If you run a field sales team, you will likely understand the benefits that effective territory management will bring to your team's productivity and profitability, but let's recap quickly anyway.
- Improved Customer Coverage
- Reduced Territory Encroachment
- Increased Productivity
- Reduced Travel Time & Associated Costs
- Increased Sales Volume/Value
So how do we build great sales territories? The simple answer is to make data-driven decisions. Not always easy to do, so here are 5 steps to guide you.
Step 1: Analyze Current Customer Base
You can analyze your customer data in any way that you want. However, if you are planning on designing geographic territories, then we highly recommend plotting your customer data on a map to conduct the analysis. Maps give you a visual understanding of the data that you simply cannot get from a spreadsheet.
Step 2: Analyze Your Sales Rep Locations
Knowing where your Sales Reps home or satellite office locations are in relation to your customer base will help you to build territories that are easily workable by your current sales staff.
If you've taken our advice in Step 1 above and have plotted your customers on a map, you can overlay your customer data with your sales rep locations. If Sales Rep A is more than a 90-minute drive from his current allocated customers, but Sales Rep B is only a 30-minute drive from the same customers, then it would make more sense for Sales Rep B to be responsible for them. You can quickly analyze this for all sales reps using drive time zones.
Step 3: Build Them with The Future in Mind
Territories are not meant to be static. They will need updating at least once a year, more often depending on growth, or turnover of staff. Build with the future in mind by forecasting for territories splitting or merging.
If you're using mapping software to build your sales territories, then start with the smallest zone area that suits your business – this could be county or state. This makes any small changes much easier to manage during future iterations.
Step 4: Give Your Sales Reps an Equal Chance
Balance your sales territories to ensure that each of your sales reps has an equal opportunity at quota attainment. If your sales reps know that they have as much of a chance at hitting their targets as any other sales rep on the team, then morale is higher, and turnover is lower. You also have balanced productivity across your field sales reps which is easier for you to manage.
Step 5: Update Sales Territories Regularly
As mentioned in Step 3, territories are not meant to be done once and forgotten about. In order to ensure that your sales territories are working their hardest for you, they need to be updated regularly.
Regularly has a different meaning for different organizations. It might mean yearly, bi-annually, or as changes in the sales organization occur such as staff turnover or company expansion.
eSpatial is a provider of Sales Territory Management software used by organizations worldwide to manage field sales and service teams. With features such as data analysis, hierarchies, and territory balancing, we are confident that eSpatial will help you create great sales territories. Schedule a free demo with one of our experts to find out how eSpatial can help.