However your company assigns sales territories—by geography, sales potential, industry vertical, sales history or a combination of these—there are some questions you should ask yourself to maximize your effectiveness. When you can clearly answer all 6 of the following questions that come from sales territory management training experts, you will be in a great position to succeed.
1. What are the parameters of accounts you are likely to win? Consider the ideal size, type, industry, situation and location. You should be able to prioritize the accounts in your jurisdiction so you know where the true opportunities for your solutions lie.
2. Who can be of help? Think about the people you know and the people you would like to meet. Is there someone already in your network who might need your services? Or is there someone who could give you a valuable referral? Don’t be shy. Ask for referrals in specific terms by suggesting the industry, title and situation of your most likely buyer.
And don’t overlook current customers as you try to build strength in your territory. Customers who have been pleased with your work should be glad to spread the word. A warm referral helps you overcome all those painful obstacles to reaching the right target customer, to making an appointment, and to establishing trust early on.
3. Who is your ideal client? When you can identify your perfect customer in terms of industry, size, need, and ability to buy, you have a template for those customers you should pursue and those that should fall to the bottom of your list. Focus on high potential deals by sifting through opportunities using your ideal target criteria.
4. What is the approach that will be most effective? Think about how you can best reach prospects…by phone, by email, through speaking engagements, etc. Then create a plan of touch points and timing that will give you some visibility in the market. Keep track of all the ways you reach out so you can measure which brought the best outcomes in terms of real business results.
5. How can technology help? Not only should you take advantage of databases to sort lists of potential clients but you should also subscribe to any social media groups where likely customers and/or valuable contacts congregate. Join LinkedIn to find and research potential clients, use Hoover’s or a similar service to locate companies in your market segment and participate in any associations that could expand your network.
6. Who can support your efforts? Is there someone who can mentor you and help guide you as you try to sell effectively in your territory? Think, too, about the partners who could make your life easier as you join forces. Look within your own company to identify folks in other departments who could help you when you need it to close a deal…a good contact in legal can expedite red tape, one in customer service can help write up service agreements, one in support can make sure your customer is adequately covered should there be any operational glitches.
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