How Not to Waste Your Time with Bad Sales Territories

Graphic of a man tossing a clock into the trash

We are all being asked to do more with less…especially in sales. 

Sales quotas are up, but the performance of too many sales teams is not where it needs to be. This makes it even more important that sales teams use their time wisely and productively. It is a question of returning to what we learned in sales territory management training…establishing a consistent sales process that targets the right customers rather than wasting time in front of customers who are less likely to buy. 

Here is how we recommend you go about organizing your time for maximum return…

1. Figure out each customer’s potential both in terms of yield and predisposition to buy. Simply review a list of all your current customers and assign them to one of three tiers. Number One is reserved for the high potential customers…the ones who have the need, the means and the readiness to buy your solution. Apply your Target Client Profile. This tier should contain only those clients that fit that profile.

Tier Number Two is for those customers where you may have an advantage but that miss the target profile on just one level. Let’s say you have a customer organization that is smaller than your ideal but you have a great relationship with the target buyer. There is potential here but maybe not as great in terms of sustainable revenue or profit as a Tier One client.

Tier Number Three is reserved for those customers who for several reasons do not fit your ideal profile. They present very limited upside compared to the top two tiers. They may be the wrong size or you may not be working at the right level in the organization or a competitor may be securely embedded or they may not be near the point of recognizing that they have a need. The list goes on…

2. Plan your time. This is where your sales discipline comes in. Spend your time where there is the greatest likelihood of success…with your Tier One clients. Do not be tempted to spend your day chasing Tier Three clients. Ration them to less than 5% of your selling time just to keep in front of them in case circumstances change. Spend about 15% with your Tier Two clients always with the objective of raising them a level. That leaves 80% of your sales time to focus on your Tier One Target Clients where you should have the greatest client impact. This is where you will see your greatest return. 

Be smart about the way you manage your time in your sales territory. Your planning and discipline will pay off.

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