How To Plan And Improve Sales Territory Management


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If you manage a Sales Team in B2B business, Sales Territory Management is a key to plan right time, good budget and appropriate resources to prospects.

However, the process of making and managing Sales Territory usually appear as a challenging and complicated task for most of Sales Leaders or Managers.

This article will help you get a clear look at the Sales Territory Management and build effective strategies for your sales territory process.

What is Sales Territory Management?

With a traditional definition, a Sales Territory is a group of customers or geographical area that an individual salesperson or a sales team will take charge of.

However, nowadays, the Sales Territory also encompasses certain types of customer and audience segments. This means Sales Territory is not only geographical area or customer type, but also sales potential, industry, product,  purchase history, and referral source.

How to design Sales Territory Process

If you are struggling with Sales Territory Efficiency, or you don’t know where to start when planning a Sales Territory that works from the first day, then you are at the right place.

Here are the steps that you need to follow to have a successful Sales Territory Plan:

Step 1: Understand your existing customers

Before developing an effective sales territory plan, you need to analyze and segment all of your existing clients, prospects, and leads.

The good point to start is dividing your current customers into segments based on location, purchase history, web behaviors, or some other relevant characteristics that work with your business field.

After that, find the similarity and difference between each customer segments by answering those following questions about each one:

  • What are they buying? Certain solutions, services or products?
  • Why are they buying? Which pain points have you solved?
  • What led them to final purchase? And What made them not purchase?
  • What is your conversion rate? Where do conversions tend to go down?

Then, notice which verticals your team can define potential success by answering:

  • Where are potential prospects located?
  • How are they making a purchase? Or What will they do to get to the final deal?

Those questions will have you sketch a clear structure for what you need to plan with Sales Territory.

Step 2: Understand who you are

After dividing your customers into a certain group, you just need to define your business strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.

For a clear analysis, we recommend using a basic SWOT structure.

Strengths

  • What is your team good at?
  • What is your core value? (this is not value in money, but the culture your team is following to)
  • Where do your sales reps excel? Some may be good at working in-person with customers, while others work best via email.

Weakness

  • In the Sales Process, what is the point/stage that leads tend to drop off?
  • Where are the bottlenecks or leaks in your sales pipeline?

Opportunities

Based on your knowledge of the current marketplace and your customer segments, you should answer this question:

  • Is there an untapped market or under-serviced territory that you can take consider about? If yes, then define what it is

In my own experience, most cases, the answer to the mentioned question is Yes.

Threats

  • What are the biggest challenges to your success in your territory?
  • Who is your competitor? (The competitor will be one who works on the same market in a particular area, location and customer segment)

Step 3: Understand your market

When you have enough information about your customers and your business, you should expand your concern to a bigger topic – your Market.

First, you need to define your market

There are various ways to define and analysis market potential. Factors may include geography, size, consumer demographics and among others.

Then, figure out how you can or have helped the market. What is your business unique to? You should arrange these characteristics (prioritize based on what your climate demands)

Next, determine market potential

Once you understand the drivers to customer spend, you can forecast market potential.

There are also a lot of different techniques to tackle this process. However, most of the methods stick in one simple question – How do the market can boost your products/services?

Finally, target the right customers

When you know what is your market and its potent, you should pick up the suitable customers that your products can work best.

Step 4: Estimate the Territory Quality

After you got the targeted market, you should evaluate the quality of each employee.

Now, let’s check how your company’s strength, your sales members’ strength can benefit the Sales Territory.

  • Do they fit your business marketplace?
  • Do they fit with the potential customers?
  • Do they understand how your products can solve customers’ problems?

Remember that Quality is better than Quantity (in this case)

Then, you should estimate the Territory Quality

Determine what sales territory supports which areas of the sales funnel. The score territories into high, medium and low value so that you can focus the resources on the right Sales Territory.

You should invite your sales team into this step too. No one knows the territories better than Sales Reps who work with them every day. Besides, this way also help you assign the appropriate reps to maximize the effectiveness in each territory

Step 5: Build Strategy and Set Goals

Through 4 above steps, you have already got enough resources to build strategies and set goals for the Sales Territory.

The strategies are different in each business. However, to ensure you have practical goals for each territory, answer those following questions:

  • What opportunities do you take consider about?
  • Where are most of your new leads coming from?
  • Which areas should you focus on?
  • Are any of the territories underserviced? How many reps will you assign to those territories?
  • Which products are the most suitable in each territory? Which customers are purchasing them?
  • Which customer segment offers the highest payoff? Are you transferring a consistent value?

Once you answer those above questions, you can help your team get clear objectives for each territory. Then, you can build up the strategies with the 3 basic questions:

  • What resources do your reps need to manage?
  • What do reps need to do for a successful goal?
  • How wil you boost conversions in each territory?

Step 6: Check and Track

After all, to know how effective you have worked with Sales Territory, you need to measure the performance daily, weekly and monthly.

  • Does the new territory boost your sales?
  • Have sales increased in a specific region or market?

In the worst case, your territories or even sales reps are underperforming, you should find out why and implement adjustments

By following these 6 steps, your business will be on the way to have a stronger workforce, and especially increased sales growth and profits.

How to manage a sales territory effectively

As a Sales Manager, you may want to reach Sales Territory Management best practices in the whole process. That means you can understand which steps work well, which steps underperform or who can work with the Sales Territory.

So here are 5 tips that you can apply in Sales Territory Management

  1. Sales Territory is not just a geographical area (as said at first)

Based on what you are selling and who your targets are, you can not only divide up leads by geography – because your Sales Reps sometimes do not usually travel to meet a client in person.

You can also think about divide customer groups by industry, referral source, product or account size.

Remember Sales Territory is just like grouping similar customer in a certain group so that you can apply business strategies more effectively

  1. Qualify your leads

To save your time working and avoid missing “hot” opportunities, you need to qualify your leads. Ask your team if a leader wants what you are selling, if they will use the product effectively and if there is a time-depent event.

This will help you focus your human resources in the right place.

You can use Sales Territory Software to track your new leads and your customers’ group at the same time.

  1. Focus on long-term results

It is good to address fresh leads whenever they come up. However, not every new lead bring you benefit. There still contain unqualified leads. Don’t let these unqualified opportunities distract you from the big picture plan.

Encourage your Sales Reps to stick with their schedule and Sales Territory plans even when new leads appear.

  1. Work closely with marketing and customer service team

The first advice is working with a team that meets customer every day (which is not only the Sales Team).

Think about who else in your company usually talk with your key customers. Do the pre-sales, sales and after sales work consistently?

The managers should improve the collaboration between marketing, sales and customer service teams to give the customer a consistent experience across all touchpoints, drive your objectives forward and eliminate any unnecessary visits.

Besides, by working with “customer-facing” teams, your Sales Team can have a wider vision of customers’ behaviors. Thus, you can get a better strategy and more practical goals.

  1. Look back and forth

Not only do you need to look what you have done, but you also need to take consider about whether you’re in the right territories at the right time.

Understand your retailers’ seasonal buying patterns – what, when and how much do they buy.

This will help you be more productive in the whole process and more.

Better still, you can also apply these seasonal behaviours into your product development strategies. So that your product will always meet customers’ demand in every moment.

 

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