How to Build Sales Documentation for your Team

A Comprehensive Guide to Creating Sales Documentation to enhance your sales team's performance and increase your bottom line.
Stop blocking your sales team with information silos.
20 minutes
February 9, 2024

Scaling a successful sales team is critical for any high-growth SaaS startup. But it becomes extremely challenging without comprehensive sales documentation. This guide will walk you through what sales documentation is, why you need it, and how to create it.

The Growing Importance of Sales Teams for SaaS Companies

For most SaaS companies, the sales department makes up the largest portion of employees. Sales becomes even more crucial given the subscription revenue model of SaaS businesses.

Especially in the early days, founders themselves handle most sales activities - from sourcing leads to product demos to closing deals. But as the company grows, founders struggle to let go of sales responsibilities or properly handover to a dedicated sales team.

According to a survey by Forbes, sales reps only spend 35% of their time actually selling. They spend the other 2/3rd of their time doing other tasks. This leaves a massive productivity gap, where most of the sales reps' time gets wasted in non-selling activities.

Proper sales documentation and enablement becomes critical to scaling and supporting the sales team. But most founders underestimate the importance of creating structured documentation. This leads to inconsistent messaging, deal slippage, and lack of clarity for sales reps.

What is Sales Documentation?

Sales documentation refers to all the documents, collateral, training materials, and processes that equip sales teams to effectively sell your product. It codifies the tribal knowledge and best practices gained through experience into playbooks, guidelines and frameworks that new hires can reference.

At a minimum, sales documentation should include:

Sales Playbooks

Sales playbooks are step-by-step guides that walk sales reps through the entire sales process - from qualifying leads to delivering demos to handling objections and closing deals. Playbooks help institutionalize the sales methodology and best practices into a structured process that all reps can follow.

Key elements of sales playbooks include:

  • Lead qualification frameworks to identify and prioritize high-potential leads
  • Call scripts and email templates to engage prospects
  • Discovery questions to deeply understand prospect needs during initial meetings
  • Demo guidelines on how to customize and deliver impactful product demos
  • Proposal templates to create consistent and compelling proposals
  • Common objections handling frameworks to confidently address concerns
  • Closing scripts and best practices to progress opportunities and win deals

Sales Collateral

Beyond playbooks, sales teams need various collateral to support the sales process and engage prospects. Examples of useful sales collateral include:

  • Presentations: Well-designed and customizable pitch presentations to walk prospects through key products, value propositions, differentiators, and customer stories.
  • Product one-pagers: Crisp one-page documents summarizing product benefits, top features, and customer quotes. Help prospects quickly grasp the value.
  • Case studies: Stories of how specific customers achieved success with your product. Build credibility and trust.
  • Competitive comparisons: Documents comparing your solution to competitors based on features, pricing, and overall positioning in the market. Help reps win competitive deals.
  • Pricing sheets: Visual summaries of your pricing plans and tiers. Help prospects understand options.
  • Explainer videos: Short videos demonstrating your product value in a visual, engaging way.


A document with answers to the most frequently asked questions prospects have about your product - relating to features, implementation, security, support, integrations etc. Allows reps to confidently address common concerns.

Training Materials

Onboarding documents to train new sales reps on your product, ideal customer profile, buyer personas, competitive positioning, value propositions, common objections and techniques to overcome them etc. Reduces the learning curve for new hires.

Robust sales documentation that covers these elements empowers sales reps to represent your brand and product effectively. It ensures consistency in the entire sales process - from marketing generated leads to closed deals. And it helps sales teams scale and achieve goals faster.

The Benefits of Sales Documentation

Investing the time and resources into creating comprehensive sales documentation and enablement pays huge dividends across the entire sales organization. Some of the key benefits include:

Streamlined Sales Process

Detailed playbooks and standard operating procedures for sales reps ensure consistency and discipline in the entire process - from the way leads are qualified and prioritized to how product demos are delivered to the steps for closing deals.

With documentation, you institutionalize best practices on lead follow up cadences, objection handling frameworks, and closing methods based on what works best for your solution. This takes the guesswork out of day-to-day selling and makes sales reps significantly more productive.

According to corporate training company Allego, a standardized sales methodology aided by documentation increased sales productivity by 19.5% in their client organizations.

Consistency in Brand Messaging

Sales documentation helps synchronize your brand story, messaging frameworks, product positioning, and external communications across all customer-facing teams - sales, marketing, customer success and support.

From the very first sales call to product demos to renewal conversations, prospects hear a consistent narrative around your brand and product value. This builds trust and confidence.

