Sales Coaching and Mutual Action Plans

By Elay Cohen
Download Digital Selling Guide
Download Digital Selling Guide

Coach your teams to sell with Mutual Action Plans to close bigger deals faster and with greater certainty and predictability. How many of your deals have well-documented and co-created mutual plans? How aligned are your teams with executive sponsors? How well do your sales teams partner with champions to co-create mutual close plans that are mapped to a company’s top priorities?

Before we dive into the coaching tips, the “mutual close plan” label can be called many different things:

  • Success plan
  • Mutual plan
  • Joint action plan
  • Go-live plan
  • Project (insert name) plan

Regardless of what you call it, here’s a mutual close plan checklist to share with your teams and use for training, onboarding, coaching and buyer engagement.

  1. Share mutual close plans with champion early in the buyer’s journey and sales cycle to get their buy-in and participation.
  2. Gain agreement on the process.
  3. Co-create the mutual action plan with your champions. Engaging champions to collaborate on a mutual close plan is a great qualifier too.
  4. Coach champions to share the mutual action plan with key decision makers and influencers.
  5. Identify the economic sponsor, meaning the person who has the power to approve or veto the decision to proceed.
  6. Include building the business case milestones to ensure value is being documented – together
  7. Identify the customer budgeting and procurement process and decision making process milestones along with the resources required to make happen.
  8. Identify the technical evaluation and review process. Know who needs to review and approve from the IT team. Ensure the IT project is above the line and budgeted.
  9. If board approval is required, find out when the next board meeting is and track the date in the mutual action plan.
  10. Ensure customer reference meetings are identified and scheduled.
  11. Be very granular about sales process and buying process milestones. Included owners on each item. Since the mutual close plan is co-created ownership of the action items should include members of the selling and buying teams.
  12. Upload mutual close plans to the opportunity in your CRM and Salesforce system so sales teams and executives have visibility.
  13. Review mutual action plans with champions often.
  14. Assume the mutual action plan document is a dynamic and always changing plan.
  15. Coach managers to reinforce in 1:1s and team forecast calls.

Be mindful about the amount of detail you share. Use smaller mutual close plans when you’re earlier in the buyer journey to not overwhelm your buyers. Use smaller and shorter mutual plans when your deals are smaller too.

Mutual Action Plan in Digital Sales Rooms

In today’s modern B2B sales world, Mutual Action Plans are digital. For many they live inside a Digital Sales Room. Click here to see one in action.

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 Mutual Action Plan inside a Digtial Sales Room provides the space and experience to easily create, manage, and track mutual action plan steps digitally in one place accessible to buyers, sellers, and managers.

Train and Coach Your Teams

Mutual close plans are a great way to drive predictable revenue and consistent sales execution. It’s important to have a playbook of how to use it. Once the sales process and mutual close process is documented, it’s important to incorporate into your onboarding program and ongoing coaching programs too. Here are five ways to train your teams on it:

  1. Watch a coaching video of a top performing salesperson explaining the benefits and when and how to use it in their deals.
  2. Have your teams fill in a mutual close plan using a case study in an onboarding bootcamp class or in a sales kickoff event.
  3. Build a searchable and easily discoverable sales asset library of mutual close plan templates
  4. Create coaching huddles for managers to use in their weekly forecast and pipeline review meetings or at their quarterly business reviews (QBRs)
  5. Set up a challenge where you have all your salespeople upload and record a walk-through of a mutual close plan for one of their biggest deals or even all their deals.

The Role of Managers

Here’s how you can enable your managers to run Mutual Close Plan collaborative coaching huddles during one of their weekly team meetings.

  1. Enable your managers to use the Mutual Close Plan Huddle from the SalesHood Premium Content Library. The Huddle includes coaching videos explaining how we co-create mutual close plans with our champions, deal coaching exercises and pitch recorder for peers reviews and leaderboards . You can clone it too and customize it to your business.
  2. In the Huddle, each team member uploads a mutual close plan for review and feedback from their peers.
  3. Then, have each team member records a walk-through of one of their deals using our screen recorder.
  4. Everyone watches each other’s submission, learns from each other and scores each other creating a leaderboard of best practice mutual close plans. The peer reviews and scoring give managers a lot of insight into their team’s competence and experience with mutual close plans.
  5. Then, have managers bring their team together to go through the Mutual Close Plans Huddle submissions, review the leaderboard and discuss how everyone did.

It’s very powerful and collaborative. Mutual Action Plans will move the needle to increase deal win-rates and predictable revenue forecasts. Empower your teams with the latest best practices and resources.

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