How To Build A Solid Mutual Action Plan For B2B Sales

Any good sales team knows that you sometimes have to guide a customer through the process to close a deal. 
It’s rarely easy to transition your prospects through the sales funnel, even with the most streamlined pipeline. Extra questions, amendments, and requested changes at inopportune points can leave your reps scrambling to close the deal. 

Creating a Mutual Action Plan (MAP), a personalised customer success plan, can solve this issue and keep deals on track. These types of plans clarify each step of the sales process, define roles for each party, and set a structured timeline of tasks. 

You might have seen similar concepts under other names and acronyms, like MAAP (mutually agreed action plans), MSP (mutual success plan), joint execution plan (JEP), or “go-live plan.” Some firms even use a “close plan” for internal purposes.

Maybe you associate these success plans with cumbersome spreadsheets and extra work, but that’s a thing of the past. Modern MAPs are interactive roadmaps intended to reduce your workload and expedite sales processes to close more deals faster.

Forward’s Mutual Action Plans are interactive and customisable to serve sales teams from first contact through closing the deal. 

What Are the Benefits of Developing a Mutual Action Plan?

Throw away your notions of cumbersome, worthless planning. Interactive customer success engagement plans have a lot to offer sales teams:

  • Improved Alignment With Stakeholders: The new-age MAP serves as a customer reference platform for everybody involved in the deal. Each team, from legal to sales, knows where every deal is and what their deadlines and responsibilities are at all times.
  • Streamlined Decision-Making: When everyone is on the same page and has access to the same information, we arrive at decisions faster with fewer roadblocks along the way.
  • Transparency and Trust: Customer success often relies on establishing trust. Using a MAP creates greater transparency for your customers, which builds trust in your business. 
  • Early Risk Identification: Being able to monitor all phases of the sales pipeline allows teams to identify potential issues and mitigate them before they derail the sale.
  • Increased Accountability: Everyone knows their responsibilities at each stage, as well as everyone else’s tasks and deadlines. It’s easy to identify who or what holds up the deal, so there’s less chance of somebody missing something.
  • Simplified Tracking and Management: With everything in one place, there’s no concern for lost documents or missing information.
  • Post-Deal Evaluation and Refinement: You can look back on the analytics for each deal to refine your customer success account plan template for future deals.
  • Guided Onboarding and Retention: When customers know what to expect, they learn to trust your team, which translates to loyal clients and future details.

Putting Your Mutual Action Plan Into Motion

Mutual Action Plans create a better overall experience for your team and customers. 

On the business side, your team is able to forecast revenue and allocate resources more accurately. It’s easier to manage and close more deals with everything in one place, a structured sales pipeline, and simpler collaboration.

Did You Know? According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, companies that are effective at forecasting revenue are 10% more likely to grow their annual revenue year-over-year.

For customers, it means greater transparency, which fosters trust. A MAP creates a more user-friendly experience that guides customers through the process and simplifies their decisions.

Of course, all of this happens when you have a functional customer success plan that checks all the boxes.

Establish Goals and Specify Success Indicators

B2B teams can paint a clear picture of their overall business goals as a driving force behind MAP creation. Clearly identifying the values and objectives provides better insight into the process and creates a sustainable foundation for long-term business relationships.

Teams should discuss their short- and long-term goals as the basis for building a success plan. They also need to consider creating a collaborative plan that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.

Identify the Key Players 

Ensuring all key stakeholders have access to the information and input in crafting the MAP is crucial to creating a viable plan. Some parties to consider include:

  • Sales Team
  • Customer Success Managers
  • Buyers/Customers
  • Decision-makers within the company

Don’t forget to consider how everything will appear to your customers as they work through the process. While you want everything to be functional and complete for your business purposes, it must also be user-friendly for your prospects.

Did you know that it only takes 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your product? This lightning-fast judgement can make or break a user's first impression, influencing their decision to engage further or move on.

Pinpoint Crucial Milestones 

What does your ideal timeline look like? While it would be nice to close a deal at first contact, that’s unrealistic in the B2B world. You need to build a practical timeline that balances moving the deal forward without overwhelming clients with too many tasks at once. 

