Mutual Close Plan

A mutual close plan ( sometimes known as the mutual action plan) is the most important tool you have to close business on time.

The mutual close plan as the name implies is the plan of the steps to get you from where you are today to closed with the prospect.

The most important word in the title is mutual. These are the steps that you AND the Prospect need to do to get to closed. By collaborating on a set of steps, you can ensure that there are no surprises. The Prospect and you are in step all the way through.

It’s a really key element of how you can make your revenue predictable. By agreeing and sharing with a prospect a close date will naturally fall into the plan and consequently, you can work together to that date, rather than relying on a false date created only by you and the prospect feeling rushed to meet your deadline.

Amplifying Factors: Champion  Decision Maker


Further reading :

Coach Your Teams To Sell With Mutual Close Plans

The Ultimate Guide to Mutual Action Plans (How to Use MAPs to Transform Your Sales Process)

How to Use Mutual Action Plans for Sales Success

RED – Mutual Close plan is Vague

It’s imperative that you take time with the Prospect to collaborate on steps to close. If the Prospect is unwilling or unable there is a serious risk that you will not secure the business. Most certainly unlikely to be secured in a predictable timeframe.

AMBER – Mutual close plan verbally agreed

This needs to be confirmed in writing and have the Prospect acknowledge the steps. Armed with this you  should be in a confident place to secure the business.

Green – Close plan confirmed in writing

Confirmed in writing and acknowledged by the prospect moves your deal to a very strong place and will give you confidence that provided you both stick to the plan that this business can be secured.

Mitigations – What to Do?

We never call this a mutual close plan to the Prospect. In a conversational way suggests that will be beneficial if you both agreed on what needs to be done between now and closure one way or the other.

Don’t attempt to create a close plan on your own. It might seem like a good idea to have your steps documented but unless it is agreed with the Prospect you are missing half the picture and in danger of the Prospect not realising what’s happening and actually misunderstanding what’s going on ( and they think they are being pressurized to close) and finding themselves pushed to close to a date that suits you that they’ve had no involvement in defining.

Dates are very important in the mutual close plan. By mapping out the dates you can understand the sequence of activities and what activities can be done in parallel to drive the business forward to a conclusion.

As always, velocity is our friend here, so running activities in parallel can be very effective, but make sure it’s realistic at the same time.

When you shared with the Prospect in writing, e.g. by email finish by asking if they agree or would like to change anything. This way you can address any hesitancies or concerns, and secondly, you can confidently move forward with an agreed joint plan.

One of the steps in the mutual plan is the decision step. Subsequent steps begin with, “assuming the decision is yes…” This is important as Prospect understands and doesn’t feel painted into a corner that is an assumption that they going to come to a positive decision. Also, it shows what needs to happen after the decision is made to get the deal closed and implemented.

Roles and responsibilities. Make sure it’s clear who does what. I’m not just referring to you and the prospect company (your champion), but others as well. For example, this is a great place to flesh out how the decision-maker and/or the sign are going to be looped in and check that there are available on the date in the plan.

Things may change. Some mutual close plans will go according to plan, others will change, but that’s okay, provided you on the prospect jointly change the plan together and document the change.

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