How to Write the Rules of Engagement for Your Sales Organization -> Free Template Included!

How to write the Rules of Engagement for your Sales Organization -> Free Template Included!

What are Rules of Engagement (ROE) and Sales Policies?

Rules of Engagement or Sales Policies (you’re going to call them ROE in this blog) are a set of internal company rules, principles, and workflows that define and govern the sales process. Just like opening the box to a new board game, these are the rules. And just like when you’re playing a board game (for money in this case), things can get heated. So sales organizations need clear ROE to inform all the players in the sales process how it is meant to run.  The ROE should be a living, breathing hub of information that sellers go to when they have questions or to settle disputes. ROE should contain go-to-market principles such as Sales Territories, Account Definitions, Compensation Information, Opportunity Holdover Rules, a Planning Calendar…and on and on and on. It is the source of truth. It is the law. It is a major deliverable that can be tedious to compile.  But the act of compiling your ROE should help you to spot gaps in your sales process. As David McCullough says, “To write youll is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.”

BoogieBoard is here to help…click here for a free ROE Template.

How to Format Rules of Engagement

Because your ROE is meant to be a piece of reference material, it should be dynamic.  Regardless of whether its an intranet site, slideshow, or document, make sure it has:

  1. Versioning and audit log
    1. Your audience will need to know when something changes. You will need to track changes.  Make this clear and simple.
  2. Links, links, links, and more links to any necessary internal references (ie. Link to where to find your Comp Plan)
  3. References to Sources of Truth

What Sections to Include

Introduction

  • Include the contributors and owners of this ROE
    • Showcase your collaboration efforts here
  • Version history & audit log
    • Keep things dynamic and track changes
  • Glossary for acronyms
  • Link to other major resources (ie Comp, Playbooks)

Annual or Quarterly Planning Calendar

Let people know what’s happening behind the scenes to make your go-to-market (GTM) machine work.  Give yourself, your team, and your collaborators credit for all of your efforts.  And let players in the game know what to expect.  That means setting timing for:

  • Holdover decisions
  • Account tiering
  • Comp plans go-live
  • Territories go-live
  • SKO

See this simple Example from RevOPs Impact Newsletter:


Account Definition

What is an Account for your company?  What are the different types and which data are used to describe them? Use an annotated screenshot of an Account Record in CRM to set a reference base for later rules. 


  • How do you define firmographic account attributes? Where are they on our Account Record? What is the source of truth for each?
    • Parent name
    • # of children
    • HQ Address
    • Billing Address
    • Industry/Vertical
    • Micro Industry
    • of employees
    • Annual Revenue
  • How do you define firmographic account attributes? Where are they on our Account Record? What is the source of truth for each?
    • Segment
    • Type
    • Region
    • Products used
    • MRR/ARR
    • Account Score
    • Account Owner
    • Opportunity
    • Opportunity Owner
    • Account Team
  • How do you define technographic & other account attributes?  What is the source of truth for each?

Account Hierarchies

How do you sell to account hierarchies? Do you have simple rules for account hierarchies that apply across the board?  Ie. One rep owns an entire hierarchy? Ie. Each account has its own owner, regardless of hierarchy?  Or are you somewhere betyouen these two.  Clearly explain the ethos of the approach and the rules that make it up. 

  • Define hierarchy objects like:
    • Ultimate Parents Account
    • Parent Account
    • Child Account
      • Subsidiary
      • Department/Division
      • Ownership percentage
  • What's the Source of Truth for hierarchy data?
    • How is this represented in CRM
      • Screenshot
  • How do you handle data disputes and updates to hierarchies
    • Are reps meant to scrub hierarchies over time?
    • Can reps add to a hierarchy?
  • Multi-entity sales strategy
    • How do you encourage hierarchies to purchase?
      • MSA?
      • Individually at the entity level
  • How do you make adjustments to hierarchies?  Or are they locked in for a period of time?
    • Mergers, Acquisitions, Divestitures, Relocations…
  • Do you have exceptions where our hierarchy rules don’t apply?
    • Holding Companies
    • Private Equity
    • Shell company/Tax Haven
    • Regionality
    • Franchises

Territories & TALs

How are accounts divided up?  And what are the ongoing rules & ethos surrounding account movement?

  • Timing/Delivery of Territories
    • When do they go live
  • When and how is data being updated
  • How will they go live
  • Source of truth
  • Territory Makeup & Equity
    • Target Account Lists/Named Accounts
    • Geos
    • Net new clients
    • Existing customers
  • Account Ownership ROE
    • Can you add/drop accounts?
    • Can you disqualify accounts?
    • Inbound v Outbound
  • ROE by Role
    • SDRs
      • What type of book
      • Target closed lost opportunities
      • Re-engage old leads
      • Inbound lead routing
      • How are SDRs assigned to accounts?
    • Overlays
    • Expansion reps
    • AEs
    • AMs
    • CSMs
    • Customer/Solution Engineers
    • Ownership
    • Renewal responsibility
  • Additional ROE by 
    • Segment
    • Region
    • Industry
  • Validation and planning
    • Rep level of responsibility for validating data
  • Dispute process
    • Case?

Segments, Regions, Industries

  • Segment Definitions
  • Regional Definitions
  • Vertical/Industry Definitions

Data Disputes

  • How can sellers and sales leaders dispute data?
  • Is there a case system?
  • Who is the arbiter of such a case?
  • What is the SLA to resolve such a dispute?

Opportunity Management

  • Opportunity opening guidance
  • Opportunity closing guidance
  • Expectations of stages
  • Activity requirements

Holdovers, Transfers, and Splits

  • How long does AE remain the primary rep on a deal that he/she closes?  When does it transition to Account Management
    • How is the close date defined
    • What is the transfer date
    • Source of truth
    • Does it happen gradually
  • Existing customer definition
    • New logo credit
    • What happens with churned customers
  • Holdovers
    • Can leaders/reps holdover accounts or opportunities that are transitioning

Leads & Lead Routing

  • What happens when a lead account is in territory
    • Does SDR qualify first, or does it go right to rep
  • What happens when account is not already directly mapped to rep
    • Round robin?
      • What’s the round robin logic
      • Does it go to SDR or AE
    • Geo rules?
  • What are the different types of leads and lead sources

Partners & Reseller Motion

  • How do you sell through partners and resellers?
  • How do partners and resellers engage in CRM?
  • What happens with partner leads?
  • What are the different roles for partner management?
  • How are partner and resold deals compensated?

Other

  • How to handle RFP
  • How to Qualify for Club
  • How to create account Plans

Additional Resources

  • Add any link that you think a seller or sales leader might ask you about during the year

Finale

Your GTM motion never stops evolving.  Be prepared to update your ROE constantly using the  “feedback” 😜 that sales teams are known to provide.



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