Darryl Praill (VanillaSoft), Julianne Thompson (Drift), Manuel Rietzsch (XANT), and Charles Knauft (ZoomInfo), explain why SDR Playbooks are crucial now more than ever. Whether SDRs are rookies or veterans, customization with customer engagement as well as alignment between SDRs and SDMs is necessary to succeed.


– A process to get the most out of the Sales
  Development team and ensure their success
  through planning out the right activities
  across the right channels
Who to target
  When to engage
  What Messaging (what the cadences look
  like and how to personalize different
– Multi-channel outreach across a set number
  of touches to fill up the pipeline

The Bad Reputation of Playbooks
– All automation and no personalization
– Activities with no thought about what
  needs to be accomplished
– No strategic differences between handling
  inbound and outbound prospects
  Example: Did they come to your first asking
    for help? Bunch the touches toward the
    front end of the prospect’s engagement.
    Cold outreach? Spread out touches over

SDRs spamming? The SDRs aren’t to blame—it’s the leadership. 

Automation vs. Personalization
– Do both
– Plan time spent personalizing vs. time spent
– To be relevant with the conversations that
  already started, personalize.
Tactical advice to implement: Have a couple of personalized emails at the top of the sequence and automate towards the bottom
Large accounts, heavy personalization.
  Named accounts, personalize towards the
  Industry accounts, less personalized.
– Provide SDRs guidelines on how the
  personalization should look like at the same
  time providing some freedom to customize
  as they see fit.
– Trust SDRs to implement their own flavor of

Common Mistakes SDRs Make When Reaching Out to Prospects
– Selling similar products to competitors
– Reaching out to the wrong title
– Obviously templated emails with no
– Incorrect messaging for the buyer 

Who Owns the Creation of the Playbook?
Not one specific organization owns the playbook. Mindshare. May be owned by a collection of stakeholders (Sales Development, Sales Operations, Sales Enablement, Marketing, etc.) coordinated to gain the best, most valuable insights to pull off the best possible applications. 

Leading by Activity vs. Leading by Outcome
– Activities are what lead to outcomes but
  look at what the math says to determine how
  much activity is needed to arrive at the
  desired outcome
– Double down on what works and cut off
  what doesn’t

Messaging Experts: Should You or Should You Not Invest in Someone to Write Your Playbooks for You?
– If you have the skills in-house, leverage that
  because your in-house resources would know
  both the company and the customers more
– Look internally and leverage people who
  design their own successfully cadences.
  What are they doing differently?
– Your top performing SDRs are a better
  resource for you. At the same time, you’re
  giving them an opportunity for professional
– On the other hand, outsource companies can
  help get you started with structures and
  guidelines on some key aspects like plays
  that generally work, email lengths,
  appropriate calls to action, etc.