For B2B sales, the buyer-seller relationship is key to creating a long-term, successful partnership. However, the resources available to efficiently enable partnerships have been limited up until recently. A mutual action plan (MAP) offers a way to define the relationship before the deal gets underway.
Mutual action plans are the ultimate tool to create a clear plan and speed up the sales process. MAPs are necessary, even for top sales performers, to increase transparency and revenue. With a detailed plan of action, all parties involved are aligned on expectations, responsibilities, and deadlines.
A MAP offers a wide range of benefits that encourage collaboration and foster strong partnerships. Mutual action plans are the key to developing a collaborative, communicative environment to close large B2B deals with heightened transparency so all stakeholders can reach their desired outcomes.
What is a Mutual Action Plan?
Mutual action plans outline the milestones a sales rep and a prospect must complete in order to close a deal. This immediately sets expectations for both parties, creating an open, transparent relationship from the start. Buyers are more trusting of the sales rep, as they understand the scope of the deal, and sales reps feel more confident they are able to close the deal. Not only are both parties more secure, but the entire deal moves along through the sales pipeline faster — any potential roadblocks are seen well in advance, making the deal go smoother.
The framework of mutual action plans allows all parties to easily communicate so that each knows what actions are needed next, what the other expects, and where the deal is headed. However, the problem (up until now) lies in how standarized and manual they are. Without sales enablement tech, a mutual action plan lacks the necessary flexibility to be effective. A tech-enabled mutual action plan eliminates this problem, providing all the benefits of a MAP with none of the hiccups.
What are the Benefits of a Mutual Action Plan?
A digital MAP helps define the responsibilities of both the buyer and seller throughout the deal. As a unique asset, mutual action plans should never be one-size-fits-all. Rather, the plan should be created in collaboration to ensure that both parties are satisfied. Mutual action plans:
1. Define Partnership Goals:
A MAP outlines where the deal is headed and the benefits both parties expect from the partnership. For long-term partnerships, this is key, as mutual action plans help keep the focus on the original goals.
2. Manage Expectations:
Since mutual action plans set out specific timelines for the partnership, both parties understand the next steps and what to prepare for. Any potential roadblocks can be seen weeks or months out, allowing for better management and easier avoidance.
3. Align Resources:
A mutual action plan helps both companies involved understand objectives, allowing for them to allocate resources to accomplish their goals. Mutual action plans allow everyone to see what resources are needed for each goal, creating space and time for planning.
4. Create a Faster Sales Cycle:
With a MAP, deals never slip through the cracks or get put on the back burner. Having a set plan helps prevent delays by preparing both parties for what’s to come, speeding up the sales cycle.
5. Enable Better Forecasting:
Sales reps are better able to forecast the deal with a mutual action plan. An outline of mutually agreed upon milestones and their statuses helps reps to understand how close the deal is to closing.
6. Drive Success:
A mutual action plan immediately sets up consistent communication, ensuring both parties are aware of the current status of the partnership. Clear communication creates positive results, ensuring both parties feel confident throughout and pleased with the deal outcome.
A MAP fosters success and allows all stakeholders involved to know what exactly is needed from them and when it’s needed by. The insight gained from a mutual action plan helps speed up the deal cycle and inevitably ends in both parties achieving their optimal results, whether in pricing or in services provided.
Make the Most of MAPs with Digital Sales Rooms
Mutual action plans, by nature, should be personalized to each deal and each partnership. In order to work as intended, both parties need access to the plan to easily make adjustments as needed. MAPs perform best in digital sales rooms (DSR) — heightened online accessibility for all involved, ease of use, enhanced collaboration, and more make the digital sales room a perfect platform for mutual action plans. A DSR allows sales reps to tailor not only the goals of each mutual action plan, but the overall aesthetic as well. Dually branding the MAP or attaching a video specific to the buyer’s use case makes it completely unique to the buyer.
Along with creating specifically tailored mutual action plans, a DSR includes all of the resources and content shared throughout the deal in one, easily accessible space. With 94% of organizations investing in sales enablement technology, leveraging a DSR has become a necessity in B2B sales. The link to the digital sales room contains all of the sales decks, demo videos, guides, and more that both parties need to know and share, making the deal run that much smoother. Not to mention — from this one location, both parties can access and edit the MAP as needed.
Mutual action plans are key to creating transparency in partnerships, allowing both parties to understand precisely where they stand and what the next steps are. Utilizing a DSR can make a mutual action plan that much more effective, amplifying its benefits and making the deal run more smoothly for all involved.
Want to see how a digital sales room can improve the effectiveness of your mutual action plans? Book a demo with Enable.us today.