Minimum viable sales documentation

by Steli Efti

minimumviabledocumentationYou have a startup. And it’s growing. You’re hiring more and more people.
Which is great.

But your sales team . . .

What about them? How do you help them do what they were hired to do, even better?

Documentation. Documentation. Documentation.

What’s the importance of creating excellent documentation for your sales processes and training?

Will it make a difference in how your salespeople perform?

Is it crucial to you as a new business that wants to grow and expand?

The utmost importance (if you want to succeed). And absolutely - on both counts.

Should you:

Write different scripts for different desired customers?

Create extensive objection management documents?

Map out the entire sales process, draft diagrams and mold a gilded manuscript?

Yes. It’s useful to have scripts.
Yes. It’s useful to document things.

But here’s what most companies do wrong:

 

Companies spend an absurd amount of time creating “the perfect” documentation . . . the silver bullet. Then they share it with their employees, expecting everyone to adopt it at the best and highest level possible.

And then—like a dream—they forget about it.

Spend an hour max on the initial version of everything

Write a very rough, first draft. Then spend about an hour every week revising and editing and improving the scripts WITH YOUR TEAM so they actually influence the documentation. Involvement in, and contributing to a process increases the chances of actual application. In this way your employees take ownership of the script; they improve it; they make it theirs so it’s simple to adopt. Instead of spending an entire week etching the perfect script onto stone tablets, spend one hour a week/month consistently upgrading all of your sales assets.

Consistency is key here. These documents are alive. They need revisions to keep up the heart rate.

Ask yourself:

What do you think about MVP’s?

How do you build products?

Do you believe that you can build the perfect product in a vacuum and simply release it never to be touched again and all users the world over will automatically adopt and love it?

(If so you’re dreaming.)

OR

Do you believe in building an initial, minimal version of a viable product? And then—by adopting and listening and observing what the real world does with it—improving, expanding, and further developing the product?

(Yes. This is how it’s done.)

Get broader appeal & build more value

  • Like I said, minimal, viable documentation and scripts
  • Create a first version
  • Let the iterations flow
  • Continuously dissect, refine, improve

You don’t build something perfect and never have to touch it again. It’s not a marble statue. It doesn’t work like that. Sales (life!) doesn’t work like that. Consider a muscle: you don’t just train for a while and magically gain eternal strength. You must maintain it. In sales and life alike, you’re either getting stronger, or you’re getting weaker. There is no third option.

People will make judgment calls

Guaranteed, when you document anything, in any company, on any team, the critics will surface. This is BS. This is cool. Good or bad, people talk.

All good. Winners are always criticized. Always will be. Let ‘em talk. And use their input to your advantage.

If you continuously work with your team on these resources, then they’ll take them seriously and properly put them to use.

Question is: will they continue to use them? Or let them slip from memory a week later?

Not if they’re in the huddle. Not if they help call the plays.

Change. Improve. Perfect.

Greatness comes with time and diligence.

Try one hour a week/month.

Crush quotas. Close deals. And make more sales than last month. Every. Single. Month.

Don't have a sales script yet?

While creating your first sales script can be a daunting task, we've made it as easy as it gets. Schedule three hours and use this quickstart guide - you'll have a solid minimum viable script ready real soon!