Additionally, it’s important to create detailed milestones within the timeline that make expectations clear to everyone involved. 

  • Start with a brief description of what the milestone aims to achieve.
  • Set the task owners, including every party responsible for each milestone.
  • Create due dates for each milestone.
  • Use a labelling system for each milestone to assess how it affects the process, like "On Track" and "At Risk."

Be sure to indicate how missing each step can impact the process. Everyone involved should have a solid understanding of how key dates and risk levels can delay the deal.

Acknowledge Potential Obstacles and Pain Points

Even though today’s Mutual Action Plans are efficient and effective, you could face some unexpected roadblocks. Prepare for extraneous factors that could interfere with the sales process, including: 

  • Budgetary Constraints: Your client may not have the capital available on demand, which can push things back.
  • Time Limitations: You and your buyer might have different timelines in mind, so that’s a consideration for the beginning of the deal.
  • Market Competition: There’s always another team vying for your client, and you can’t control what they offer.

Using Forward To Streamline Your Mutual Action Plan

Mutual Action Plans structure and streamline your sales processes, but they are more effective with the right tools. Forward’s interactive MAPs make it even easier to create a collaborative customer success plan that works.

Centralise Your Plan Resources 

Forward makes it easy for teams to collaborate in real-time so everyone can provide input on a sample customer success plan. For example, your legal and marketing teams can work together to ensure all verbiage works to protect your business while being clear to the client.

Further, you can easily store a selection of customer success plan examples and templates in a shared resource space. Having centralised deal content allows teams to access the necessary documents to craft personalised plans for each customer.

Ditch the Static Spreadsheets 

Skip the old-school, ineffective spreadsheets and move to an engaging, collaborative platform that makes everything more accessible. 

Not only is it easier for your team, but it also gives customers more power and access for a seamless experience. They can write notes and send attachments in the chat to expedite deals and reduce reliance on emails (that can inadvertently end up in spam!)

Seamlessly Integrate With Your Favourite Tools

Do you already use tools that you love? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel or waste resources on manual data entry. Forward seamlessly integrates with all your favourite tools, like Slack, Mailchimp, Pipedrive, and Gmail. 

Easily Track Progress and Results

Analytics provide insights that help you refine, refocus, and optimise your processes. That means you need data, both longitudinal and real-time, to get optimal results. 

Forward provides teams with relevant insights every step of the way, from first contact to deal closing. You’ll know when a client reads your proposal or engages with content so your team can follow up in a timely manner.

Get notifications for key actions and set reminders to keep things moving in the right direction. The best part is that it’s all handled from one user-friendly platform.

Capitalise on Pre-Defined Templates 

You don’t want to start from scratch with every deal, which means having pre-defined templates available would be helpful. Save time and effort by customising one of Forward’s pre-defined templates

Save even more time by creating a shared reference management folder to house a selection of customer success plan samples for future use. Perhaps a template for each product you sell or each segment of prospects.

Steer Your Deal to Success

Forward makes it easier to manage each step of the process. It’s easy to assign tasks, set deadlines, and ensure everyone is aligned at each stage for a well-organised and transparent sales process.

Tailor Your Onboarding Experiences 

Customers crave a personalised sales experience, even in the digital world. Thankfully, it’s easy to craft unique onboarding experiences for each prospect. It won’t just expedite the onboarding process, it will also leave a lasting impression.

When your clients feel appreciated, they are more apt to become loyal customers. As you build a loyal customer base, you increase your chances of gaining additional business through customer reference programs. 

Forward helps teams craft custom content for every client, including microsites, onboarding plans, close plans, or implementation plans.

Turbocharge Your Success Plan With Forward

Mutual Action Plans structure and streamline the sales process while creating more transparency for your customers. With the right tools, it’s more user-friendly and engaging than old customer success plans. 

Forward supercharges your mutual action plan experience to boost your conversion rate. The interactive MAPs are customisable and user-friendly to reduce your workload while improving the customer experience to close more deals.

Find out more about Forward’s collaborative workspace – designed to ensure your remote sales team operates like an impactful, cohesive unit. Try Forward now for free.

Discover the modern way of selling.

Try FORWARD now!