What Is A Mutual Action Plan?
A mutual action plan (MAP) is a documentation of the collaboration between buyer and seller as both parties work together toward their shared success. This document defines that success as agreed upon by both the buyer and seller, enumerates the major milestones of the buying process from informal agreement to closed-won, and, most importantly, lists everything both the buyer and the seller must do to achieve the success they’ve defined.
A mutual action plan is also known as a mutual plan, work-back plan, joint execution plan, mutual close plan, sequence of events, or MAP.
Why A Mutual Action Plan Is Important
Mutual action plans lay out a step-by-step process from statement of intent to close that both the buyer and seller agree upon and can consult at all times. This ensures your sales team aligns with the buying team. A mutual action plan drastically reduces ambiguity, improves buyer-seller communication, and helps remove the late-stage roadblocks that may result in deal delay or cancellation.
Simply put: creating a mutual action plan with a buyer makes the close process easier, shortens the sales cycle, and increases your win rate.
What Is In A Mutual Action Plan?
Our free mutual action plan template includes the following key sections:
- Project Summary: Quickly align on the current state of the project and lay out what still needs to be done. Think of this as the “why we are here.”
- Key Dates: Outline important dates and milestones for the project. Describe why each milestone is important and why it must be completed by the date listed.
- Success Criteria: Define and agree upon success for both your team and the buyer’s. Validate each of the criteria for success with your buyer as you develop this section to ensure alignment.
- Timeline: Collaborate to define each action that must be undertaken to reach each of the milestones outlined. Describe what these actions entail step-by-step, document who is in charge of completing them, include the due date, and update the mutual action plan as actions are completed.
- Resource: Link to any and all key resources connected to the project and list their owner, so that all parties have access to them in one place.
- Collaborators: List the names and preferred contact information of everyone involved in the project.
Best Practices: How to Use Mutual Action Plans
To make the most of this template and your mutual action plan in general, take the following steps:
Fill out the mutual action plan together
Schedule a meeting between the buyer and seller teams to fill out the mutual action plan together as soon as you’ve confirmed intent to buy. This will help you avoid future disagreements about success criteria, timeline, or responsibilities.
Update the mutual action plan regularly
Whenever a member of the team is assigned a task on the mutual action plan, part of that task should be updating the plan itself whenever they make important progress on that task. We also recommend assigning a member of your own team to review the mutual action plan and ensure everything’s up to date on a weekly basis.
Review the mutual action plan in status meetings
After you fill out the mutual action plan, you should review it in all meetings with the buyer, as well as any internal meetings related to the account. Use the mutual action plan to structure these meetings and discuss timeline progress, next steps, and possible concerns or complications.
Make the mutual action plan the organizational hub of the project
Be sure to include absolutely everything both the seller and buyer teams need to bring the project to a closed-won status. Get both teams into the habit of referring back to the mutual action plan whenever they have a question or need to access a resource.
Mutual Action Plan Application for Salesforce Users
If you are considering incorporating your mutual action plan into Salesforce, please contact us for a demo. People.ai provides a web-based, fully customizable, and Salesforce-native solution that can help you:
Create a single source of truth that both buyer and seller teams can access and use to collaborate from inside Salesforce.
Ensure alignment on success criteria with both teams at all times.
Ensure real-time alignment on the project’s current state, and allow both teams to see what needs to be completed next at all times.
Provide quick access to key project files and resources, ensuring both teams have everything they need to complete their tasks on time.
Mutual Action Plan FAQs
What makes a good mutual action plan?
An effective mutual action plan:
- Describes success criteria as agreed upon by the buyer and seller parties.
- Accurately and comprehensively charts every step required to achieve this success.
- Lists who is responsible for taking each of those steps.
- Includes a timeframe for when each step should be completed.
- Provides each of those responsible with the resources they need to complete those steps.
A good mutual action plan is comprehensive, communicative, and helpful for both parties. It ensures that both the buyer and seller teams understand and agree upon what they want and know what they have to do to get it.
How do you create a mutual action plan?
Download our free mutual action plan template and fill in each category during a meeting between the buyer and seller teams shortly after the buyer states intent to purchase.
How is a mutual action plan used?
A mutual action plan keeps track of everything both the buyer and seller parties need to accomplish to move from intent to purchase to Closed-Won in a way everyone can feel satisfied and comfortable about. Both teams consult it throughout the process to understand what they need to do next and where they can find what they need to do it.