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(ly). 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.
  • Responsible for 
  • Approves 
  • Supports 
  • Consults 
  • Informs  
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. 
Given my recent finish of SPIN Selling, sales qualification/ discovery processes weigh heavy on my mind. So, it’s no surprise then, that when I run into a new acronym that I wonder what it’s about – and how it’s different.
Here are a few sales qualification acronyms:
  • BANT– this is a real popular one that was the foundation for many sales processes. It stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing.
  • ANUM– evolution from BANT and heavily promoted by InsideSales.com for years, this stands for Authority, Need, Urgency, and Money.
  • SPIN– this is more about the process rather than qualification criteria. However, this comes from Neil Rackham’s SPIN Selling – Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need pay-off.
  • MEDDIC– this is a new one for me after hearing about this from a sales leader recently. This stands for Metrics, Economic buyer, Decision criteria, Decision process, Identify pain point, and Champion. This one is more comprehensive than the others. It aims to understand the buyingprocess.

I’m sure there are hundreds more sales qualification processes and acronyms. The former two are all about qualifying opportunities. The latter two are more aligned to leading a prospect through the buying process/ understanding the buying process, especially in MEDDIC.

What are some sales strategies and acronyms you’ve used to advance sales? Which were not helpful, and why?