Mutual action plans, or MAPs, are powerful tools that can focus and guide sellers and buyers through the stages of a sales-client relationship.
Understanding the four core stakeholder roles that characterize mutual action plans—as well as the challenges and opportunities that correspond to them—will help you create better templates, coach your selling team, and support your revenue operations with data on deal status and pipeline health.
Here, we identify and explain the four MAP roles and what you and your team need to know about each one:
1. Sales Reps
Solution selling is complex, with many decision makers and tight timelines. Deals die if they go off track, and every deal is different. It’s important for sales reps to identify, quickly, which buyers are serious, and which ones are just kicking the tires.
Mutual action plans are a powerful tool to support sales reps, who can use a mutual action plan to instantly see which buyers are engaged and which ones are just exploring. Sales reps can disqualify bad deals faster using this data, freeing time to work good deals or build pipeline.
Mutual action plan, done right, show exactly which milestone needs action, so deals don’t slip into the next quarter. A sales rep using a mutual action plan well guides the customer journey and keeps the conversation focused on fixing their problem with your product by providing a clear plan to value. Buyers adopt your plan as their own, edging out competitors and reducing surprises.
2. Revenue Leaders
Revenue leaders’ primary task is to maximize predictable revenue. Teams using mutual action plans maximize their predictable revenue because reps follow a specific process consistently and transparently.
Reps value autonomy and don’t want to be constrained by scripts, which rarely work in complex sales. Reps abandon new methodologies quickly for exactly this reason. Adding mutual action plans to your revenue tool box turns a complex process into a set of simple, easy-to-follow habits. Templates and CRM automation streamline hours of work.
Drilling down to details in a mutual action plan also enables deep, constructive coaching conversations that can save a deal. Reps can also have the same, hard conversation with the customer: “If we want to hit your dates, we need to get this done. What can we do to get back on track?”
3. Customer Success
Customer success relies on a smooth handover, fast time to value, and focus on outcomes from day one—or sooner. Ideally, the customer success team is introduced to the selling process as early as possible. Introductions allow the customer success team to establish relationships faster. Customer success knows buyer priorities and history, so there are fewer surprises.
Working from a shared plan helps this process. When all the teams, including customer success, are on the same page with a shared plan, you prevent unnecessary implementation delays and make it easy to determine when value has been delivered.
Finally, consistency is key. A well-defined process ensures every customer onboards the same way, delivering a high quality, consistent experience from every team member— no matter how fast you’re growing.
Getting into the buyer’s mindset is essential if you want to close deals consistently. Remember: Buyers are looking for the safe, low-risk path to fix their problem. They’re going to choose whoever seems most likely to fulfill that need.
Knowing this, consider how you can offer the buyer a low-risk path to value.
A series of small steps is a much lower risk than a big leap of faith. Using a mutual action plan reveals the path, with trust building on both sides as each milestone is accomplished.
Remember, too, that the buyer wants you to prove your credibility and value, and to establish trust. Creating a single, shared source of truth with everything in one place—files, next steps, and contact information—makes proof of value easier, allows for a smooth transition from evaluation to implementation, and affirms for the buyer that the rep is organized, proactive, and transparent.