What is territory management?
Organizations with sales, service teams, operations teams, and franchises use territories to define areas of responsibility.
Most territories are geographic, but some organizations design territories on points or accounts (account-based) or a hybrid approach (geographic and account-based).
Territory management is critical for sales, service, and operations teams working in a dynamic environment. Markets change, customers move, merge, new competitors enter your sector, or you might launch new products. All of these scenarios require territory maintenance, balance, and realignments using territory mapping software.
Who needs territory management?
Managing sales and service territories effectively opens up a new revenue engine for revenue operations and service. You must balance your revenue or service goals with customer service needs, gain a competitive advantage and drive down costs. If you have a field-based team, territory management is essential. Identifying inefficiencies in your territory designs improves sales and service productivity.
You should map territories if you:
- Provide on-site service to clients
- Rely on relationship building to sell your product
- Sell a product that needs to be locally available to customers
- Struggle to balance the workload among field team members
- Have multiple sales reps calling on the same prospects
- Always end up with one person topping the sales leaderboard
If any of the above sounds like your business, read more about the benefits of territory management and resources to help you manage and grow a sales territory.
How to know if your existing territories need a refresh
So you have territories, but how often do you update your alignments? How do you know they work for you, or when to split, change or realign?
Real World Scenario
You have a 20% turnover of sales or service staff. Some of your major customers have merged, and others have acquired new sites in other territories, so now you have overlapping areas. Some customers have closed. A new competitor has entered your market. You have launched a new product into a new vertical.
These are just some of the scenarios that impact territory design and optimization. All require some territory adjustments or realignments. Territory alignment is the ongoing pursuit of balanced and optimized territories. With optimized territories, you minimize travel times, equalize workloads for field teams and maximize revenue potential.
Simply put, you ensure that your sales and service teams spend more time with high-value customers and less time traveling and overlapping each other. It is common in organizations for imbalances in territories. For example, one sales territory has too many leads for the sales rep to follow up on, while another needs more.
In practice, you have one salesperson who cannot (due to time pressures) maximize sales potential. And another who lacks sales potential and may over-service existing customers. A realignment ensures both maximize sales potential and your organization grows revenue more efficiently.
Some warning signs for your attention:
- Pockets of over or under-performing areas
- High employee turnover
- High mileage expenses
- Inability to meet all service appointments on time and to schedule
- Areas not meeting expected targets
How territory management improves your business
Save money and increase sales by optimizing resources
With optimized sales and service territories, you ensure efficient deployment of resources.
It prevents under or over-served areas, which increase costs and leave potential sales on the table.
It boosts your ROI and leads to improved customer service levels.
Eliminate territory overlap
Territory boundaries often blur over time. Multiple teams calling on the same customers can cause unnecessary conflict and drive up service costs. Customer relationships can be confused, and team members can get frustrated.
Territory mapping software excels in these scenarios as all stakeholders see their areas of responsibility on a map.
Give salespeople the best chance at success
Balancing territory opportunity with workload (your capacity to make sales calls) ensures you maximize sales potential. Coupled with sales training and coaching, you have a winning ticket to drive employee morale, retention, and earnings.
Faster on-boarding of new employees
When you have efficient territories, onboarding new employees, like sales and service representatives, is faster and easier. They can easily see client and prospect locations on a map. It makes sales and service planning more effective and easy to understand who to target when prospecting for new business.
Delight your customers with efficient service
If your business provides on-site services to your customers, you know speed and efficiency are critical. Faster service means happier customers who will return to your business repeatedly. Services territory management ensures you have adequate resources to cover the number of customers in each area.
Identify new revenue opportunities
Identify new areas for growth quickly. Realigning, balancing, and optimizing sales territories is proven to unlock up to 12% more revenue. It is a potential new revenue engine for organizations.
How do I start managing territories?
1. Evaluate your needs
The needs of your business will vary depending on its size, industry, and business model. You benefit from optimized territories if you have field sales or service teams, regional managers overseeing multiple physical locations or a network of franchisees.
A good starting point is to analyze your current territory management system. Are territory boundaries clearly defined? How do sales and service personnel know which accounts and geographies to cover?
Is your system for territory management in need of a review?
Do you have the correct number of field resources in place? Should you rightsize your field team?
If you have a large and complex sales and service organization, we highly recommend a sales territory mapping software solution like eSpatial.
An advantage of a mapping software platform with sophisticated mapping options like heatmaps, ZIP code, and pin maps is that you can conduct extensive data analysis before you jump into territory design. That dramatically improves the quality of your project outputs.
