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How a Mutual Action Plan Leads to More Sales

mutual action plan

Donald Kelly, “The Sales Evangelist,” seeks to help salespeople build their pipeline and convert more deals. One of the key ways to start the process is by seeking first to understand, which we cover in-depth in episode #399 of Negotiations Ninja.

But another key part of the process is creating a mutual action plan. What does that mean? What does it look like in the sales process?

Creating a mutual action plan

Donald was selling software—a document management system to help companies go paperless—to a school district in central Florida. It was one of the biggest deals he’d worked on at the time.

Donald worked on the deal with the purchasing director, Rick, for almost two years. At that point, Rick brought in the economic buyer, Carter (who was also the CFO), to prepare everything for the board. Rick saw the need for the solutions, and Carter understood the money flow in the district.

They’d identified how the solution would save the district money and thought it was enough to move forward. But Carter stopped them and said, “If we take this to the board, it will flop.”

He told them that they needed to find out how the solution would positively impact every department. Going into detail would help their overall case. So, Donald met with each department to find out what they needed.

Once they did this, Every department knew what was being done and saw what the ROI was going to be. They knew how long it would take to implement. They also designated who would do what at different stages in the process.

Creating a mutual action plan ensures the deal

Doing this evolved into a detailed action plan, and everything was in line. So when it went to the board, the decision was a no-brainer, and the deal converted. That mutual action plan brought everyone together. Everyone understood the impact, the timelines, and how things were going to get done.

Most of the deals that don’t convert at the negotiation stage aren’t because something drastic happened. Most of the time, it’s because someone missed something small or didn’t lay out the proper expectations. But if you have a mutual action plan in place, your odds of losing a deal diminish greatly.

But there’s also something else you must remember once you’ve closed a deal: building ongoing relationships. 

The importance of a good relationship

Sales professionals tend to be “hunters,” and once they close the deal, they’re ready to move on. But Donald firmly believes this mindset is a mistake. They must retain relationships. It’s far easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to find a brand-new one. It’s also cheaper.

As an organizational leader, you must understand that your revenue team is marketing, sales, and customer success. All of that requires a great relationship. You’re selling to a human when it’s all said and done.

What does Donald recommend salespeople do to build and maintain good relationships? What else can you do to ensure good outcomes in your sales negotiations? He spills the details in episode #399 of Negotiations Ninja.