Why a Mutual Action Plan Platform is a Must-Have for Your Sales Team
The Challenges of Closing Deals and How a Mutual Action Plan Platform is a Must-Have
Closing deals is hard. With long sales cycles, complex buyer journeys, and constantly evolving business landscapes, successfully driving opportunities to closed-won is getting more difficult every day. For sales teams, this new reality results in a multitude of pains that hamper productivity and revenue.
According to TOPO research (now Gartner), only 53% of forecasted deals close each quarter. For the 47% that stall, leak from the pipeline, or get stuck in procurement, sales organizations feel the pinch. Quotas go unmet, forecast accuracy suffers, and reps burn out from spending time on opportunities that ultimately go nowhere. For sales leaders, inadequate visibility into deals, lack of rep accountability, and misalignment with buyers makes consistent execution exceptionally challenging.
Without the right strategies and enabling technologies in place, these sales obstacles will continue to plague organizations and put revenue targets at risk.
The Pains and Problems Plaguing Sales Teams
More specifically, here are some of the biggest challenges facing sales teams today that hinder their ability to consistently close business:
1. Lost Momentum on Deals
In today’s selling environment, it’s common for deals to drag on for months with long periods of inactivity in between customer interactions. Lack of responsiveness from buyers and trouble getting procurement teams engaged leads to deals stalling and losing momentum. For the rep, this results in an arduous process that saps time and motivation over the long run.
2. Limited Visibility for Reps and Managers
When deals do stall, sales reps and managers often lack context on why and can’t course correct effectively. Reps lack insight into what buyers truly need to progress deals to the next step. Sales managers have minimal visibility into overall pipeline health and which specific deals are at highest risk. This uncertainty makes it extremely difficult to prioritize the right actions and improve win rates when deals go sideways.
3. Misalignment Between Buyers and Sellers
To succeed in sales today, alignment between buyers and sellers is mandatory. However, mismatched expectations are extremely common. Buyers may not complete agreed upon steps or provide necessary feedback, which can cause deals to grind to a halt. Sellers sometimes fail to deliver key information to buyers at critical points in the evaluation. This lack of synchronization leads to fumbled handoffs and damaged relationships over time.
4. Forecasting Errors and Pipeline Inaccuracies
Due to the uncertainty around deal progression and limited visibility described above, sales forecasts are frequently unreliable. Pipeline leakage, deals slipping quarters, and errors estimating deal close likelihood are rampant. This makes effective revenue planning and resource allocation incredibly difficult for sales leaders. It also shakes the confidence of senior executives on whether targets will be achieved.
5. Lack of Accountability on Both Sides
In order to consistently close deals, mutual commitments between buyers and sellers are foundational. However, without a system to track activities, accountability suffers on both sides. Buyers often deprioritize sales-related tasks when other priorities compete for attention. Sellers fail to follow through consistently when there are no repercussions for letting commitments fall through the cracks.
6. Administrative Tasks Hindering Productivity
Sales reps spend an inordinate amount of time on non-selling activities including manual data entry, email management, status calls, and presentation creation. These administrative tasks eat up precious selling time and constrain productivity levels for achieving quota. As deal cycles get longer, this dynamic only becomes more pronounced over the course of a year.
What is a Mutual Action Plan Platform?
A mutual action plan is a document that outlines the steps that both the buyer and seller need to take in order to close a deal. A Mutual Action Plan (MAP) platform is a software tool that provides a centralized location where all of the information related to a deal can be stored. It streamlines the sales process, improves communication, and increases accountability for both the buyer and seller.
Benefits of Using a Mutual Action Plan Platform
There are many compelling reasons why sales teams should be using a MAP platform as part of their sales tech stack. Here are some of the top benefits:
1. Increased Visibility into Deals 🔎
Lack of visibility into deal progress is a top challenge facing sales teams. Without clear insight into where deals stand, deals drag on, risk increases, and forecasting accuracy suffers. A MAP platform acts as the single source of truth providing full transparency into deal progression. Sales managers have access to pipeline reports and individual MAPs to monitor status without having to chase down reps.
2. Improved Buyer-Seller Collaboration 🤝
Sales is becoming more of a team sport with buyers and sellers needing to work together to drive deals forward. A MAP platform facilitates collaboration by enabling both parties to jointly create action plans that reflect mutual commitments. Ongoing communication channels within the platform also foster alignment. This leads to stronger buyer-seller relationships and faster deal progression.
