In this Growth Engine episode, I'd like you to think about using playbooks in your business.
Now, for those of you are not familiar with playbooks, you may know them as standard operating procedures or a checklist or a process list, summarised, it's how do we do a certain task or a certain process from beginning to end.
And that may have multiple stages in them.
I often get asked what are the benefits of using playbooks?
Ultimately, if you think about what happens inside a business, usually people who have been there a reasonable amount of time do the tasks, do them well.
But there's no repetition inside the business, one administrator may process a file slightly different or in a slightly different order to another administrator.
Whereas, one salesperson, they'll use their sales skills, may go through the sales process with a client slightly different to another one.
So the benefit of using playbooks,
They provide consistency
Consistency is what drives customer experience
Customer experience is what drives efficiency from your employees
Efficiency ultimately drives your bottom line and improves it
If you can do a process or a task or a job, it's not about doing it faster sometimes, but doing it regularly, doing it consistently, doing it well.
You're going to maximise your employee's time, the resources that you need to invest to get the same amount of output.
So playbooks are a wonderful tool to use. Often people will say, "Oh, I've got a playbook in marketing," or, "I've got a playbook in sales," but as I've touched on earlier, playbooks are a company-wide initiative.
If you hire a new recruit and bring them in, and it doesn't matter if that's a junior, an apprentice, somebody who is part-qualified or on top of the game.
Your way is still going to be new to them, the way you do things inside your business.
Even for the most experienced individuals, maybe they went from one company to another company in the same space. Your company will still have its own culture, its own way, its own process, its reporting structure.
So a playbook allows somebody to come in and review exactly step by step what they're required to do, in what order, and by what time, which is ultimately going to drive the output to be more consistent and efficient.
It also provides a better onboarding experience and that means your new employee is going to be engaged and providing service with the way your clients come to expect.
In recruitment, especially if you work in recruitment agents, you may have a specific way that you want to recruit. It may be a
Telephone screening call
Then a video call
A face to face interview
An assignment to the shortlist of candidates to undertake for skill competency.
Ultimately, having a playbook that you could give to a recruitment agent that says,
"Yes, you do what you do at your side vetting and screening. But once they come over to us, this is the process."
It's going to allow the recruitment company to shortlist and sift through the candidates a lot better. And if you're recruiting internally as well, your different departmental managers, you've got a playbook to boss your recruitment.
Here are some examples of playbooks.
We have a playbook in our business for how to load invoices on, how to manage our credit control and purchase ledger.
Think about when you buy goods, whether that's a contract over a certain value, an item over a certain value. In your business, you may have to go and get a second signature or get approval.
Your bosses or you as the boss may want them to go out and get three quotations or three RFQs, RFPs as you might know them.
If you've got a playbook that says if we want to purchase or lease a new photocopier, the playbook could look like
Approach three Canon dealers,
Obtain and compare service contracts
Obtain and compare terms and conditions
Build Specification of functionality
Shortlist and demo the machine
Secure director approval
Plan installation & team training
You can see, it's like a bullet point list and you don't have to have any fancy software.
Although, at the end of this, I'll leave a couple of recommendations for playbook software too.
Ultimately, you can see anybody coming into your finance department or your purchase department who needs to go and lease a new photocopier.
You don't have to spend time explaining every detail of what you do.
And ultimately, the work that that person brings back, it's going to be in line with your expectations.
Now, for all those who are jumping up and down saying, "Hey, that sounds like micromanagement." It generally isn't.
This is empowering people to go and use their skills and to follow a process that your business needs doing.
When you win a new customer, having a playbook for how your customer service teams will onboard a customer.
When they make a telephone call?
When do they write a welcome letter?
When do they set up their account?
How do they send out their account number or do the first onboarding call?
The same could apply for manufacturing a widget, fulfilment of orders, systems management and infrastructure. The list in operations is endless and playbooks can seriously assist you to get organised and deliver outstanding service both externally to your clients and internally to develop your team.
There are so many users already in marketing, here are a few examples.
How do we do social media?
What's our content strategy?
What does a funnel look like? For awareness, consideration, decision stage.
How do we buy and pay for media?
How do we use an agency?
What do we require?
All these steps that you go through before you either appoint an agency or implement a campaign live yourselves that could be broken down into
Build your assets
Design the graphics
Record the videos
Edit the videos.
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