For example, robust messaging frameworks ensure reps always convey your value props like “AI-powered” or “customer-centric” or “transparent pricing” consistently. Documentation provides them the tools and training to stay on message.

Faster Response to Prospects

Equipping sales reps with readily available information and approved messaging in documentation helps them respond promptly to prospect questions without constantly needing to check with management.

For example, having carefully crafted FAQ documents allows reps to confidently clarify concerns around data security, privacy, or integrations on the spot rather than telling prospects “I'll get back to you”.

More Effective Sales Pitches

When you document proven pitch frameworks, case studies, competitor profiles, ROI calculators, and objection handling techniques, it's easier for reps to customize and deliver pitches that uniquely resonate with each prospect.

Instead of generic, ad-hoc presentations, they can tailor stories and use cases that matter to each prospect’s role, industry, and business objectives. This results in higher quality conversations and stronger prospect engagement.

Improved Prospect Experience

Professionally designed sales collateral like presentations, product videos, ROI calculators, and case studies help your reps deliver an engaging, consistent story to prospects and customers.

This elevated experience during sales conversations, demos, and onboarding journeys results in greater satisfaction.

Shorter Sales Cycles and Improved Win Rates

All the above benefits of streamlined processes, effective messaging, and higher-quality prospect engagement result in accelerated sales cycles and higher win rates.

Boosts Morale of Sales Teams

Thorough documentation and training resources help new sales reps, especially recent college graduates, ramp up faster and become productive quicker. This gives them the confidence and tools to succeed in their role.

When You Need Proper Sales Documentation

As an early stage SaaS startup, you may manage initially without comprehensive sales documentation. But there comes a tipping point when ad hoc processes start hindering scaling.

Here are some signals that indicate it's time to invest in structured sales documentation and training:

1/ When You're Ready to Hire Dedicated Sales Reps

In the beginning, founders and early employees handle most sales activities themselves. But as the company grows, you need to start hiring dedicated sales reps. These reps bring sales experience from other companies but have little familiarity with your unique product, positioning, customers, and values. Thorough documentation becomes crucial to effectively train them.

2/ When Sales Cycles and Conversions Are Inconsistent

In the absence of documented best practices, different sales reps will develop their own styles and cadences.

While styles may differ, the sales conversion rates and cycle length should be relatively predictable across reps for a given product-market fit. High inconsistencies in these metrics signal lack of structured process. For example, if your sales cycle length varies from 1 month to 6 months for the same product, it indicates chaotic ad hoc processes.

3/ When Founders Are Constantly Hand-Holding

As your sales team grows, founders shouldn't need to spend excessive time hand-holding reps on basic activities like crafting pitches, developing demos, creating proposals, and handling objections.

If reps constantly require your input on these day-to-day sales tasks, it's a sign they lack the tools and training to work independently. Thorough documentation solves this founder dependency.

4/ When Deals Are Slipping Through the Cracks

In the absence of CRM processes and playbooks, sales opportunities start falling through the cracks as reps juggle an increasing number of prospects.

Your CRM reports likely show deals stuck at various inactive pipeline stages or missing expected follow-ups. Or worse, prospects complaining they never heard back.

These are symptoms of a disjointed sales process without set next steps defined in documentation. Even basic playbooks and workflows will significantly improve pipeline hygiene.

5/ When Product Value Cannot Be Clearly Explained

As product complexity grows, sales reps may struggle to clearly explain your solution's value, differentiators, or use cases if they lack messaging frameworks and training.

Prospects start asking tough questions about competitive differences, implementation, pricing, or security that stump your reps. It hampers their confidence and credibility during sales conversations. Solid product positioning documentation equips reps to better understand and describe your solution to prospects. So they can lead engaging dialogues instead of defensive ones.

6/ When Brand Storytelling Is Fractured

In the absence of documented guidelines and messaging frameworks, your brand story often gets conveyed inconsistently across reps, prospects, website pages, and collateral.

Key elements of your narrative like target customers, product differentiation, company values etc. get mixed up without a structured messaging hierarchy.

This fractured storytelling dilutes your brand. It also confuses prospects on your true value proposition. Robust messaging frameworks solve this.

7/ Declining Salesforce Effectiveness

Finally, low conversion rates, long sales cycles, poor prospect experience, and excessive founder involvement are all symptoms of untrained, under-enabled sales reps.

Structured onboarding, ongoing learning, and sales documentation address this declining effectiveness by giving reps the tools to excel.