3. Increased Accountability on Both Sides ✅
Holding both buyers and sellers accountable to their commitments is key for closing deals. With a MAP platform, action items, owners, and due dates are visible to keep people focused on completing tasks. Notifications, reminders, and reporting ensure accountability so deals progress as planned. Sellers are kept accountable to internal managers while buyers are kept accountable to their own commitments.
4. Enhanced Customer Experience 💙
Today’s buyers expect more during the sales process - visibility, efficiency, and alignment. A MAP platform provides this by giving buyers a clear roadmap of next steps, keeping communication organized, and documenting mutual commitments. This leads to a smoother, less frustrating purchasing experience which builds customer satisfaction. Customers are also more likely to continue engagement throughout implementation leading to faster time to value realization.
5. Improved Sales Productivity 🏆
By keeping deals moving forward systematically, sales teams achieve greater productivity. Time spent searching for deal information declines significantly. Administrative tasks like updating CRM and spreadsheets are automated through the platform integration capabilities. Sales reps can focus on high impact activities like customer engagement. Managers gain productivity through pipeline visibility and MAP reporting. The result is sales teams can do more with existing resources.
6. Higher Win Rates 🎉
With all the benefits outlined above, it’s not surprising that MAP platforms help sales teams win more deals. The increased visibility, accountability, collaboration and productivity pays off by driving higher conversion rates and shorter sales cycles. Win rates increase when sales reps can focus on progressing opportunities already in the pipeline vs. sourcing new deals.
The Mutual Action Plan Platform Solution 🎯
In light of these myriad challenges, sales teams need enablement solutions that can help turn the tide on closing deals. A mutual action plan (MAP) platform is precisely the kind of tool designed to address the root causes of sales team frustration and underperformance.
A mutual action plan reflects the key steps and commitments both the buyer and seller make to progress a deal throughout the purchasing process. A MAP platform provides the technology to easily create, manage, and track mutual action plans digitally in one system accessible to buyers, sellers, and managers.
With a MAP platform like Recapped, sales teams can:
- Maintain a centralized deal hub to store all deal information including MAPs, documents, notes etc. in one place. This eliminates searching through inboxes and CRM for deal context.
- A MAP platform provides a central location where all of the information related to a deal can be stored. This makes it easy for both the buyer and seller to stay up-to-date on the progress of the deal and to identify any potential risks or roadblocks. This is especially important in complex deals with multiple stakeholders, where information can be easily lost or forgotten. Having all the information in one place can help streamline communication between stakeholders, which can often be a challenge in complex deals.
- A MAP platform allows everyone involved in a deal to access the same information, reducing miscommunications and misunderstandings. This is particularly helpful for stakeholders who are invited at different stages of the deal and need to catch up quickly.
- Additionally, a MAP platform can offer valuable insights into buyer engagement throughout the deal, indicating the deal's health and buyers' intent. This increased visibility into what's working and what's not can lead to more efficient and effective deal-making in the future.
- Create interactive MAPs that list out clear assignees, due dates, reminders, and status visibility for next steps. This level of clarity keeps both buyers and sellers focused.
- Automatically notify buyers and sellers when commitments are completed or fall behind. This feature ensures accountability on both sides to drive deals forward.
- A MAP platform can help to increase accountability for both the buyer and seller. Assigning tasks and deadlines ensures that both parties are committed to next steps and milestones and that they are meeting their mutually agreed-upon responsibilities. This can help to avoid delays, misunderstandings and can ensure that the deal stays on track.
- When both sides are clear about their responsibilities and are held accountable for meeting them, it can help to establish a foundation of trust and collaboration that can be beneficial for future business dealings.
- Generate reports on MAP completion rates across individuals and teams. Leaders gain insight into process compliance and bottlenecks.
- Securely collaborate and share sales documents with buyers. Content is stored and organized centrally rather than scattered across email and file folders.
- Embed MAPs into CRM and sales workflows. Reps access and update MAPs within the tools they use daily for simplified adoption.
With Recapped, sales teams close more deals by keeping opportunities on track through enhanced visibility, accountability, and alignment. Sales managers gain real-time oversight into deal progression at the team and individual level to guide coaching and improve forecasting accuracy. Reps execute the ideal sales process through embedded enablement while eliminating tedious administrative work.
At the end of the day, a mutual action plan platform like Recapped provides the visibility, accountability, and collaboration capabilities imperative for sales success today. Sales organizations that leverage MAP software consistently hit their targets by keeping deals moving crisply through the pipeline. They win more business with fewer reps by ensuring process excellence at scale. “Do more with less”. If your sales team is struggling with any of the challenges described above, adopting a MAP platform could be the game-changing solution to transform sales performance.