Tips For Making MAPs Work For Your Sales Team
In sales, a MAP is short for mutual action plan. A MAP is a shared document that explains how your sales team and the buyer will work together. This tool, which may be a collaborative document or spreadsheet, outlines your solution for the client and paves the way for them to buy from you.
While MAPs help streamline communication, prospects often hesitate to use them. Tom Williams, CEO of DealPoint, says this is because they don’t yet believe your sales team can fix their problem, make them money or remove an obstacle to their success.
To get prospects on board with a MAP, Williams says it’s important to create a clear value proposition and case studies that show how you have helped other businesses. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Williams’ thoughts on why MAPs are so important and how to make them work.
Get buy-in from your sales reps. MAPs won’t work if your sales team doesn’t want to use them. Show your sales reps how MAPs can help them in the sales process. Give them case studies. Help them believe that using a MAP can streamline prospect collaboration.
Hold a MAP kickoff. Williams says its best to be upfront about your collaboration strategy. One way to do this is by holding a team training all about MAPs. Walk your sales reps through the concept of a MAP and invite those who have successfully used MAPs to share their experience with the team.
Make it easy with MAP templates. Most sales reps do not want to start with a blank doc or spreadsheet. This requires substantial original thinking, which may lead reps to not bother with it. Instead, give your sales team some templates to work with. Start with two or three and then expand based on industry or some other differentiator. Williams says it’s important to keep the templates simple.
Create an “easy go, low no” flow. Williams points out that sales reps are often reluctant to use a MAP because they want to avoid any situation that could cause the buyer to say no. He recommends giving sales reps a low-pressure soft intro that won’t immediately elicit a no. A slide deck is a great way to accomplish this after a second or third meeting with the prospect. The key, says Williams, is not to refer to it as a mutual action plan because it’s not mutual yet. In sharing, your reps are extending an offer to collaborate.
Spend time reviewing MAPs with your sales team. It can be demoralizing when your sales reps spend time using MAPs only to have their boss never review them. Be sure to look at your reps’ MAPs, which can create a positive feedback loop, says Williams.
A MAP can help your sales reps close deals faster and demystify the sales process for prospects. A MAP isn’t about selling, but about solving the prospect’s problem. If you find that your prospects aren’t interested in using a MAP, it’s usually because they don’t believe you can solve their problem or your sales reps don’t believe they can fix the issue. Keep working at it—a collaborative, consultative approach is always best.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Tom Williams is CEO of DealPoint.