How to Create Sales Documentation

Follow these best practices to build stellar sales documentation:

1. Assign a Project Leader

First, identify an internal project lead to own the sales documentation initiative - either the sales operations leader or a sales enablement specialist. This person will interview stakeholders, write documentation, and continually refine it.

If no internal resource available, consider hiring an external sales enablement consultant or training firm. But long-term, have an internal owner to sustain it.

2. Map Out Your Current Sales Workflow

In a dedicated workshop with sales leaders, document the current sales process end-to-end - from generating and qualifying leads to delivering demos to closing deals.

Outline each step in the workflow, identify gaps or inconsistencies, and highlight areas of friction for reps. This mapping sets the context to build helpful documentation.

3. Define Your Sales Metrics and KPIs

Next, outline the key sales metrics and KPIs your organization tracks - conversion rates, sales cycle length, enlargement/expansion rates, LTV, etc. These metrics set expectations for sales reps on goals they need to optimize for. Document targets for each metric based on your history.

4. Determine Sales Effectiveness Metrics

In addition to Lagging KPIs, identify leading indicators of sales effectiveness - demos scheduled per rep, sales qualified leads, product pilots started, proposals created, etc.

Tracking these ensures reps focus their activities on the leading activities that ultimately drive lagging revenue results. Document ideal targets.

5. Profile Your Ideal Customer

Create a detailed document outlining your ideal customer profile - their size, industry, tech stack, tools, and functional roles that use your product.

6. Analyze Your Competitors

Compile competitor profiling documents that provide an objective SWOT analysis of their products, positioning, messaging, and targeting relative to yours. This helps reps differentiate you when prospects ask “Why not competitor X?” during sales calls. Outline your strengths and their weaknesses.

7. Document Your Technology Ecosystem

Create an overview of all the core technologies across your own product, integrations, and stacks you support/service. This helps reps better understand your tech and how you integrate with the solutions prospects already have. Speeds time to value.

8. Codify Your Sales Tasks and Workflows

The core of your playbooks. Document step-by-step guidelines and best practices for essential sales tasks:

  • Lead qualification
  • Lead follow-up cadences
  • Crafting cold emails
  • Discovery calls
  • Demo preparation
  • Proposal creation
  • Objection handling
  • Deal closing

Checklists, email, and call scripts provide actionable guidance reps can apply.

9. Produce Sales Collateral

Create brochures, presentations, flyers, videos, ROI calculators, case studies, and other collateral to visually engage prospects and educate them on your value.

Make presentation decks customizable while adhering to brand guidelines. Produce educational videos reps can send prospects.

10. Prepare Pitches and Demo Scripts

Craft flexible pitch templates, discovery calls guides, demo scripts, and objection handling frameworks reps can adapt for different prospects.

Help them tailor messaging to each audience while covering key elements. Provide email templates to save reps time.

11. Listen to Feedback and Iterate

Once documentation is in place, gather regular feedback from sales reps on what's working, gaps, new challenges that need addressing through updated content.

Continuous improvement of your sales documentation ensures it evolves with your changing business needs.

Best Practices for Sales Documentation

To maximize the impact of your sales documentation, follow these proven best practices:

Collaborate Extensively

Avoid the temptation to have an individual or small team develop documentation in silos. Collaboration is key. Interview sales reps across your organization and at different tenures to incorporate their perspectives:

  • Hold focus groups to understand day-to-day challenges
  • Send out surveys on current pain points
  • Interview reps one-on-one to map their typical workflows
  • Request anonymized notes reps take during sales calls

Beyond reps, talk to sales leadership, customer success, services, marketing and product teams to identify what collateral, messaging, and training they need sales reps to have to work cross-functionally. Often, sales leaders attribute lack of collaboration with other departments is one of their biggest enablement challenges. Break down silos.

Finally, consider running a few customer interviews or focus groups to identify gaps between your internal view of the sales process and the customer's actual experience. Their unfiltered feedback will help improve your methodologies and collateral.

Invest in Sales Enablement Software

Don't rely solely on shared drives and spreadsheets to manage sales documentation. The volume of content and need for updates will quickly make this unwieldy.

Prioritize Ruthlessly

Don't attempt to document every possible thing about your sales process upfront. This results in complex, hard to navigate "encyclopedias" that reps rarely use. Prioritize creating documentation around the 2-3 biggest pain points facing your sales reps currently. Address those thoroughly first. Once adopted, continue expanding docs to cover other scenarios. Think minimum viable documentation. Your frontline sales reps need to know the biggest pivots you're thinking of, how the new feature is a USP, and everything else that might move the needle for them.

