With the thousands of companies and solutions in the B2B space, developing a one-size-fits-all sales process is near impossible. There are many variables in a selling and buying process that takes the control out of a sales professional's hands. However, there are practices that can bring some structure to a sales process – fit the goals of sales while also fitting a buyer's process. One such method is utilizing a Mutual Action Plan (MAP), or Mutually Agreed Action Plan (MAAP).
The MAP helps align sales and buyers (teams or individuals) understand and execute on a set of tasks towards a buying decision.
The key part of the MAP is the first letter — Mutual(). This enables a sales professional to guide a buyer through the sales process while molding the process to fit the prospect's buying considerations. Without “Mutual” there is no “agreement”. That would be an action plan — or simply, a sales process.
|Sample Mutual Action Plan|
The second element that makes a MAP effective is making the plan available to all parties. Visual or otherwise, this enables alignment on the responsibilities for each member of the team. Consider staying simple with the action items for stakeholders or consider more robust frameworks like RASCI.
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A MAP can be employed early on in an engagement — from a discovery call through implementation. It’s a simple enough framework that keeps both teams moving toward a common goal.
Note: the goal is not about “selling” or “buying”. Instead, it’s about delivering the benefits the customer is looking for. Value = benefit - expectation.