Drawing Sales Territories That Work

A cartoon boss is drawing a box around his employee

The process of delineating and assigning sales territories is never easy…but it must be done. 

Unfortunately, there is no crystal ball that will be 100% reliable in predicting how the market will change, how much customers will buy, and how effective individual sales reps will be. But there are some useful tips from sales territory management training that can bring you as close as possible to a wise and accurate forecasting of how to draw those boxes and keep your sales reps productive and happy.

  1. Gather and analyze your sales data.You should be regularly tracking your sales. It doesn’t matter which program or method you use, but the output should be what begins the process of mapping sales territories effectively. You need to know where and when to focus the efforts of your sales reps for maximum return. The numbers will inform you of how to put the right sales reps in the right sales territories at the right times. For instance, if your sales vary with the seasons, then adjust your sales calendar accordingly. It makes no sense to collect data if you don’t use them in your decision making.

  2. Know your clients and prioritize them.You should establish a system for predicting what you can expect from your clients in revenue from year to year. Your top tier clients are the reliable ones…the clients you know will come through and the ones that don’t need a lot of tending. Your mid-tier clients are those for whom you have high hopes. They will take a lot of effort but you think the potential revenue is worth it. The bottom tier clients deserve only peripheral effort; the likelihood that they can be converted to mid- or top tier clients is small and you know they will suck up a lot of your reps’ time. Now that you know which clients deserve your time and attention, you can prioritize your sales reps’ time and raise efficiency.

  3. Conduct an annual (at least!) review.Sales territories are meant to be adjusted as situations change. You don’t want to drive yourself crazy by reacting to every shift, but a thorough review at least once a year is only smart. A few words of wisdom: do expect that you will need to make some changes; don’t make changes that are a result of poor sales performance on the part of your reps; and do try to take into account how a sales territory might grow in potential in the future. 

Your thoughtful, data-driven approach to designing sales territories will pay off in increased revenue and happily productive sales reps.

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