How to Rally Your Reps Around Mutual Action Plans

Masterclass with Todd Caponi (Sales Melon) and Brooke Freedman (Drift)

Mutual Action Plans (MAPs) should be a no-brainer for your sales team, especially if your sales are complex and involve multiple stakeholders.

The question is: how do you get your reps to adopt and execute on MAPs consistently?

In a masterclass with Todd Caponi (sales speaker, trainer, and author of The Transparency Sale and The Transparent Sales Leader) and Brooke Freedman (Sr. Director of Sales at Drift) we dove into:

  • Why your team should be using MAPs (getting in the right mindset)
  • How to successfully introduce and use MAPs with your buyers
  • How to overcome your reps’ objections to using MAPs

Watch the full masterclass and get Todd & Brooke’s insights below!

Get in the Mutual Action Plan Mindset 🧠

“MAPs are a roadmap to the customer onboarding and the positive outcomes they were looking for when they came to you. Then that trickles down to the sales team – when we’re doing the right thing for our buyers, it’s a good outcome for us: better deal control.” -Brooke Freedman

B2B sales has evolved a lot in the past five to 10 years, and the pandemic accelerated those changes. Before, it was typical to see several stakeholders in the buying process only in enterprise deals – but now, every segment is involving more and more people (and more and more steps) in their purchasing decisions.

What does this mean? Buying B2B software today is harder than ever.

Mutual Action Plans take the load off your buyers by removing uncertainty, giving them a clear path to success through working with you, and helping them anticipate potential blockers along the way. Sellers guide buyers through every step and make the difficult job of purchasing easier – meaning that buyers can get to their desired outcome with your solution much faster.

And sellers receive the benefits of MAPs, too: faster deal cycles, better close rates, and stronger relationships with buyers (who then turn into happier, more successful customers).

Be a Trusted Guide For Your Buyers 🗺

“You know more about how they’re going to buy your solution than they do. Your job is to be the Sherpa for your buyer and guide them through the process. Get comfortable with being the expert!” -Todd Caponi

Part of aligning your sales team around Mutual Action Plans is getting them in the mindset of being a trusted guide, expert, and advisor to their buyers.

Your reps’ job is to be like a Sherpa, Todd says, or like the hosts of a reality makeover TV show. You’re the expert who listens to your buyer’s problems, offers your expert perspective and diagnosis, recommends a solution, sets expectations, and then guides the buyer on the path to their desired outcome.

On a tactical level, here are a few best practices for actually introducing and using MAPs with your buyers:

  • Introduce the MAP early (at the end of your 1st or 2nd call with the buyer), once you know they’re going to continue with the evaluation
  • Screen share and make changes to the MAP live while you’re on the call with your buyer – never share the MAP via email with no context
  • Use this talk track or similar: “These are the steps we typically see companies like yours take to buy & implement our solution. Your process might look a little different, so let’s work together to figure out what the steps are and who needs to be involved.”
  • Show that you’re doing the heavy lifting for your buyer to help them get to their ultimate goal – always tie it back to outcomes
  • Bring up the MAP on every call going forward to review progress, make any adjustments needed, and recirculate it among stakeholders

Overcome Rep Blockers to Using MAPs 💪

“Reps might feel that it’s too soon to start using MAPs because they haven’t gotten to a ‘yes’ yet with their buyer. But a ‘yes’ might not come until toward the end of the deal, weeks later – that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start guiding them now.” -Brooke Freedman

If you’re a sales leader, we probably don’t have to tell you that it’s HARD to get reps to adopt new processes. Mutual Action Plans are no different.

Most 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 getting to a “no” faster is actually one of the secret benefits of MAPs. If your buyer isn’t willing to go through the buying journey with you, then they may not actually be the best fit for your solution. You can qualify them out faster, and spend your valuable time on the opps that are willing to work with you on a MAP.

Introducing your MAP as early as possible – even when you’re not sure the buyer will actually say “yes” – just means that you have more time to help guide them and loop in the right decision makers. Don’t wait until you get to the actual purchasing and procurement process.

Having a real conversation with your reps about why they don’t want to use MAPs is key, Brooke says, rather than just pushing MAPs on them. Take your time to dig into their fears and their reasons, and coach them on MAP benefits and best practices. It’s about implementing a new belief system, which takes time and patience.

Want to stay updated on more B2B sales best practices like this? Subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter, From Vendorship to Partnership, for events & tactics from top sales leaders.