OK, sales territory management is never easy. It is often the cause of a sales manager’s most annoying headaches. Why? Because it is a challenge to define territories so everyone on your sales team has an equal chance to succeed with the highest chance of overall success. But if you adhere to the following four steps to sales territory management, it will be easier and the results will be much closer to that perfect balance you strive to achieve.
- Create a sales territory plan
Work with your reps to develop a sales territory strategy for serving and growing current customers and for reaching out to new customers. Decide with your reps how much time should be devoted to current clients, to potential clients and to prospecting for future clients.
- Identify and prioritize your target clients
You will have to decide what criteria make the most sense for your sales strategy and in your marketplace as a whole before you assign sales territories. You can segment your customers by geographies, by size, by similar need or product, by buyer and by the problems they face. Then tier them according to how likely they are to buy. This will depend on how strong your relationships are, how great their need for what you offer as compared to other business priorities, how effective your differentiation vis-à-vis the competition, etc.
- Assign sales territories
Be clear about who has which territory so there is no confusion or overlap. Make your decision by including such factors as the specific strengths of your sales reps and where they have existing relationships and then match them with where they would be more successful. Try to balance clients so there are current, potential and possible customers in each territory.
- Continually evaluate sales territories
Keep close track of how well your reps are doing and what challenges they face. Meet regularly as a team to air frustrations and celebrate successes. Problems will surface that you must as sales manager resolve. It may require a shift in territories, assignments or extra support from you. If you have set up individual as well as team goals, you can work together as a team to overcome obstacles and maximize revenue.