Feeling Helpless in a New Sales Territory

A cartoon of a bruised man flapping his arms in flight while a duck, also in the air, says, "Tomorrow I'll teach you how to land."

Does being assigned a new sales territory make you feel helpless? There you are up in the air with no clear way to land safely. You are working as hard as you can but, apparently, without a viable sales territory management plan for success.

When sales leaders and sales reps finally get into the classroom for effective sales territory management training, they often have the same sad story to tell. They were both excited and overwhelmed to be given the new sales territory. Eager to prove themselves worthy, they hit the deck running…from one prospect to another. They were consumed by the need to find new customers fast. Then when they had made some appointments and those connections were turning into sales, they were consumed by following up on the opportunities. 

They ran from one extreme to another in a cycle that just kept repeating itself. Because when the sales opportunities ran out, they began prospecting full-time again. This is a short-sighted and not very productive way to work a new sales territory. Instead you need a sales territory management strategy, plan and some discipline. 

Here is how we guide our clients when they have been handed the challenge of developing a new sales territory:

  1. Segment your sales territory…by geography, by industry, by potential, by buyer-type…any way that makes the most sense for you, your sales strategy and your business. It can be easiest to divide it by fourths so that you spend one day a week on each quarter and then the fifth on unexpected opportunities, sales team meetings or office work. Discipline yourself to stick with your sales plan so you don’t waste time and energy going from one segment to the next.  Either you’ll be darting from one end of the sales territory to the next or you’ll lose your focus on what matters most to the customers in that quadrant.
  2. Define a time every day to prospect. You must be religious about making those sales calls every day so you keep your sales pipeline filled and so you maintain a steady line-up of potential new target customers.
  3. Maintain your contact database. Make sure you keep your contact list up to date with each and every client interaction. This is your most valuable resource as you build out your client network and follow up on likely sales prospects.

When you plan ahead and have a systematic approach to mine your new sales territory, you will not be left up in the air without a safety net.

Learn more at: http://www.lsaglobal.com/sales-territory-planning-and-management-training/

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