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Remote Sales

The Mutual Action Plan (MAP) — Everything you need to know

  • When it comes to sales, setting goals and tracking progress is absolutely essential. Anyone who has ever been involved in any phase of the sales process can confirm that you can only lose a deal if you don't carefully follow up on a lead and/or don't ensure that the potential customer understands what the next step is.

A joint action plan or Mutual Action Plan (MAP) can be an effective way to ensure that everyone involved in the sales process is on the same page and is working towards a common goal.

In this article, you'll learn what a mutual action plan is, how elements of an effective MAP should be created and implemented, and why your sales team needs one.

What is a Mutual Action Plan?

A mutual action plan is the agreement between two or more people in which specific tasks are defined that must be completed so that a specific goal can be achieved. It is often used as part of sales processes, where collaboration between team members is critical to success.

What Are The Components of an Effective Mutual Action Plan?

The most effective MAPs should include the following components:

  • Specified objectives
  • Clear deadlines for completion
  • Roles and responsibilities for each team member involved
  • Clearly defined success criteria
  • Realistic expectations

All of these criteria are used to carry out a process that is as smooth and effective as possible: If the goal is set too high or the time frame is too short, it may not be achieved. In addition, all participants should know exactly how their individual contribution will contribute to the overall success of the project. Finally, each party should be aware of their role within the agreement and the possible consequences if their obligations are not met.

Here's some more advice to use to successfully create and execute a Mutual Action Plan:

  1. Mutual action plans are based on reciprocity
    When it comes to setting up and implementing mutual action plans, reciprocity is the key to success. True reciprocity is essential to create a successful plan that works for all parties. In this case, both parties must play an active role in developing and implementing the mutual action plan. This also includes them responding to the other party's ideas, discussing potential conflicts and problems, and finding creative solutions together. Through the principle of reciprocity, the other party finds itself picked up, noticed and listened to. This allows you to eliminate or address potential problems at an early stage.
  2. A clear view of results is essential
    Developing and implementing an effective mutual action plan is essential for a team to succeed. An effective mutual action plan requires both parties to focus on results, not tasks.

    Clear results indicate success and are formulated in a language that focuses on mutual benefit and the customer. It is important that both parties have a common understanding of the desired results and how they can be achieved in order to achieve the joint action plan. This ensures that both buyers and sellers have a common idea of what should be achieved during the collaboration.
  3. Take into account the objectives of the other contracting parties
    A mutual action plan is precisely an effective tool for tracking the progress of a deal, as it defines exactly what each party has to do up to what point in time.

    When creating this plan, it can therefore be beneficial to list the buyer's other important dates in addition to the target closing date to remind him why he needs to meet the schedule and to tell him how much it would cost if it slowed down.
  4. Work back from the launch date
    To ensure success, it is best to create your plan starting from the launch date. Estimate how long each milestone will last and schedule it as close to the start date as possible, taking into account the buyer's input. In this way, you can create urgency and work towards shared goals more efficiently.
  5. Always keep an eye on the return on investment (ROI) for the customer
    The aim of mutual action plans is not just to close a sale; it is much more about building valuable partnerships. When preparing your action plan, you should therefore make sure to work out and also mention the promised return on investment (ROI) for the buyer.

    This underlines the urgency of the purchase for the customer: They are not just a signature, but a further step on the road to greater success. Summarize the value proposition and give an estimated date when the customer will see initial results. By completing your mutual action plan with an ROI, you demonstrate your commitment to delivering on promises and creating meaningful support structures.
  6. Build a shared momentum
    Sharing an effective mutual action plan (MAP) with your buyer as early in the process as possible is a good way to build momentum and create a sense of mutual agreement.

    By quickly introducing and completing all sections of the MAP, you can start value analysis sooner rather than later and show that due diligence was carried out before a decision was made. This instills mutual respect when the buyer sees how much effort you have put into creating and presenting the plan, thus increasing the likelihood of success.
  7. Always keep your Mutual Action Plan up to date
    To get the most out of a mutual action plan, it must be ensured that the content of the plan is always up to date. All stakeholders should have access to the document and be able to easily update it without the need for multiple versions. The best way to achieve this is to save the mutual action plan online, as this allows all updates to be taken into account in real time. This creates a common source of reality on which all parties involved can rely.
  8. First, think about necessary features
    One of the first steps for creating an effective joint action plan is to first determine the roles or the necessary functions and then assign names to them. This makes it possible to determine which role should be responsible for achieving the individual results of the mutual action plan.

    The simple question “Who is responsible for this?” allows you to get a better idea of the key stakeholders involved in developing the mutual action plan and their names. Therefore, when developing mutual action plans, focusing on the roles first instead of focusing directly on the people can lead to a better understanding of the parties' common goals and intentions.
  9. Explain the consequences of missed deadlines 
    An action plan is critical to meeting the goals and schedule. It's important to show the impact of each missed deadline to keep deals on track. This also includes recording the exact lost days off schedule and naming all milestones and participants that cause a delay.

    A separate agenda item can be very useful for staying organized and up to date when working with multiple parties. In this way, you can try to build up urgency and recapture any milestones that have gone out of control.
  10. Involve the project team and key decision makers
    The most effective action plans include check-in rhythms with the entire sales team and customer team so everyone's progress can be tracked and deadlines can be met. It is therefore important to ensure the agreement of all stakeholders involved in the mutual action plan. In most cases, it is advisable to disseminate mutual action plans as widely as possible in order to ensure a high level of responsibility during implementation. In this way, you avoid some misunderstandings between sales and customer teams in advance.

What Are the Benefits of a Mutual Action Plan?

There are many benefits to using MAPs in sales teams, including

  • Greater responsibility of individual members due to clearly defined roles,
  • Better collaboration between team members due to increased communication,
  • Higher productivity due to clear goals and better results due to efficient use of resources
  • Involving the customer and their concerns
  • Creating professional urgency on both sides
  • Broad understanding of the matter for all parties involved

Because all team members work toward a common goal as part of a unified plan, it's also easier for managers to track progress over time and make adjustments as needed based on performance data collected along the way.

Why Does the Sales Team Need a Mutual Action Plan?

A mutual action plan can help your sales team be more successful by giving the team clarity about their goals while giving them more flexibility when it comes to making adjustments based on customer feedback or changing market conditions.

With MAPs, your team has an organized approach to achieving success that can improve work ethic while ensuring that everyone involved understands their role in achieving desired results.

Conclusion

Mutual action plans offer many benefits when used by sales teams, including

  • Increased accountability of individual members,
  • Better collaboration between team members,
  • Higher productivity,
  • Better results,
  • Easier tracking of progress over time, and
  • Better morale among those involved in achieving your desired goals.

By using these plans, you can ensure that everyone on your team has clarity about their role in achieving those goals, while leaving room for flexibility if changes need to be made along the way. If you're looking for ways to increase efficiency in your sales organization, implementing mutually beneficial action plans could prove invaluable!

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