The thing that sellers have the most questions about when using Mutual Action Plans: how to introduce them to buyers.
This article goes over how to successfully introduce your MAP, align on expectations, and kick off a collaborative selling experience – including talk tracks you can use in your own process.
(Haven’t built your Mutual Action Plan yet? Get started with these seven MAP best practices!)
When to Introduce Your Mutual Action Plan
A mutual action plan should be introduced when your champion / buyer has expressed interest in further evaluation, beyond a discovery call.
At this point, you need to align on your buyer’s goals, the steps and stakeholders needed to achieve them, and their desired go-live date in order to keep the deal moving forward.
How to Introduce Your Mutual Action Plan
Important: Introduce the Mutual Action Plan during a call with your buyer and screen share it, so you can provide context, answer questions, get feedback, and invite them to it. You’ll have a much better chance of them engaging than if you just send a link to the MAP via email.
Step 1: Start with the Executive Summary
Your Executive Summary should be the first thing your champion sees in the Mutual Action Plan. It explains the “why” behind the deal, shows how your solution will help your buyer achieve their goals, and positions the MAP as something you'll use to help them make an informed decision.
"Hey, so I'm putting together this document to make sure you have all the information you need to figure out if we're the right solution. I'll give you access to this in a moment, and we'll work on it together throughout the process. Here's what I got from our first conversation(s): [recap the goals in the Executive Summary]. Does that cover it? Anything else you would add?"
If you need to elaborate further...
"You've been tasked with potentially buying something, which I know can be a difficult process. I'm hoping you can use this to go have the best conversation possible with your boss / exec / finance team, and be able to easily answer their questions."
Step 2: Align on Your Next Steps
Now that you've agreed on your buyer’s goals, align on how they’ll get there by reviewing the next steps in the Mutual Action Plan. Walk through the typical steps in your customers’ buying process, and don’t forget the “Mutual” part of MAP – be sure to ask for their feedback and work with them based on their unique requirements.
"Here's how companies like [account name] usually evaluate and implement [solution]. So far we've [recap of completed steps], and from here we will [summarize stages & steps from now to go-live]. I want to make sure this plan works for you – what steps will we need to add here if we're going to partner on this? We'll update this as we go."
Step 3: Establish a Timeline
You’ve outlined the key steps that need to be completed to successfully buy and go live with your solution. Now you need to identify when the buyer needs your solution in place, and work backwards from that milestone to assign dates to key steps in your Mutual Action Plan.
Pro tip: Build your MAP around a go-live or success milestone – NOT the deal’s close date. Your buyer doesn’t care about you closing the deal; they care about solving their problems.
"I want to make sure we understand your ideal timeline. If you decide to move forward, when is it important to have a solution in place / when do you see yourself implementing the solution / when is it important to have those problems solved? Why?"
Step 4: Define the Key Stakeholders
Use your Mutual Action Plan to multi-thread and loop stakeholders into the buying process as early as possible. Prepare your champion to sell internally and avoid potential blockers by asking them who the key decision makers will be and getting them on board.
"Usually when we partner with a company like [account name] there's an executive sponsor who ends up being the signer and/or budget holder. Do you already know who that will be?"
More MAP Resources
Ready to dive in and start using Mutual Action Plans with your customers?
Here are a few more resources to help:
- Mutual Action Plan template (created with 30 Minutes to President’s Club)
- Proven playbook examples from top B2B sales teams
- MAP masterclass with Atrium, Salesforce & SalesPlaybook
Figma, Stripe, and Atrium use Accord to execute 10/10 Mutual Action Plans on every deal. Book time to get your free Accord workspace and see how it can help up-level your sales.