If you run a sales team with reps out in the field, you'll probably spend a lot of time looking at your territories.
How you assign and align your sales territories can have a big impact on sales performance. And like so many things in sales, territory management is not a one-off task. Sales territories need constant adjustment as key inputs change.
In this article we share 12 actionable territory management tips for sales leaders. These tips are based on our experience of working with sales teams and helping them do more with their data.
Sales territory alignment
If you can combine good, clean data with the right territory management software you can:
- Save time and reduce sales admin
- Create balanced territories with realistic targets
- Generate more revenue
- Reduce the cost of sales
So, let's look at some top territory management tips you can apply to your sales team:
1. Develop a territory management plan
If you run a sales team you will already have a documented sales plan. This might include onboarding, sales training, lead flows, collateral, incentives and sales rep quotas.
By writing this stuff down you can assess and measure it. You can make it easy for new and existing team members to learn how things are done. And you can provide a more consistent experience for customers.
This is also true for territory management. By defining and documenting how you do it, you can do it better. Like a sales plan, a territory management plan should be a living document that evolves over time.
2. Get buy-in from all stakeholders
Territory management is about embracing a data-led culture in your sales team. You take clean data and territory management software and use them to drive your decisions.
That means backing hard numbers over gut feel. This needs support from your reps and your sales leadership.
Better territory planning probably means change. That could be a sales rep getting a smaller territory. Or it could mean a higher sales quota to hit.
Good communication about the benefits of balanced sales territories is essential. Starting early improves your chances of getting support — or at least less resistance — both inside and outside your sales team.
3. Clean your data
Sales territory planning will not work without good data.
So, clear out corrupted, outdated or duplicate data. Develop clear processes for capturing and presenting data. A do regular audits to make sure bad data isn't giving you bad insights.
Even the best territory management software is only as good as the data you feed it.
4. Determine your priorities
Businesses have different priorities. And territory management can bring different benefits.
So, when you create and refine your territory management strategy, you should make sure the two are lined up.
Perhaps the priority is reducing the cost of sales. Territory management can help with that by aligning your sales resources with your available opportunities.
Alternatively, you might be looking for a fairer quota system for your reps. Territory management can help here too, by distributing revenue targets more evenly.
What the business needs most from sales should drive your territory planning.
5. Balance your sales territories
This is at the heart of sales territory management. Balancing territories allows you to make sure that your team members have the right amount of work.
That means enough opportunities to hit their sales target. But not so many prospects to meet that they can't get round them all.
Balanced territories mean happier reps and a more sustainable sales model.
6. Align territories with your resources
Balancing territories may require you to reallocate resources. That could mean redrawing a rep's territory. Or even moving them to a new territory.
The goal here is to boost sales efficiency. Badly aligned territories mean waste. Wasted effort, wasted sales budget, wasted time.
By aligning your territories with your resources you can drive more revenue while reducing the cost of sales.
7. Set more achievable quotas
A lot of sales quotas are based on job roles. The target you ask a sales rep to hit is determined by his or her title, experience or pay grade.
But your territory data will tell you if that's fair. Two reps might have the same target but very different opportunities.
You can use your territory management process to balance opportunities across territories. Or to adjust quotas based on the real sales potential of each territory.
8. Delight your customers
There's a simple way to use territory management to increase sales. And that is focusing on customer service.
Good territory management should make it easier for reps to give each customer the attention they need. By evening out workload, your customers get better service, driving more upsells, renewals and repeat business.
9. >Save the environment
A big challenge for field sales teams is cutting “windshield time.” That is spending more time in sales meetings and less time traveling between them.
Less windshield time means the same rep can run more meetings. Or spend more time with the customers who really need it.
It also reduces wear and tear on company vehicles and cuts your environmental footprint. With good data and the right tools, you can design your sales territories for less travel.
This could involve identifying clusters of low spending customers who could be managed on the phone. Or redrawing territories so reps can do more meetings around a particular location.
10. Retain and nurture your staff
A Gallup survey last year found that 76% of US workers reported experiencing burnout. And that's before the unique challenges of 2020.
The report also noted that unfair treatment and unmanageable workloads were the leading causes.
Territory management can help you spread the work and the opportunities more fairly. Reps should no longer be overworked or faced with unachievable targets.
11. Review your territories regularly
Nothing lasts forever. Periodically, based on your reporting and changes in the marketplace, you will need to readjust your territories. Internal reorganizations and promotions can also impact your territory alignment.
You can't just forget about your territory management plan. You have to update it based on changing internal and external factors.
12. Expand your business
Once you've mastered territory optimization for your existing operations, it's time to think about growth. This may involve adding additional resources and carving out new territories in high-potential markets.
After you've seen what territory mapping can do for enhancing the status quo, you'll feel excited about the possibilities ahead. Take these tips and apply them to new opportunities.
Territory mapping services from eSpatial allow you to better prioritize leads and customers. With the support of our software and outstanding customer support, you can begin to reallocate your resources more strategically. Tracking the data that results from these adjustments can inform future decision-making for your sales team. Sign up for a free seven-day trial, and experience the possibilities for yourself.
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Eoin is an eSpatial mapping expert with more than 10 years of experience in the field. He specializes in using mapping to help sales and marketing professionals target revenue growth, make cost reductions and improve customer service.Read more from Eoin Comerford