How to Create a Business Development Playbook - Step By Step

An informative, in-depth guide to help you craft your roadmap for success.
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Creating a business development playbook is crafting the blueprint for your business's success. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating a playbook that not only defines your business but also serves as a strategic guide for your team.

Every facet of the playbook, from positioning, messaging, tools, and marketing, to lead qualification and reporting, is a vital component in the well-coordinated machinery of a finely-tuned business development process.

A well-done business development playbook is a tool and a roadmap to transform your business strategies into actionable steps, ensuring that each element contributes seamlessly to the growth of your business.

What is a Business Development Playbook?

A Business Development Playbook is a comprehensive document that encapsulates your business's identity, strategies, and processes.

Think of it as a manual that not only introduces your business to the world but also equips your team with the tools and strategies needed to drive success.

It's the head coach's strategy book for your team to overtake the rest and win the championship if you will.

Elements of a Business Development Playbook


Your business's positioning is the cornerstone of the playbook, defining what you do, who you do it for, and why. It's your story, vision, mission, values, and behaviors distilled into a compelling narrative.

Here's a snapshot:

  • Your Story: Craft a narrative that resonates with your audience, outlining the journey and purpose behind your business.
  • Your Vision: Envision the future you strive to create and share it with your team.
  • Your Mission: Define the specific goals and actions that drive your business forward.
  • Values and Behaviors: Establish the guiding principles that shape your business culture.
  • Manifesto or Perspective: Communicate your unique viewpoint or manifesto that sets you apart.
  • Personality: Define the personality traits that characterize your brand.
  • Target Audience: Clearly identify your ideal customers.
  • Value Proposition, Elevator Sales Pitch, and One-liner: Distill your offering into clear and compelling statements.
  • Overview of Services & Pricing: Outline the range of services you offer and provide transparency on pricing.

Business Development & Marketing Activity

This section of the playbook charts the strategic course for leading business development and marketing efforts. It serves as the compass for aligning objectives, guiding teams, and implementing effective sales strategies.

Key components include:

  • Objectives: Clearly define your business development and marketing goals.
  • Strategy Overview: Outline the high-level approach to achieve your objectives.
  • Team: Introduce the key players responsible for executing the strategy.
  • Thought Leadership: Establish your business as an authority in your industry.
  • Collateral: Develop marketing materials that support your business development efforts.
  • Technology and Tools: Identify the tools and technologies that will empower your team.
  • Execution: Detail the tactical steps to implement your business development and marketing strategy.

Qualifying & Discovery

This section focuses on the crucial process of qualifying leads and uncovering valuable insights. It guides your team through the multifaceted process of identifying and evaluating potential leads, turning data into actionable insights that propel your business forward.

At its core, this segment is about equipping your team with the knowledge and tools necessary to understand not just who your potential clients are but also what they truly need:

  • Qualifying and Discovery Process: Define the steps involved in identifying and evaluating potential leads.
  • Questioning Frameworks: Equip your team with effective questioning techniques to uncover client needs.
  • Internal Briefing Guidelines: Establish guidelines for internal communication to ensure a seamless handover of qualified leads.
  • Lead Scoring and Forecasting Methodology: Implement a systematic approach to evaluating and predicting lead performance.

Proposals & Pitching

This segment delves into the art of creating compelling proposals and delivering impactful pitches. It is based on experience and trial and error from your sales team to help craft compelling proposals and deliver pitches that resonate with potential clients.

It's how to transform ideas into proposals that captivate and pitches that leave a lasting impression, while still providing your team with room to experiment.

  • Proposal and Presentation Guidelines: Provide a framework for crafting persuasive proposals and presentations.
  • Pitch Meeting Guidelines: Outline the key elements to cover during client pitch meetings.
  • Pitch Review Process: Establish a structured approach for reviewing and refining pitches.
  • On-boarding Process: Define the steps for seamlessly on-boarding new clients.

Reporting & Review

Monitoring and evaluating performance is crucial for continuous improvement. This section is the compass that guides your team through the landscape of performance evaluation, strategic discussions, and the refinement of tactics.

It covers:

  • Lead Performance Indicators: Identify key metrics that gauge the success of your business development efforts.
  • Follow-up Plan: Outline a systematic approach for following up on leads and clients.
  • Weekly and Monthly Meeting Agendas: Structure regular meetings to review performance and discuss strategy.
  • Reward / Compensation Plan: Establish a system to reward and compensate team members for their contributions.
  • Playbook Maintenance: Outline the process for regularly updating and refining the playbook.


The Appendix section of your Business Development Playbook serves as a repository for supplementary materials, resources, and detailed information that enhances the understanding and execution of the playbook's content.

While not a core component, it provides valuable context, additional insights, and supporting documentation.

Consider including the following elements:

  • Templates: Offer ready-to-use templates for proposals, presentations, and internal briefings to streamline the execution of business development activities.
  • Case Studies: Include detailed case studies showcasing successful business development and marketing campaigns, providing real-world examples for better understanding.
  • FAQs: Anticipate common questions that may arise during the implementation of the playbook and provide detailed answers to ensure clarity.
  • Glossary: Define industry-specific terms, acronyms, or jargon to ensure uniform understanding among team members.
  • Additional Reading: Suggest supplementary reading materials, articles, or books that can deepen the team's knowledge of business development strategies.
  • Training Resources: Curate a list of training resources, webinars, or workshops that can further enhance the skill set of team members involved in business development.
  • Regulatory Compliance: If applicable, provide information on relevant industry regulations and compliance standards to ensure that business development activities align with legal requirements.


Creating a business development playbook is a strategic investment in the future of your business. The playbook serves as a mirror reflecting your company's identity, values, and aspirations. By defining your business, strategies, and processes, you equip your team with the tools needed for success.

It's an evolving document, as you adapt to market changes and fine-tune strategies over time. Remember that a well-crafted playbook not only guides your team but also sets the stage for the growth and prosperity of your business. It's an investment in the collective intelligence of your team and the success of your company.

Once you have a playbook in place and need a team to help you manage it, make sure to get in touch with us for experienced SDRs that will help you achieve your goals!

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