How to build a bad*ss outbound playbook (in 5 steps)

How to build a bad*ss outbound playbook (in 5 steps)

- To get your AEs self-sourcing more pipe
- To get SDRs landing higher-quality meetings
- To get your team off the sales roller coaster

Already have a playbook? Use this checklist to beef it up.

✅ 1) Assemble the team

Enablement should facilitate this process, but they shouldn't create the playbook in a silo.

- Two best self-sourcing AEs.
- Two best outbound SDRs
- Best marketing copywriter
- Product specialist (if applicable)
- Sales leaders(s) actively working deals

The team shouldn't be more than 10 in total.

Bonus: Find a consultant who's worked in the role of your persona (e.g. an ex-CISO if you sell to CISOs).

✅ 2) Pick the medium

I've seen playbooks built into enablement tools like Seismic. On Google Docs/Sheets. On PowerPoints. And everything in-between.

What's most important: the playbook is built in a medium that's easily transferrable into a rep's existing workflow.

The more clicks away the playbook is, the less likely it gets used.

Example: Playbook is in Notion, and the talk tracks are copied into the dialer.

✅ 3) Gather examples of what good looks like

Reverse-engineer examples of success.

Gather cold emails that landed meetings. Recordings of cold calls that landed meetings. etc.

And then go a step deeper. Provide a quick background and analysis.

Example: Rep sent a cold email that landed a meeting with a CISO. Get the background on the account. Why the rep chose that account. Research they leveraged. etc.

✅ 4) Build these core components

An outbound playbook should contain the following + answer these questions:

- ICP & targeting strategy: How do I prioritize and tier my accounts to find low-hanging fruit?

- Messaging: What do each of my core personas care about?

- Triggers/signals: What 3-5 triggers align most with our personas?

- Talk tracks: How do I approach the cold call conversation?

- Email copy: How do I approach the email? (the provided email copy should get reps 80% of the way there)

- Sequencing recommendations: What does my contact strategy look like?

- Objection handling: What objections am I most likely to get? How do I handle them?

- Time management: How should I think about structuring my week for optimal success?

- Sales math: How should I calculate the required outbound activity to hit my desired sales target?

- Plays: What are the most common plays that work?

- Tech enablement: How can I best utilize the tools in our tech stack?

✅ 5) Ongoing refinement

Last but not least: A playbook is a living, breathing document. Enablement should own the ongoing refinement.

Every quarter:

- Add more examples of what good looks like
- Update messaging as necessary
- Fill in gaps where reps are struggling


These are the core elements we build into outbound playbooks for our clients.