At this point of the year, many of our Sales Ops friends are glad to have the grueling exercise that is annual territory planning in their rearview mirror. But just like preparing your kid to be the next golf legend, it’s never too early to get started planning for next year. Or maybe, after the first quarter or so, your territories aren’t delivering the results leadership had hoped for. Maybe it’s time for some course correction. Whatever situation you find yourself in, we thought you could use some tips on how technology can improve your territories and set you up for ongoing success.
The first place to start is with your data. In order to find the right balance between market opportunities and your sales resources you need to clearly and completely understand your addressable market(s). Ultimately, that means having clean, current, standardized and useful account data in your systems. To understand the right attributes to use for territory segmentation you need basic details about each account (both customers and prospects). Do you have solid, clean data across your org for company size (employees, revenue, etc.), industry (SIC and/or NAICs), financial details, corporate relationships/hierarchies, 1st party data (product ownership, contract status, usage, etc), geographic location, and others?
Data.com offers tools for cleaning and enriching your existing data, as well as for finding and adding targeted accounts and contacts into your org with reliable, complete data and insights. With more than 80+ standardized firmographic fields on your account records, you’ll be able to segment and carve territories in most any way you could imagine.
Having a clean and complete account data set is a great first step. But that data a magic wand that automatically tells you how to match accounts to your sales teams to meet leadership goals. You need to run reports, analyze and use the data to inform decisions about how to proceed. Look across your account base by some of the attributes mentioned above. What does the distribution of customers and prospects look like by geography? What industries have you had success in? Where are there opportunities? Does leadership want to move up-market into bigger businesses, and would the market support it? Do you have Sales Reps in place to cover the geographies where your opportunities are concentrated? Use the data to test ideas and hypotheses, and let it tell you how to carve territories.
Sales Wave is the first app built on the Wave Analytics Platform, and offers Salesforce customers a set of out-of-the-box dashboards and analysis tools for digging into the business to inform territory strategy and much more. The Business Review dashboard in particular can help you visualize your accounts and opportunities across geography, industry, size and other attributes.
With data cleansed and analysis complete you’re ready to make territory assignments and let sales reps off the chain. You may have seen or tried several ways to make these assignments and implement territories. Some write complicated algorithms or formulas in custom fields. Others go analog and break out the paper and markers. Ultimately, though, as your company grows and sales teams and territories get more complex it’s crucial that you’re able to automate and reflect everything in the CRM app, where sales works.
Luckily, Sales Cloud includes the Enterprise Territory Management set of features for easily building territory models based on hierarchies and rules to dynamically assign accounts across your org.