Schedule Regular Reviews & Updates

Don't create sales documentation once and leave it unchanged for years. Sales trends, competitive landscape, product updates, and buyer needs change constantly in SaaS.

Build a process of continually reviewing and updating documentation on a quarterly or bi-annual basis. Sales kickoffs are perfect events to refresh content and retrain the team.

SiriusDecisions recommends refreshing around 20% of your sales training content every year to keep pace with trends.  

Accept Imperfection

Sales documentation will never be 100% comprehensive or perfect. New scenarios and exceptions emerge constantly.

Don't get caught up over-engineering complex frameworks that try to predict every possible scenario. Focus on addressing the core 80% of scenarios reasonably well. Also accept that adoption will be gradual as reps build new habits. Manage leadership expectations accordingly.

Focus on Utility

At the end of the day, sales documentation must help frontline reps succeed in their day-to-day work to be useful.

Spend more time sitting side-by-side with reps observing their workflows versus theorizing an ideal sales process from the boardroom. Build docs to address real-world complexities.

Also speak to reps frequently and solicit feedback on existing documents - what's working or not. Be ready to iterate based on their real needs.

Great sales documentation balances collaboration, technology, and agility. Next let's look at examples of effective documentation.

Examples of Great Sales Documentation

Here are some examples of stellar sales documentation:

Sales Playbooks

An ideal sales playbook provides the right blend of structure and flexibility. For example, proven discovery questions help reps have effective first meetings but can be phrased conversationally.

Check out Livementor's Sales playbook, from guidelines to do their best work, to the tools they use daily.

Live Mentor's Sales Playbook

Want to download it for yourself? Get it here for free

Sales Presentations

Slick interactive presentations help reps engage prospects and get them excited about your solution. If you're in a hurry and care about design, check out Pitch's excellent template gallery for sales presentations here


Battle cards are visual listicles that offer a concise competitor analysis, helping your reps differentiate you in sales conversations.

For example, this is a visual competitive analysis from our Notion comparison to help prospects get a high-level view of the most valuable features.

Slite's side-by-side comparison to Notion

Email Templates

Well crafted email templates help reps communicate effectively while saving time. And if you want to get started with the good ol' cold outreach, here's 2 resources for you to begin with:

1. Sahil Bloom's cold email guide

2. The basics of a good cold email by Sriram Krishnan

Continue iterating and expanding your library of sales documents, presentations, videos, frameworks and scripts.


When reps have the tools to properly educate, engage and respond to prospects, it becomes easier to win deals. Sales enablement directly improves conversion rates. Onboarding is accelerated when new hires aren't left to figure out everything themselves. Documentation allows self-paced learning before they even speak to a customer.

Founders spend less time hand-holding and micromanaging sales reps when comprehensive training and collateral is available. Enables them to focus on vision and strategy. The time and effort required to create thorough sales documentation pays off manifold in the long run via the collective benefits above.

Prioritize documentation.

FAQs on Sales Documentation

What is the sales documentation process?

The typical sales documentation process includes:

  • Mapping current sales workflows
  • Conducting rep interviews to identify needs
  • Creating playbooks, email templates, presentations etc.
  • Producing training guides and videos
  • Launching documentation and gathering feedback
  • Continuously reviewing and updating documentation

What are the different types of sales documents?

Common sales documents include:

  • Sales playbooks
  • Pitch presentations
  • Product/solution overview collateral
  • Battlecards on competitors
  • ROI calculators
  • Case studies
  • Explainer videos
  • Proposal templates
  • Objection handling guides
  • Email templates

What makes for great sales documentation?

Characteristics of stellar documentation:

  • Directly helps reps in day-to-day job
  • Easy to navigate and digest
  • Covers 80% of frequent scenarios
  • Balances structure with flexibility
  • Regularly updated based on trends
  • Interactive eLearning capabilities
  • Blends tools, templates, and training

What are the key benefits of sales documentation?

Benefits include:

  • Shortened sales cycles
  • Higher conversion rates
  • More consistent branding
  • Accelerated rep ramp-up
  • Increased cross-functional alignment
  • Reduced reliance on founders

How long does it take to create documentation?

For a mid-sized SaaS startup, plan at least a 3-6 month timeline involving sales operations, reps, and optionally external specialists. Treat it as an iterative, evolving initiative versus a one-time project.

Written by

Ishaan Gupta is a writer at Slite. He doom scrolls for research and geeks out on all things creativity. Send him nice Substack articles to be on his good side.