When you are managing a sales team, you want everything to run smoothly. You want the sales to roll in, you want your team to be a happy one, and you want your revenue to grow. That’s the ideal, the reality is often not as pretty. Your sales representatives are tired and stretched, your sales are starting to stagnate with no clear reason, and your revenue growth isn’t hitting the targets set earlier in the year. It’s time now to address these problems and action changes that will bring you and your team right back on track.
One thing you should do is analyze your sales territories; how are they distributed and how are they individually performing? Next, take a look at how you are defining your territories. Are your sales territory based on customer groups where specialists in one industry travel to clients as and when they are required irrespective of their geographic location? If so, then you should try mapping sales territories geographically to see exactly what you’re missing by not mapping your sales territories. In this article, we will highlight some of the most common benefits that sales managers like you can get by mapping sales territories.
Motivated Sales Team
A well-defined and balanced geographic sales territory will quickly reduce conflict between salespeople by providing much more concrete boundaries than they may be currently dealing with. Vertical territories are harder to manage as one person’s definition of which industry an organization fits into can be different to another’s and so you encounter a back and forth of emails to find out who is responsible for a new account. Mapping sales territories allows you to set well-defined territories which will curtail any disputes over account ownership as well as increasing accountability for the management of assigned accounts. It also allows you to give each representative an equal share of the available, and potential, market by balancing the territories using factors such as population, income, education level and existing customer base. When sales reps have a clearly defined picture of their sales territories, they can spend more time on the accounts they are responsible for rather than worrying about the potential for territory encroachment.
One of the main benefits of mapping geographical sales territories is that you assign territories to the best reps that reside within that territory. Doing this means that the sales reps are fuelled with local knowledge both on the industry in that location as well as the cultural requirements to close a deal. Clients in the Southern States would do business in a different way to clients on the East Coast and you need local reps that are capable of meeting and exceeding the expectations of those clients. Having a sales rep on the ground and involved in the local industry means that they often hear about sales opportunities before the client makes it public knowledge. Local reps are also likely to have established contacts and channels that are only open to them which would take years for an outside rep to build up. If you are flying in reps from across the country to get your foot in the door, you are already too late and a local competing rep has made a lasting impression. Be that lasting impression, hire people that live within a sales territory to work that sales territory. Identify the top recruitment locations by mapping your sales territories.
More Time Spent Selling
It is common that a sales person’s time spent selling is often less than ideal. It is said that only approximately 33% of a sales rep’s time is spent actually selling between administration work, travel time, internal meetings and training. The goal is to increase that percentage so that the rep has a better chance of hitting the quotas and targets set for them and for the business. While administration work, internal meetings, and training are necessary, the time a sales rep spends traveling to and from client meetings can be optimized. Mapping sales territories and assigning your reps to a local sales territory massively reduces the amount of time they spend on the road and increases the level of attention that they can give to more customers. Even when they do need to travel to the far end of their territory, they can use maps of their client locations and optimize routes of travel to ensure they get to visit the clients they need to within that window. Local sales reps aren’t spending hours on the road or in an airplane, they’re sitting in front of clients closing deals.
As mentioned above already, mapping sales territories geographically and assigning them to sales representatives that reside within those territories means that they have more time to spend with customers. This time comes from the fact that the sales reps are spending less time traveling due to reduced distance between them and their accounts. With less distance to travel, fuel costs, hotel stays, and flights are reduced leading to a much lower cost per sale. One domestic trip could cost you $1000 which immediately eats into the potential profit from that sale and if that sale doesn’t close then your average cost per sale increases significantly. By reducing that amount, you’re reducing your average cost per sale and increasing the percentage profit made on that deal. Imagine all salespeople spending less to close a deal and you’ll immediately see a change in the margins you are making from your sales efforts.
Map Your Sales Territories with eSpatial
Now that you have learned about the benefits of mapping sales territories, you should give it a test run for yourself. With eSpatial, it is easy to get up and running with a free trial and start to reap the same benefits yourself. Start your free trial here.