Is your sales process only in your head? That may have worked up until now, but a sales process is much easier to share when it’s documented on paper, especially the parts where you need customer buy-in.
How do you move the sales process you have in your head to a format that’s accessible to and shareable with others? Alice Heiman and Clari put our heads together to create this seven-step template builder for your team’s very own mutual action plan (MAP).
This is a dynamic, flexible document. Print it out and fill it in, and just like that, your team will have a MAP template that will deliver value from the first meeting. It will also help you close on schedule and ensure a smooth handover.
The MAP template has seven essential elements:
- Value to customer
- Key milestones
- Key stakeholder roles
- Compelling events
- Sharing strategy
- Put it all together
1. Value to customer
Customer impact should drive your mutual action plan and help the customer understand why your project needs to be a top priority.
Spell out the value your customer will receive from working with your company. The value to customer statement should take 20-30 words, max.
Your reps will need to customize this statement for each sales opportunity, but you should provide a starting point in this template.
Note that it’s acceptable to have different value statements for different stakeholders.
2. Key milestones
A clear path to success reduces customer risk, boosts rep credibility, and makes life harder for competitors.
This section of the mutual action plan lists the steps the buyer and the seller need to take starting today to achieve customer value.
Break that journey down into six to eight milestones. More than that, and you’ll overwhelm your buyer. It’s fine to add sub-steps later.
The contract should come at the midpoint of the journey.
Continue through onboarding and implementation until you’ve hit the point where the customer is receiving value, and you can document the return received by the buyer.
Pro tip: On the last milestone, make sure the rep asks for a case study or referral.
3. Key stakeholder roles
Discussing roles or titles for each milestone guides discovery and ensures the right people are involved.
Identify the expected roles (both buyer and seller) of key stakeholders. Put the number of the milestones you think they will impact next to their name or title.
You won’t know every buyer role for every deal, but this is a good starting point for your reps to use during discovery.
Pro tip: Think about the role each title played. Compare stakeholder titles from won deals and who was missing from lost deals as a baseline for which titles are truly required.
4. Compelling events
Most successful deals have a clear customer-initiated event or initiative driving customer urgency.
List two to three common compelling events that have driven past successful deals.
These should be specific events seen in other deals that reps can use to kickstart a conversation around their current customer’s priorities.
5. Sharing strategy
A specific sharing strategy ensures buyers engage with your plan and keeps everyone accountable.
Identify which deals merit a mutual action plan, considering not just sales but customer success, and the best moment to share the mutual action plan with the buyer.
Pro tip: Mid- to late-discovery or verbal confirmation are two of the most common moments at which the mutual action plan is shared, with many teams showing the stock template as a typical implementation. The rep then asks whether the prospect would like to see a customized version.
6. Put it all together
Take the steps above and put them into a template that your teams can customize quickly for each new opportunity.
Decide the best format. A Word document looks better, and spreadsheets are easier for editing dates, but specialized tools like Clari offer the best, most comprehensive features.
Define the template’s timeline by adding each milestone’s typical duration. Then, it’s ready for the rep to add real calendar dates.
Implement technology or manual processes to push MAP data to a CRM. Start small and test this out with five MAPs.
Once that’s done, host a working lunch to show your reps how aligning with the customer in a mutual action plan will result in more wins for them.
Launch your MAP strategy and enjoy the most reliable forecast, consistently qualified deals, and the happiest, most aligned customers in your industry.
Teams that use Clari close more deals, have a more accurate forecast, and enjoy all the benefits of mutual trust and transparency between buying and selling teams. Learn more.