5 Early Warning Signs of Unhealthy Sales Territories

When it comes to sales territory management, maximum effort does not always create maximum returns. To be effective, sales teams must continually assess and align their investment of time and resources.

While it all starts and stops with the two great lagging indicators (missed revenue and margin targets), if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it could be time to upgrade your sales territory management plans, skills, and processes:

  • Duplicate Effort: Multiple sales and service team members are stepping on each other’s toes to grow and support an account.

  • Greater Cost of Sale: Over budget or increased sales costs are being attributed to additional travel time and expenses.

  • Not at the Table: Your sales force is not getting in front of enough target potential customers (either at all or before your competition) to hit their sales targets.

  • Unclear Priorities and Unpredictable Forecasts: Uncertain target client criteria, market differentiation, and a lack of prioritized accounts by performance and potential are leading to uneven and unpredictable sales forecasts.

  • “Unfair” Territories and Compensation Plans: Inequitable territories that reward tenure, location, or size over performance can increase attrition and decrease sales force engagement. Territories should not be too big or too small and compensation plans must be perceived as fair-minded, transparent, and clear.
Poorly aligned and unbalanced sales territories negatively impact sales performance. Do not let these early warning signs gain steam before taking the steps necessary to get things back on track.