Sales Territory Management for Sales Reps & Managers
Effective sales territory management is fundamental to hitting revenue targets. It can be the difference between exceeding KPIs and struggling to generate enough business. In many companies, sales territories aren’t proactively planned - they evolve naturally until they become unmanageable. It’s only at this point that directors begin to review their effectiveness and whether alternative set-ups could work better. But a proactive approach to territory management can ensure that your sales organization is optimized from the very beginning. Instead of missing out on valuable revenue due to inefficient layouts, you can align sales reps and resources with customer opportunities. In this article, we explore the best approaches to sales territory management to help you optimize your setup.
What Is Sales Territory Management?
Territory management is about aligning sales resources with revenue potential based on areas. The basic concept is to divide up a market into multiple sections so that sales reps can each focus on their own one. The most common way to do this is based on geographical areas using cities, zip codes, or states. However, you can also divide up territories based on vertical segments or the type of products that customers are likely to buy.
Smart sales territory management enables organizations to align their resources with revenue opportunities. It allows reps to make the best use of their time by focusing on the most promising clients and minimizing travel. It helps them to spend more time selling and less time on ancillary tasks that don’t contribute to the bottom line. This approach also reduces the potential for conflict within teams since there are clear divisions of ownership for customer relationships. Without territories, sales teams may fight over the right to go after valuable customers which is an inefficient use of resources.
How To Create An Effective Territory Plan
Effective planning is an important part of sales territory management. With a little research and forethought, you can create a highly effective territory plan that aligns sales resources with business objectives. Whether you are a sales rep or responsible for an entire team, here are five steps to developing a customer-winning plan.
1 - Review Market Opportunities
The first step in sales territory planning is to identify where the market opportunities lie. Where are high-value customers located? Which clients will be interested in the products or services that you’re promoting? Are there any areas or sectors where competitors are outperforming you? Conducting a review of the market will enable you to gain a broad overview and decide where the sales potential lies.
Using a basic SWOT analysis framework can be helpful for this step. Looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will inform your planning from a strategic perspective. Ideally, the territory plan will address weaknesses and threats while leveraging strengths and taking advantage of opportunities. To help with this, it can be useful to plot all of your customers onto a visual map so that it’s easy to see where the gaps or clusters are.
2 - Evaluate Your Resources
The next step in your sales territory management plan is to evaluate your existing resources. How many field sales reps and inside sales consultants do you have? How many customers are they able to deal with? Developing new business, building relationships, and creating quality sales proposals will all take time so don’t be over-ambitious with how much your team can handle.
Once you’ve evaluated your personnel resources, see whether they align with the market opportunities from step 1. Do you have enough outside sales reps in the locations with the most customers? Is there an adequate ratio of inside sales rep to field-based consultants to ensure they’re all fully supported? This will enable you to develop a plan that aligns resources with opportunities and maximizes productivity across the team.
3 - Define Sales Territories
At this point, you’ll have enough information to start defining your sales territories. How you decide to divide them up will depend on your industry and business objectives. The important thing is to have clear lines so that everyone in the team knows exactly what or where is their responsibility. This enables them to focus their efforts instead of spreading themselves too thinly. From a rep perspective, it also means that you can develop your own individual territory plan going forward.
4 - Create a Sales Plan
A sales plan is a step-by-step breakdown of how to generate revenue. It can be created by a sales director at an organizational level or individual reps for each territory. The plan should outline the territory goals or objectives along with the strategies and specific tactics for achieving them. It should also include a section on how to track performance and measure success with KPIs.
Most sales organizations will include pipeline information in their plan. Working backward from your revenue goal, how many customers will be needed to generate enough sales? What proportion of pitches do you win and therefore how many prospects are needed at the top of the sales funnel? Starting with the end in mind enables you to set daily or weekly activity targets that contribute to the final sales goal. Don’t forget to include timings, milestones, or deadlines for each activity in the plan.
5 - Review Progress Regularly
Once your action plan is being implemented, it’s important to review it on a regular basis. This will allow you to see whether it’s working as predicted or needs some adjustments. Evaluating what’s working well and what can be improved is an important part of professional development. If you’re a sales manager, then you can ask your reps to do this self-review as well as conducting your own assessment. This is a vital part of sales territory management as it ensures that everything operates to its highest potential.
Top Tips For Managing Sales Territories Successfully
Managing territories is an ongoing process. Sales directors will need to manage the interaction between areas, segments, or reps, as well as their individual performance. Reps are responsible for managing their own territory almost as if it was an individual business. Encouraging this entrepreneurial streak and giving reps the autonomy to make territory decisions can boost results for the business. Here are some tips and best practices related to ongoing sales territory management.
