This month’s “The Scribe: Sales Leadership Book of the Month” features Trish Bertuzzi’s recently released book “The Sales Development Playbook.”

If you’re a sales leader who wants practical advice about how to build an efficient and effective sales machine – specific to your organization’s unique needs and situation – this book is for you. Trish, CEO of The Bridge Group, Inc., has given sales leaders a book that is written in plain English, doesn’t include any theory, and is fun to read.

Read on to hear what Trish had to say about her book.

Q: Why did you write The Sales Development Playbook?

Trish: There are multiple variables in play in a sales development model. There isn’t a single way to address a sales problem. Just doing the same thing that worked in another company doesn’t work. Sales leaders have to think through their own variables – including buyers, solutions, price points, and technology adoption life cycle.

Yet people oversimplify how to address sales problems. Reading sales books and listening to industry speakers, I would hear them all say basically the same thing: “I did it like this, so you should, too.” Or, they’d be talking about a sales problem, and give one way to address that problem.

This frustrated me. Then I got pissed off. Then I decided to write a book to help people think through the variables and make smarter decisions. That was my impetus in writing The Sales Development Playbook.

Q: Why is your book so important now?

Trish: Sales is different now. Our buyers are being inundated with poor sales processes and poor sales messaging. They’re being bombarded with white noise all day long.

Any monkey could close a deal if they knew how to ask the hard questions. The hardest part is:

  • Arousing curiosity
  • Establishing credibility
  • Getting the buyer to engage

That’s what this book is about and why it’s so important. Sales development as a function has been around for 30 years. It’s just now emerged into a more critical function for success because of those reasons.

Q: What are the three things that you’d like sales leaders to learn from your book?


#1. Get a framework for your sales development strategy.

People tend to implement whatever strategy they’ve done before – and that isn’t always the right decision. My book helps people figure out the right decision for their organization based on set variables. Sales leaders need a framework to think through in order to build their organization’s strategy.

We’ve put together a framework that’s built around the “5 Whys” – the very questions that prospects are asking themselves in a complex B2B purchase. Why listen? Why care? Why change? Why you? Why now? It’s important to take the buyer’s reality into consideration and align your sales process and strategy with how they’re thinking.

#2. Use micro-promotions for your sales team

The Bridge Group has found that sales leaders are promoting their SDRs to AEs way too quickly – and they’re experiencing a massive failure rate in the process. They’re doing this because they know that they either have to promote the person, or the person will leave.

My book addresses this issue by defining a micro-promotion strategy that builds skill sets, and increases compensation, through a multi-stage process.

We often think of promotions as one big leap, but they can be effectively done in micro-stages.

If a rep is not ready to make the jump from SDR to AE, management needs a process to move them through the organization, teach them new skills, and recognize their value. This is essential to retain top talent.

#3. Speak to buyers in a language that resonates

Buyer-based outbound messaging is the biggest competitive advantage of any rep. Too many companies leave it to the SDR manager or individual reps to do their own messaging. By pulling together cross-functional teams in a workshop, management can get great insights to create or refresh messaging.

“The key to executing compelling conversations lies in leveraging the tribal knowledge that is floating around within your organization.”

LiveHive: What message from your book do you think will be most shocking for sales leaders?

Q: There’s no one data point that’s going to be a shock. I think they’ll be shocked and surprised at how comprehensive it is – this book is not theoretical. It goes right from how to build your strategy; to how to build a fabulous team; to how to lead it; to how and what to measure; to how to write voicemails and emails.

The ‘playbook’ isn’t just a gimmicky name – this is the damn playbook.

People have been shocked at the book’s comprehensiveness and have asked me whether I’m afraid I’ll put my consulting business out of practice. The answer is NO. People still buy books on diets, and it’s not as though we don’t know how to lose weight.

Q: Can you describe your book’s style? How does it differ from other sales and business books?

Trish: It’s extremely direct. There is no theory. It tells you what to do, why you should do it, why it’s important, and what outcomes you can expect.

Plus, I’m funny. If anyone’s ever met me in person, and they read my book, they are like “That’s so your book.”

Q: What was the worst/best part about writing this book?

Trish: The worst part was writing the book. If you’re running a multi-million dollar business and writing a book, you’re certifiably insane. So, for a year, I was certifiably insane. This was not on my bucket list. If I wanted to write a book, I’d prefer to have written Gone with the Wind or 50 Shades of Gray. I was just that pissed off that I had to write the book.

Then you’re done with the book, you wait for people to tell you how ugly your baby is – and they don’t. They tell you that your baby is the most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen. They thank you for giving them the baby. That’s the best part.

Q: Would you do it again?

Trish: Never. Well, you know how everyone says “never say never” – but WOW. It’s hard. It’s not hard to write a book. I self-published. But Matt, my son and to whom the book is dedicated, said we’re not writing a book. We’re writing THIS book, and THIS book is going to be amazing.

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