The good thing about territory management is that it helps avoid any turf wars over customers that could break out within your sales team. The bad thing about territory management is it requires a battle plan all its own.
It’s not enough, for example, to simply break up the total addressable market for your products and services and assign various geographies to the reps. Instead, sales territory management ensures that those working within a particular territory will be successful, and that the combined results of reps working across their particular territory will help the organization crush its monthly or quarterly numbers.
Some organizations tackle this process by conducting what’s known as territory mapping, which essentially means looking more granularly at accounts within each territory to help prioritize and hone the approach for closing more deals.
Whether you’re a large company or a small and medium-sized business (SMB), sales territory mapping should be on the to-do list long before reps start conducting outreach. It will save time, allow more efficient use of resources and, most importantly, help reps make or exceed quota.
There are all kinds of ways to approach this process, but here are some of the most common building blocks:
Say a rep has more than 20 active accounts they could pursue within their territory. It’s probably not reasonable that they spend the same amount of time and effort on each one. It’s probably not profitable, either. Instead, the territory mapping process should look at things such as:
Some firms mistakenly give reps their territory and encourage them to hit the phones. Even if they’ve already mapped which accounts have the capacity to grow the volume of business they do with you, they should be approached in a more one-on-one fashion. Again, CRM data will tell you a lot of what you really need to know here, including:
All this only covers the existing business a company may have for a particular territory, though. Don’t forget to:
When urban planners look at growth in a city, they track things like density — the population in a certain neighbourhood, for example — to make sure overcrowding doesn’t strain resources. It’s a bit similar with sales territory mapping.
As your reps receive more qualified leads from marketing, they’ll need to parse the available data as much as possible to go through a similar exercise as what’s been described above. In other words, they’ll need to figure out which prospects have the highest potential for conversion, what amount of business they might generate, and the degree of heavy lifting required to close a deal with them.
Based on that you see here, a company may need to look at carving an existing territory up to multiple reps, or perhaps assigning certain accounts with well-established relationships to one rep and asking more junior reps to pursue newer business opportunities.
All good so far? There’s another crucial step in all this that so many organizations neglect. Here it comes:
Even if you do a great job of sales territory mapping for a particular geography or set of customers, the impact on the overall business is limited it if it results in a bunch of silos among your sales team. Sales territory management should also strive for a more holistic perspective by comparing and contrasting what you’ve learned along the way.
In your sales team meetings, for instance, think about the following questions and encourage reps to use the data they have in CRM to contribute their expertise:
As your sales territory mapping process becomes more mature, your revenue and business growth should become more predictable. This requires an ongoing commitment by everyone, and the use of essential tools such as Sales Cloud. Of course, the best sales teams are no strangers to hard work and data-driven thinking — those are things that just come with the territory.
Learn more ways to help your sales team succeed with our ebook, “4 Steps to Transforming Your Sales Process.”