Always Keep Your CRM Updated
KPI reports, pipeline tracking, and market analysis are only as good as the data they are based on. If reps don’t update their CRM tool on a daily basis, then they’ll soon forget to add notes, update opportunities, or set up recurring calendar reminders. This makes forecasting incredibly difficult for sales managers and VPs. It also means that reps may miss out on sales revenue because they forget about a request or neglect to follow up in a timely manner. Old data can also reduce the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Having old contact information like email addresses on the system will mean that fewer people see promotions. By making CRM updates a daily drill, you can ensure that your customer data is always up-to-date and accurate.
Schedule Regular Customer Contact
Scheduling regular customer contact reduces the likelihood of missing sales opportunities. It provides a framework for reps so that phone calls and check-ins become a consistent habit. Staying in touch with customers helps to build relationships and means that you’ll be the first rep they call when they’re in need of a product or service. Some companies categorize clients into tiers so that reps contact those with high purchasing power monthly and others on a quarterly basis. Whatever method you choose, take advantage of built-in CRM tools like calendar synching and automated alerts to ensure they happen.
Leverage Digital Tools
Digital platforms save time and make sales territory management a breeze. Not only can your entire CRM system be stored on the cloud but it can also be integrated with other software systems that make it even more powerful. For example, Salesforce.com connects with a range of add-on services such as route optimization software to simplify travel planning and meeting scheduling. This allows reps to select customers from the CRM - the software then calculates which routes are the most efficient and how much time is needed between meetings. They maximize their time selling while reducing fuel costs and administration inefficiencies. Our mapping platform is built directly onto the Salesforce.com platform so you never need to worry about synching delays or duplication errors. Reps will always have the very latest information at their fingertips!
Balance New Business Development With Loyalty Efforts
Did you know that winning over a new customer usually costs five times more than retaining an existing one? Reps also have much better success when selling to current customers (60-70%) versus brand new ones (5-20%). This is why it’s so important to balance new business development with relationship management and loyalty efforts. Allocating the resources to cultivate and nurture existing customer relationships can be a hugely profitable use of time. Successful sales territory management is about farming the seeds that are already sown as well as hunting down new leads.
Territory Management Tools
Using the right tools can make sales territory management a hundred times easier. Finding digital software that connects your customer data with management tools and helpful rep features makes the process simpler and more efficient for everyone. Choosing a powerful platform that integrates with your CRM can open up a wealth of automated and time-saving features for both managers and salespeople.
MapAnything is the industry’s leading cloud-based sales and service resource optimization (SSRO) solution that leverages mapping and optimization technologies. It enables businesses like yours to maximize field sales and service resources. It integrates with Salesforce forecasting, territory management, and customer data. Because it’s built directly onto the platform, it’s always accurate so users never have to worry about SRC or syncing errors. This also means none of the frustration and hassle of waiting 20mins for MapAnything to update with the latest Salesforce data. It’s a powerful software tool that supports large-scale enterprise territory management as well as SME needs. By combining Salesforce.com and MapAnything you can:
Combine territory data on reps, customers, and products to define the best structure for your business objectives.
Increase revenue and market share through territory optimization and maximizing your sales resources.
Define territories and test them prior to implementation so you know whether they will work for your business needs beforehand.
Easily make assignments between accounts, territories, and opportunities.
Communicate hierarchy and territory configurations to the field and modify alignments with maps and reports within Salesforce and Salesforce Lightning.
Improve morale and motivation and reduce turnover by designing balanced sales territories with equivalent opportunities.
Produce accurate sales forecasts by territory when using the Collaborative Forecasts feature.
Generate reports that help assess territory effectiveness and identify optimal team coverage.
Leverage your existing Salesforce investment and lightning components to generate an even stronger ROI.
Manage Sales Territories with MapAnything
With over 2,100 customers and over 150+ employees worldwide, MapAnything helps clients increase revenue, drive productivity, gain better territory visibility, and deepen customer loyalty. Our Location of Things (LoT) software is built for one simple task - empowering your enterprise to maximize revenue capture, maximize the number of happy customers you serve, and maximize leads generated to accurately attribute ROI. We do this all in the CRM workflow to help clients streamline operations, automate their business process, and increase overall accuracy and adoption.
MapAnything makes field teams more effective, efficient, and profitable. MapAnything allows you to perform vital Salesforce® tasks from the map - log calls, update records, create new tasks and events, and add thousands of contacts to a marketing campaign with one click. Schedule and optimize an entire week in MapAnything to spend less time planning, and more time selling.
MapAnything brings your CRM data to life and ensures field teams are operating at maximum efficiency. When every meeting is a new opportunity to produce revenue, field teams need the right tools in their arsenal to spend more time with customers and less time planning routes or performing administrative tasks. Our sales territory management software arms field reps with the information they need to perform productively and generate more revenue for your business.
Interested in trying it out for yourself? Request a demo here.
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