Center of Excellence

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Governance is important for any successful project or process. Our recommendation is to create a Center of Excellence team. Our most successful Playbooks customers have embraced this best practice.

Create a Center of Excellence (Play Committee)

By now you should have an appreciation for how complex a well-designed Play and Robot strategy can get. And you can imagine how quickly it would unravel if you let every Playbooks user do what they wanted. It would be like letting any foodie use the kitchen at a 5-star restaurant.

That is why we recommend creating a Center of Excellence group. If you think that sounds too pretentious call it a Play Committee, Playbooks Task Force, Unicorn Growers, whatever best fits your culture and identifies to all Playbooks users the critical role of this group.

What is a Center of Excellence?

This is a cross-functional group responsible for the administration of the Playbooks platform and strategy. They are responsible for communication of changes to the platform and strategy as well as key metrics attained or missed. They are Playbooks experts and lead the charge on best practices for all Playbooks users.

Who is in the Center of Excellence?

Keeping this group small is best, even for large enterprise customers. 3-6 members is recommended. Representatives from Sales Operations, Marketing, and Analytics teams should be included. The Playbooks Administrator should absolutely be part of the Center of Excellence.

Frontline Representatives, both sellers and managers, are not part of the decision-making body of the Center of Excellence, but they are a crucial component tasked with providing actionable feedback to help improve Plays and ensure relevance to the selling motion. This should still be a relatively small sample of all Playbooks users, 10 at most. Consider representatives from different locations and cultural backgrounds.

It is strongly recommended to only include Playbooks champions in the Frontline Representatives group. They should gather feedback from the entire range of detractors and advocates then synthesize the perspectives of their peers. Including critics of the platform in the Frontline Representatives group is often counter-productive.


Center of Excellence Put into Practice

We invited one of our customers to talk about their Center of Excellence group at our NEXT 2020 User Conference. Here’s a few tips from that session:

  1. It’s crucial to have someone from ‘the business’ in the group. Operations and Admins cannot create and strategize in a vacuum.
  2. “Round tables breed innovation. Let them feel the endorphins of contributing.”
  3. During rep and manager interviews, use a healthy dose of empathy and understanding to find out why they don’t like it.
  4. Start a WALL OF SHAME. Own the failures and mistakes so you can grow from them.
  5. Pick two key performance indicators (KPIs) to track Playbooks success and only two. “Find ‘em and stick with ‘em.”
  6. Even though Frontline Representatives are responsible to report back to the Center of Excellence, Sales Operations and Enablement are still on the hook to sit and observe users. Nothing can replace that opportunity to know how users are using the platform.


Center of Excellence Resources

Download and use the Center of Excellence slide deck to help build out your group and educate Playbooks users.  It includes many sample slides for you to quickly customize to your own Playbooks strategy.