Sales Territory Mapping: How to Design and Optimize Your Plan

Get the key to smarter sales territory mapping to drive revenue and customer satisfaction.

Time to read: 4 minutes

If sales reps are your army, then the sales territory map is your battle plan. This map impacts both rep performance and revenue growth. But drawing this map is often a manual and time-consuming process, making it difficult to keep up with changing economic circumstances.

Your business can’t afford to wait.

This guide walks you through how to design and optimize your sales territory map. With the right mapping technology, your team will be equipped with the tools to convert more leads and close new deals.

What is sales territory mapping?

Sales territory mapping is the process of defining the area, sales, and revenue that your reps are responsible for targeting. If done properly, it can help you reach the right customers, hit revenue goals, and promote growth.

Traditionally, sales territory mapping is based on a single, simple factor: geography. Businesses might allocate territories based on zip codes or drive time from a rep’s home base and manually document the plan by color coding or placing pins on a map.

Today, intelligent sales territory mapping technology makes it easy to segment territories by industry or customer type, enabling sales people to operate in the same geographic area but focus on different customers based on their needs. This technology can ultimately help organizations optimize their sales teams to meet business goals.

How do you design a sales territory to support business priorities?

The task of divvying up your sales territories can be daunting. How can you be sure you're using the right methods? What criteria do you need to ensure success? These answers will be different for every business, but the following are a few tips to help you get started.
Think about the long term
You know your teams have to meet quotas today, but what are your long-term business objectives? Is your current plan agile and scalable enough to get you there? Is your business growing, maintaining, or declining? Are you planning product launches? Are there regulatory changes on the horizon? Thinking about the answers to these questions will help you make decisions that are smart for what your business needs today and what it might need in the future.
Balance business development and retaining loyal customers
Driving new leads and closing new contracts will always be important, but customer retention is just as critical to your bottom line. Be sure to consider the needs of your current customers — and how you’ll meet them — in addition to looking at growth opportunities.
Think on your feet
An agile plan helps you respond to changes in the market and on the ground. Try modeling some scenarios and testing out different alignments. This will allow you to test changes without disruption and help lead you to discover new ways to be nimble.
Use the right tools
The right intelligent sales territory mapping tools can automate manual activities like spreadsheet data entry, streamline manual data analysis, reduce errors, and help reps to be more efficient with their time and effort.

How do I create a sales territory map?

Your plan should start with your larger business goals in mind. As with any strategic endeavor, evaluate your progress and make adjustments over time.
Define your objectives
These might focus on targets for revenue and volume of sales. They might include nonfinancial objectives. They could be targets that support long-term growth goals or concurrent marketing priorities, such as obtaining specific customer segments or selling a certain amount of a particular product. Whatever your objectives end up being, the ones you prioritize should align with your larger business goals.
Segment your market
Smart segmentation ensures you’re going after the entire addressable market, instead of only the big deals or obvious wins. At Salesforce, four factors drive our segmentation strategy: region/geography, company size, industry, and customer lifecycle. Your own segmentation strategy should align with your objectives.
Leverage experience and expertise
Think about your newly segmented territories and how you will assign them. Depending on your objectives, you may want to assign territories based on geography, customer industry, your account executives’ expertise, or any number of factors. When it comes to defining and assigning territories, balance is key. Rely on sales managers’ knowledge and intelligent software to ensure that sales territories are equitable.

How do I optimize my sales territories?

The key to optimizing your sales territories is having the right tools and technology. Previously, sales leaders relied on spreadsheets, maps, and customer lists, but advances in intelligent sales territory mapping software allow you to weigh scores of variables and perform complex calculations to quickly create new territory structures and scenarios.

With intelligent sales territory mapping software, you’re able to:

Learn more about how intelligent sales territory mapping software can help your business.
Case study: New Balance wins with intelligent sales territory mapping

Who’s Before New Balance, the leading footwear and apparel company, used dedicated territory mapping technology, its territory assignments were unbalanced and sometimes didn’t make sense geographically. Sales territories had evolved over business and staff changes, rather than strategic priorities. As a result, one rep might be assigned to a territory far away from their home, while another rep might be carrying a larger workload.

With Salesforce Maps Territory Planning, New Balance was able to look at critical business drivers, such as growth projections, customer engagement, and market dynamics, to identify the optimal territory mapping plan and realign staffing and territory assignments. It aligned account attributes with business priorities to balance territories and improve equitability. It managed models, territories, and assignment rules for reps, all within its CRM. As a result, New Balance was able to quickly publish new territory models and keep valuable revenue and territory data in a centralized place accessible to its entire sales team.

Get started with intelligent sales territory mapping

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