2. Choose the right territory mapping software for you
Whether building territories for the first time or looking for a better system, you must choose a territory management tool. A modern territory mapping software solution should encompass data visualization, territory design, and route optimization. You'll want a seamless integration between all three.
Complexity grows exponentially as you move past planning territories on spreadsheets and manage large sales and service teams.
You may have thousands of customers and hundreds of sales and service territories, so you need a fast, secure power mapping option. Professional mapping software allows you to visualize your territories easily. It makes it easy to understand the mountains of information contained in your spreadsheet and helps clarify each team member's responsibilities.
You know from experience that "if it ain't easy, nobody will use it," so a simple, user-friendly system is crucial to your success.
3. Gather your data
We suggest you start with a detailed dataset, including:
- Customer locations (full address and Zipcode details)
- Customer revenue
- Prospect locations
- Sales potential
- Contact details
- Title and or role
Using a CRM or Salesforce, you can import your data directly ( eSpatial works seamlessly with both).
The greater the level of detail in your data, the better the outcome. We recommend you include a workload measure as it is a best practice and leads to equitable and balanced alignments.
If you are new to territory design, you can start with your existing data and choose to create territories manually or leverage a territory optimization tool.
4. Start building your territories
Once you have your data and chosen tool, it's time to start creating your territories. If you've decided to use mapping for your territory creation, check out our guides on how to get started here:
Try a territory map yourself
Why choose eSpatial for territory management?
eSpatial is a professional territory management solution for sales and revenue operations. You can analyze, design and optimize territories and routes in three steps:
- Visualize and analyze critical data using heatmaps, pin, and ZIP code maps. Refine your strategy first with data visualization.
- Design, realign, or optimize territories using workloads or weighted balances. Create geographic, account-based, or hybrid territories with ease.
- Optimize the "last mile" with route optimization.
Along with power mapping software, access world-class support from our mapping experts. They will walk you through onboarding and training and are available to answer questions whenever you need assistance.
Creating new territories can be done in just minutes. Engel & Voelkers, a real estate services company, made defining new regions 32 times faster. What previously took six business days now takes only 90 minutes, and their sales reps have doubled the number of customers they see in a week.
What our customers say
Data can be mapped in minutes, saving countless hours, leading to faster, more efficient alignments
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Boost in revenue
Saving in administration time
Improvement in field-based team productivity
eSpatial provided us with the perfect platform to define our Sales Territories nationally, allowing us to collaborate with Regional Vice Presidents on multiple territory options. This has also resulted in more efficient and transparent lead allocation. The support team has been great, responding promptly to any questions I had.
Salesforce.com Program Manager
eSpatial is a really intuitive tool that creates clean and visually appealing maps. We run scenario analysis to test, validate and implement sales territory realignment. eSpatial makes the analysis process quick and painless.
We use eSpatial to gain a visual understanding of our business which helps us to expand our retailer coverage across North America, the UK, and Europe. eSpatial also allows us to easily drill down and get granular details of each territory to gain a competitive advantage
International Sales Manager
eSpatial is packed with enterprise features
eSpatial provides a wealth of features to help you manage territories, increase revenue, reduce costs, and more. They include:
- The fastest territory mapping software available. Quickly create territories using advanced optimization.
- Optimize territories on zips or points (accounts-based) or both.
- Super fast realignment processes. Keep your territories current and performing at their best, faster.
- Integrated with Salesforce.com delivering seamless data uploading and synching.
- Use criteria like workload and balance, to create equitable and efficient territories.
- Communicate and share alignments with ease. Secure sharing for you and your team.
- Unlock new actionable insights in your data. The best maps software and analysis tools are available to you.
- Maximize sales effectiveness. Identify selling inefficiencies or opportunities with advanced filtering.
- Speed up your workflows. Intelligent and intuitive features will eliminate wasted time.
- Involve key stakeholders. Save, print, share, and compare alignments with your team.
Resources to help you master territory management
To help you implement territory management effectively, we’ve put together a wide range of resources. You can learn about best practices, different strategies and practical tips for accomplishing your goals in eSpatial.
Every organisation is unique, so eSpatial offers you three solutions. Start with one and scale. Or invest in the complete package for sales and sales operations.
Support from our experts when you need it
You're the expert on your data and line of work, but to get your project completed, you may need some backup. That's why our support team includes geographic information system (GIS) experts who can assist with mapping and data integration needs, during onboarding and through your time as an eSpatial user.