important and then review the Speks with the managers on a call. Give some air time to the managers who may have had a hand in their creation and ask them to speak to their importance. Focusing your management team’s attention on the playbook before their team members gives them a head start on reviewing the content for their own knowledge and also helps set them up to coach the team on its contents. 

Training new hires on your sales playbook

To start the right behavior from Day One, train your new hires on their sales playbook in Spekit. Create a new Onboarding Topic and use the framework provided at this link, and add your playbook Speks.

For tenured salespeople, Spekit can make playbook training and reinforcement more approachable than a time-consuming training session or lengthy course in an LMS. Assign a playbook Topic for them via a Spotlight to review, and track engagement in Spekit. 

Pro Tip: Ask the teams to “Mark as Read” the Speks in the Topic so that you can track engagement. 

Reinforcing your Sales Playbook

Once your sales playbook is live in Spekit, build it out based on changes to your GTM and sales strategies. Here are suggestions to keep the momentum going.

Rewarding Playbook Adoption

The most exciting part of any change is seeing its positive impact! 

Here are some ideas to reward and reinforce sales playbook adoption:

  • Track progress for the KPIs you identified at the beginning of your playbook journey in Spekit, including views, searches, Knowledge Checks, and Marking as Read for playbook Speks. 
  • Send a thank you or congratulations to the team members who are using Spekit AND moving the needle.
  • Elicit success stories from the sales managers, and ask the salesperson to tell their success story of how they used the playbook and got results on the next all-hands call. 
  • Ask the sales team members who provided you with process guidance to share how these steps helped them win deals. 
  • Gamify your playbook adoption with scorecards so that everyone has visibility to progress in the areas your revenue and operations leaders want to drive.

Each time you hear or see a salesperson using a technique from the playbook and seeing success, celebrate that as a win for the sales playbook initiative! 

Using Agile Practices to Keep your Playbook Current

When someone thinks about a playbook, they might picture a book: a linear document with multiple pages that’s difficult to update once published. 

Because it’s difficult to update, it becomes out of date over time as markets, product details, or the industry change. The sales teams try out the guidance, and it fails. They no longer trust the playbook because they do not see it as accurate or up-to-date. 

The reason this happens so frequently with playbooks is that traditional playbooks are typically created using a waterfall methodology, a sequential execution of project steps that is inflexible to change. The information has likely already changed by the time the linear playbook is published. 

The reality is, that information changes over time, and you need to change your playbook as information changes. Use agile content development principles as you continue to iterate on your playbook to keep it fresh and current:


  • Every month, review your top-viewed and least-viewed Speks and prioritize what’s on your roadmap to create or update
  • Review Spek feedback, especially “Not Helpful” or “Confused”, and take action to edit the Speks for clarity
  • Use the most-visited Speks as “bright spots” and determine a plan to replicate success
  • Get feedback from managers, salespeople, operations, and other stakeholders about what is working and what needs to be improved


  • Use the Spekit Content Report to create a roadmap, and customize the fields for ongoing maintenance to include the following information:some text
    • Name of the content
    • Expert who owns it
    • Topics the Spek is organized in
    • Created Date
    • Last Edited Date
    • Last Modified By
    • Total Views
    • Total Reactions  
  • Use sprint cycles to create time-bound periods for the Experts to complete, deliver, and review targeted work. This ensures consistent delivery of preplanned content. 


  • Ensure your Speks are relevant to the Teams that have access and searchable at the right time, in the right place. 
  • Double-check that the links to resources and other Speks work and that the Spek titles are intuitive and match the language the sales teams and leadership are using.


  • Continuously measure, review, and update. Monitor the Spekit analytics dashboard weekly, gauge content performance of individual Speks, Spotlights, and Knowledge Checks, and measure the results against your target KPIs. 
  • Determine which Speks are getting the most views and replicate this success across your playbook by refining your content strategy.

Once you get into the rhythm, it will become a habit for your team. Your playbook will remain up to date and your sales teams will trust it as a key support tool in getting their work done.

Creating Different Versions by Segments

Once you’ve built your foundation, you can iterate. Typically the process of selling to a large enterprise is different from selling to a small business. Consider different versions of your playbook depending on the size of the company to which you are selling. 

For example, enterprise deals will likely involve a lot more due diligence and an extended paper process (deal desk, contracts, approvals), as well as multiple influencers. This guidance would warrant an enterprise-specific playbook with its own Topic and Speks.

Tapping into Sales Managers as Force Multipliers

Continue working with managers to drive rep engagement with the playbook. On an ongoing basis, your senior sales leader should reiterate the points in the sales playbook in one-on-ones with the front-line managers. Since the content is chunked into Topics and Speks, it is accessible and also specific to gaps your operations and managers may be seeing. 

Help them diagnose gaps in their team’s performance and highlight the parts of the playbook or specific sales plays that will provide real-time guidance to close the gap.

Pro Tip: Ask the managers to cover and discuss a different Spek at each team meeting and define the time period. Conversations about the playbook bring it to life and make it part of your sales team’s daily practice. 

Keep in mind that as the go-to-market strategy changes, so does the playbook. For every new initiative, ensure it’s included in your playbook as part of the planning process and communicate the changes to the team. This includes your methodology as you introduce one.

Build the Best Sales Playbook With Spekit

Spekit is your partner to build and enable your sales teams to use your revenue generating sales playbook. 

Spekit saves you and your sales reps time by centralizing all your sales and process guidance into Speks that reps can learn and access right at the point of need. 

Features like Spotlights, Mark as Read, Team Spaces, and Knowledge Checks make it easy to tailor your sales playbook to different roles and update it on an ongoing basis so that the guidance is personalized, relevant, and just in time.

Access the Sales Playbook Starter Kits in the Content Templates Library start prioritizing and building out your flexible, adaptable, sales playbook with Spekit.

About the author

Elle Brayton
Director, Content & Communications
Elle is a boy momma 2x, brand builder, storyteller, growth hacker, and marketing leader with 12+ years of experience scaling SaaS B2B organizations.
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