Mutual Action Plan for PLG
Productboard’s Mutual Action Plan
A single source of truth for buyers and sellers. Align on goals, stakeholders, and timeline to keep deals on track and make it easy for customers to buy.
Productboard is a customer-centric product management platform that helps teams get the right products to market, faster. Their most common deals are managed trial evaluations, which leverage a free trial of the product, but most of the work is done outside the trial (deep-dive demos, meetings between AEs and stakeholders, etc).
Conor Dragomanovich, Director of Commercial Sales, and the Productboard sales team use a Mutual Action Plan (MAP) as the single source of truth when managing these deals.
Why should I use this playbook?
The Productboard team uses MAPs to collaborate with potential customers, align on goals and requirements, and guide buyers through evaluation.
MAPs can help your sales team:
- Keep both sides accountable
Working backwards from an agreed upon outcome, with deadlines and owners for each step, helps sales and buyers stay accountable to the timeline.
- Get more stakeholders involved
MAPs are an opportunity to get important stakeholders involved in your deal. Ask your champion who else matters in the decision-making process, invite them into the MAP, and share the information they need to secure buy-in.
- Help the customer buy from you
If you’ve built your MAP with the customer and their challenges in mind, it should be easy for them to buy from you. The MAP helps the buyer through the process, takes some of the work off their plate, and is the single source of truth throughout the deal.
What’s in this playbook?
The first stage in Productboard’s MAP is Discovery & Consultation. During this stage, the Productboard sales team aligns with the prospect on their needs, goals, and the evaluation and approval process. Then, they map out the next steps in the process, invite other stakeholders as needed, and create a business case for the prospect.
The next stage is the Prove stage, which kicks off the prospect’s managed Productboard trial to validate their technical and business requirements. At the end of this stage, the sales team recaps the trial with the buyer, reviews the implementation process, and makes a business recommendation.
From there, the rest of the MAP includes steps for formalizing the partnership and handoff to the CS team for onboarding.
Productboard’s AEs always include a summary page in their MAP, which they fill out for every potential customer during their discovery calls. The summary page covers the overall goals of the partnership: the before and after state, how success is measured, actual business impact, and technical requirements.
Who is this playbook for?
Productboard uses this MAP for deals ranging from $7K-50K (more often in the $12-50K range). Other SaaS sales teams with similar deal ranges (or higher) with a similar trial or evaluation process can likely use and adjust this MAP for their deals.
Productboard also uses a MAP for $50K+ deals, but those playbooks and processes are typically more involved and customized for the specific customer.
How should I use this playbook?
Conor recommends aligning the stages in your MAP as close as possible to your internal sales cycle stages, and to any methodology you’re using, such as MEDDIC. Ensure you’re adding the steps you need to move the prospect from one stage to the next. Ask the questions and share the deliverables that will help you secure the answers you need to qualify the opportunity.
The most important thing is to always build your MAP with the customer in mind, Conor says. Truly work to understand who your customer is, what their buying process is, and what challenges they’ve faced in the past when buying software. If you’re creating MAPs just to appease sales leadership or increase internal accountability, it will feel like a pointless exercise for your customer. Help them see the value of the MAP by building it for them.