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Account Playbooks Allow You to Guide Your Reps Through Strategic Steps for Key Accounts
Account playbooks are like sequences (detailed here), but for accounts instead of contacts. Sequences allow you to group contacts by a series of ordered tasks that reps must complete during engagement. Playbooks allow you to do the same thing for accounts, and consist of a series of 'steps' that generate tasks for each account that has been added to them. This makes playbooks the ideal tool for reps who do account-based sales.
» You can also see a short explainer presentation here.
While playbooks are built around account-based sales, the actual engagement of a given account is always going to take place at the contact-level. Because of this, you will first need to decide which people in your accounts to send messages to. That decision should then be reflected in an 'Add People' step, as detailed later. Only after establishing this should you begin adding other steps or accounts to the playbook, but it's worth noting that you can set up whichever first step you like (more on the different step types and their ordering below).
To create a playbook, then, first navigate to the Account Playbooks tab in the left-main menu. From there, click + Add Playbook:
This will present you with a 'New Playbook' screen (shown below) that prompts you to create an 'Add People' step and use that as your first one (recommended), but you can also add any other first step that you want by leveraging the Add Step menu at the top right:
Adding Steps to Your Playbook
This will always be done from your playbook's Overview tab, and there are three different step types that you can add (each detailed more below):
- Add People
- Research Fields
- Do Action Item
The steps in your playbook, and their order, determine what tasks appear in the Playbook Tasks tab after accounts are added to the playbook. It is from these tasks that all of the important stuff happens, as adding steps (and/or adding accounts) isn't enough to do anything by itself.
Each account in a playbook can only have one open task at a time, and the task that's open is always based on the account's current position in the playbook, relative to whatever step type is currently set for that position. As an example, if the account is active in step 1, and step 1 is set as 'Add People', then this account will have an open 'Add People' task. Note that you can change the position of any step type by clicking the [...] button to its right (highlighted below) and then selecting Move Up or Move Down. That said, if the account is active in step 1 and the 'Add People' step is moved down to step 2, then the account will have an open task based on what is set as the new step 1.
To see how many accounts are active, paused, or finished in a step (and therefore see how many accounts have tasks for that step), reference what's shown to its right (highlighted below). To see how many accounts are active, paused, or finished across all steps, reference the section underneath 'Account Overview' (also highlighted below).
This is what it looks like to have all three step types and at least one account added to a playbook:
- Note: We will continue to reference this playbook throughout the article. Each step type and their accompanying tasks are further detailed below.
Playbook Steps and Tasks
The 'Add People' Step
This type of step creates an 'Add People' task, and drives all playbook-based messaging through the usage of sequences (detailed here). If you start the playbook with an 'Add People' step (as recommended), then you will see the modal shown below first. It is from here that you can decide which people (from the accounts that are later added to the playbook) will be shown in the 'Add People' task that the step creates, as well as what sequence will be selected in the task by default:
With this, you must select at least one value from any of the 'Title & Seniority', 'Personas', and 'Person Location' fields on the left, and then must also decide whether the playbook step looks at:
- Only net new* people from the account(s) you add to the playbook (*people from the Prospect Searcher page that aren't in your instance of Apollo yet)
- Only current contacts* from the account(s) you add to the playbook (*people already in your Contacts page)
After that, you will need to decide whether the people shown in the task for this step should be set to enter the same sequence too (one that has already been built from the Sequences page). If yes, then every person added by the step will have the selected sequence set in the respective 'Add People' task (detailed more below).
- Note: If you do not select a sequence here, then you will need to do so on the individual contact level when reviewing the 'Add People' task in your Playbook Tasks tab (more on this below).
The 'Add People' Task
Once the step is configured how you like, it will be ready to generate tasks. That said, because 'Add People' is the first step (in the example shown above), an 'Add People' task will always be generated right after an account is added to the playbook. To see this task, you will need to open the Playbook Tasks tab. Below is an example of what an 'Add People' task looks like when viewed from there:
The 'Add People' Task, Continued
From this task completion screen you can then determine which people, of those that are shown (determined by the settings in your 'Add People' step), should be added to the sequence indicated to their right (also determined by the step's settings). If no sequence was set for the 'Add People' step, however, then you will not see anything applied to the right of each person. Regardless though, you can always customize which sequence is selected by clicking the dropdown (highlighted above).
If you want someone to be added to the sequence shown to their right, you will need to click Accept. This will then send them to the 'Accepted - Added to Sequence' section of the playbook (highlighted above). There's a limit to how many people can be in this section though, and that's configured in your playbook's Settings tab (detailed more later). If you accept someone and the 'Accepted - Added to Sequence' section is full, then they will go to the 'Accepted - On Deck' section, where they will remain until everyone in the other section has finished their selected sequence.
If you don't want someone to be added to the sequence shown to their right, you will need to click Reject. This will then send them to the 'Rejected' section.
Finally, once you feel that this step/task has done its job, you can move on to the next one for the account by clicking Complete Task at the top right (highlighted above).
The 'Research Fields' Step
This type of step creates a 'Research Fields' task that prompts you to fill in the selected data for any accounts added to the playbook. If you plan on referencing any account-based custom fields (detailed here) in the messages sent from your selected sequence(s) (set in the 'Add People' steps and/or tasks), then you will probably want to add a 'Research Field' step for your playbook.
The 'Research Fields' Task
The 'Do Action Item' Step
This type of step creates a 'Do Action Item' task that prompts you to complete whatever you configured, and is used to remind you of any other org-specific actions that may be relevant when doing account-based sales:
The 'Do Action Item' Task
Adding Accounts to Your Playbook
Go to your playbook's Accounts tab and click the + Add Account button, shown below:
Any accounts that you add will be shown in this list, along with their playbook statuses, what steps they are in, and what stages they are in.
- Important Note: When adding an account to your playbook, you will only be able to complete its tasks if you own it. This is why we give you the option to set yourself as the owner of an account when you add it to a playbook (so long as you have permission):
Completing Your Playbook's Tasks
As mentioned previously, steps in your playbook generate tasks that correspond directly to them. Each account in your playbook will have its own task, and the one that appears will always be based on the given account's current step. So, because accounts can only be in one step at a time, this also means that each account can only have one open playbook task at a time.
For example, only one task is generated when adding an 'Apollo' account to the playbook detailed in this article, and it corresponds to the playbook's first step (an 'Add People' step):
Clicking on the task that is shown (above) will then bring you to the task progression modal. From there you will be able to complete the tasks for the account, in the order, as they are generated by the playbook's steps. For example, once the 'Add People' task shown above is completed, the very next task in the list will be a 'Research Fields' task, as this is what is set in step 2 of the playbook.
Playbook rulesets allow you to save the settings that are chosen under 'Add People Settings' and then use them for other playbooks.