build better MAPs in 7 steps 🪜

Transparent sales process - working together
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Hey there 👋

If you’re a sales leader, I probably don’t have to tell you that it’s HARD to get reps to adopt new processes.

Mutual Action Plans are no different.

In my experience, a lot of reps (especially newer reps) are hesitant to use MAPs because they feel like they’re pushing their buyer too hard and putting the cart before the horse… which might lead to a “no.”

But here’s a secret 🤫 – getting to a “no” faster is actually one of the key benefits of MAPs!

If your buyer isn’t willing to actually go through the buying journey with you, they might not be the best fit for your solution.

With a MAP, you can qualify prospects out faster and spend your valuable time on the opps that ARE willing to work with you on a shared plan.

Introducing MAPs as early as possible isn’t putting the cart before the horse – even when you’re not sure the buyer will actually say “yes.” It just means that you have more time to guide them and loop in the right decision makers.

If you’re struggling to get your reps to adopt MAPs, just have a real conversation with them. Take your time to dig into their reasons and fears, and coach them on MAP benefits and best practices.

Implementing a whole new belief system takes time and patience. 🧘

- Ross

In this newsletter:

  • Celebrating 1 year of the podcast (latest episodes & throwbacks)
  • 7 tips for building 10/10 mutual action plans
  • Sales articles & resources we’re checking out

🎙 1 Year of From Vendorship → Partnership

From Vendorship to Partnership podcast

I can’t believe that the From Vendorship → Partnership podcast turns 1 YEAR OLD this week 🤯

So I’m doing some reflecting on why we decided to launch the podcast in the first place:

📈 Uncover the best tactics for building winning GTM motions & teams

🔮 Talk to top B2B leaders paving the way for the future of sales & startups

🤩 Build relationships with like-minded folks & provide value to our community

But most of all… because we believe that empowering folks to grow by sharing the journeys, lessons & advice of others who have been there before makes ALL of us better.

And this is still true, today more than ever!

🎙 40+ episodes later, I’ve talked to a long list of incredible startup founders & B2B sales leaders about how to find product-market fit, scale teams, build winning sales processes, & partner with buyers.

Here are a few of our most-played episodes from the past year – plus our most recent one:

Thanks for sticking with us over the past year, and stay tuned for more. 🎧

✅ 7 Best Practices for Building Mutual Action Plans

While every Mutual Action Plan will vary depending on your sales motion and your customer’s needs, there are some basic best practices to keep in mind.

Here are seven tips that will take your MAPs from 9/10 → 10/10.

1. Keep it simple! 🙌

The goal is to capture everything your buyer needs to know to complete their journey – without overwhelming them.

a) Aim for 3x3 to 3x5 (3 stages with 3-5 steps each).

b) Include a short description on each step.

2. Draft a compelling executive summary ✍

The executive summary is the #1 reason your buyer will engage with and invite other stakeholders to your Mutual Action Plan.

a) It should tell a compelling story about the value your solution can bring to the customer.

b) Your champion should be excited to share it with their senior leadership.

c) It should answer all the questions your champion will need answered when sharing this information with their team, while still being concise (try to keep it one page or less).

3. Establish a clear timeline 📆

It's important to uncover a compelling event and do a work-back plan with every customer, so you can control the deal or implementation timeline.

a) Pick a milestone (usually the day the customer gets to value).

b) Work backwards and assign dates to key steps leading up to the milestone.

4. Guide customers to value, not their signature 🏆

Your customer doesn’t care about signing the deal – they care about solving their problems.

a) Orient your Mutual Action Plan around a go-live, value, or success date, not a close date.

b) Even if you’re not handing off the MAP to your CS team, include an onboarding or implementation stage so your buyer can see what the post-sale process includes.

Get the last 3 best practices here! 👀

📚 What We’re Reading

👉 “Control, or Be Controlled: Sales Forecasting Done Right”

I was recommended this Mark Cranney article in a recent masterclass, and it’s a must-read for any sales leader trying to figure out how to forecast more reliably (which I’m pretty sure is all of us).

👉 “6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Evaluating Your Sales Tech”

(Shameless plug, I wrote this post for the LinkedIn Sales Solution blog 😉)

In a time when we’re all trying to do more with less – how do you know which sales tools you really need? In this article, I dive into what to prioritize in your tech stack.

Thanks for reading From Vendorship → Partnership 👋  I'd love to hear your feedback on this edition. Hit reply to send me a note!

Ross Rich (CEO and Co-founder)

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