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Creating a CRM Playbook


Increasingly you will be reading about the need to create a Playbook for when you are introducing a new system or processes or indeed as part of your standard Sales and Marketing training. This concept has come over from the US in recent years and has a place in our view in Customer Relationship Management software adoption.


Now the first question on this side of the pond we get asked is what is a playbook? At the risk of teaching you to suck eggs, simply put...

“Playbooks can be formal documents… but they are also business process workflows, standard operating procedures and cultural values that shape a consistent response – the play. A playbook reflects a plan; an approach or strategy defining predetermined responses worked out ahead of time.” This definition is taken from an useful article by Accenture.

Now, here you may notice an overlap with the Standard Operating Processes that we have often discussed and mentioned in previous blogs, and of course you will be right. The difference really is that in my view, more time is put into making this a more visual presentation often based on a powerpoint template and offered in one bound volume, or in pdf format. It may even overlap with the traditional Quality Manual for your ISO accreditation.

CRM Playbook contents

So, what should you include in your CRM Playbook?

In my view when dealing with CRM adoption and implementation, this should be a combination of your Sales Processes and how you expect and what you expect should be entered into the system by the Sales team and all your other Users in their processes. As a minimum, to start with, we recommend you should include these processes:-

• Marketing and Lead Generation

• Prospect Engagement

• Customer on-boarding

• Post Sales Customer processes

Don’t forget the Playbook is not just a series of screenshots from the system, but should show and explain your core processes which is why we recommend an introduction section in our ebook download of the whole series of processes and then highlight What and Why information needs to be completed at each process or stage within your software.

The easiest way to approach this is to work through the Sales Funnel from Marketing Lead generation to Prospect engagement through to Customer and post-sale Customer Service, for example Account Management, Customer Reviews or Customer contract renewals. This has the advantage that you can divide the workload, but use the same template design and ensure one person is responsible for the project in managing and collating this.

Of more importance in my view is to get that first draft out quickly, it may have gaps and they may be areas that need to be best explored in later editions, but this is a great way to embed and create User Adoption and Ownership in a clear and easy to digest way which will of course complement any existing User Training and manuals. Over time, these Playbooks can be expanded or form the basis of more detailed SOP’s and even become incorporated into your ISO documentation.

Building your own Playbook

Whenever we engage with clients, one of the aspects we inform them is the need to draw up some sort of Standard Operating Process or if this is too onerous, then a simple Playbook powerpoint documentation to help explain the “information and actions flow through their own system.”

If you are interested in finding out more, then we have put together a simple ebook with our Top 9 tips on "Creating a CRM Playbook" for your next project including some useful resource links for powerpoint templates and icons...

3rd June 2016