1. Think strategically
Think about what you want to achieve by using sales territory mapping. At the most basic level, ask yourself: who are your customers and where are they based? Have a clear idea and assign territories based on demographic information, where available.
Define your needs in the context of the overall aims of your business – how can sales territory mapping assist in achieving agreed company targets?
Have you got metrics in place to indicate when that success has been achieved? That may be something as simple as an increase in customer numbers or sales volume, or it may be about maintaining existing relationships with a view to increasing sales in the future.
2. Put the customers’ needs at the heart of your plans
It’s an old adage, but know your customers: research and study customer profiles and update that information where necessary.
eSpatial allows you to plot all key Excel data onto a clickable map-point for easy access. Updating that data is simple.
Also, before you start re-organizing sales channels, and shifting personnel, don’t overlook the power of the familiar – customers become accustomed to sales reps, build relationships and have a rapport with them.
Trust and confidence can be lost in an instant, if a new face is not introduced carefully and the reason for a change in an existing rep is not clearly explained (promotion, retirement, ill-health etc).
3. Let your team/reps know what’s going on – share information
Let your people know what you are doing! When you’re thinking about re-aligning territories, for instance, create draft maps and share them with your field staff by posting them online, or emailing them.
Provide as much information as possible. (Tip: use the eSpatial balancing tool to help explain why you have made your decisions: let the numbers speak for themselves.)
Sharing maps allows team members the opportunity to reveal data that may not have been provided before; e.g., key knowledge about particular customers or about costs associated with covering particular distances.
Listen to this feedback and adjust your sales territory mapping as appropriate. Then, once territories have been defined, set up clear rules of engagement between parties.
Finally, where adjustments are undertaken, don’t overlook the revenue/compensation issues!