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Build A Sales Territory Plan You Can Be Proud Of

Do you feel like your salespeople are just doing a “milk run” with their accounts? They over-serve their favorite accounts, make a quick stop at accounts that could benefit from more attention, and only stop in other accounts when they are "in-town"? Here's how you can build an effective sales territory plan.

What is a Sales Territory Plan?

A sales territory plan is a roadmap that explains how you or your sales team will turn a specific region into a profitable venture for your company.

Developing a comprehensive sales territory plan helps steer your sales organization and company to success. According to Xactly Corp, effective territory management can increase overall sales, improve customer coverage, and reduce costs.

Reasons you Need a Sales Territory Plan

Whether big or small, any business can benefit from a sales territory plan. Consider these benefits:

Strategic Targeting

Instead of targeting customers by location, you can segment them by company size, industry, opportunity type, etc. This allows your salespeople to focus on meeting the customer's specific needs instead of just covering the most ground. It also allows them to become more of a subject matter expert in these specific segments, which ultimately helps them provide valuable information and solutions for their customers based on this increased focus.

Realistic Goals

A sales territory plan empowers you to set achievable goals, track progress, and optimize your sales strategy. Setting goals is vital to an organization, but measuring that success is essential. With the ability to track progress, you can replicate successes and quickly adjust if you need to.

Selling More

With a clear sales territory plan based on specific targets, salespeople can spend less time traveling and preparing for customer engagements and more time working directly with them. This naturally leads to selling more, which ultimately means more revenue for your company.

How to Build a Sales Territory Plan

Now that you know how your company can benefit from a sales territory plan, it's time to build (or rebuild) one.

Define your Goals

Before you have a plan, you need an end goal in mind. First, determine what your annual goal will be. This is part of your company's strategic planning process, which then breaks down into quarters, months, and weeks.

Then go further and plot out what your salespeople's goals should be. What are their personal goals? What should their total revenue and margin volume be for their territory? And how are they going to go about doing that? Involve them in the process to get their input and buy-in.

Define your Market

Take some time to analyze the people or companies you currently conduct business with. First, look at their size, industry, location, business model, and culture. Then, ask them about the value they get from working with you. This can quickly provide a good overview of who your ideal client may be.

Defining your market allows your sales team to play to their strengths and address specific needs, goals, and pain points, which will differ between these segments.

Assess your Accounts

Take a good, hard look at your territory and account list with your salespeople. Then, divide your current customers into three categories: largest, most-growable, and needs some work. Of course, some of the accounts will fall into two categories.

Map out which accounts your salesperson has the greatest opportunity to grow. Then, have them spend time on the activities where they can move the revenue needle. Why spend time there if an account is neither big, growable, nor at-risk? Salespeople should increase revenue, not simply focus on their favorite accounts. Help your salespeople know which customers to spend their time on and why.

Improve the Plan

Your sales territory plan is almost done. Of course, your goals are more than just numbers on paper. You can now see a path to how you're going to achieve those goals. But you have noticed if one salesperson has too much on their plate or is spread too thin?

While making your sales territory plan, you may want to restructure your territory. This could help your salespeople win more and play to their strengths.

In the End

Define your goals and market if you want an effective sales territory plan. Next, assess your accounts and determine which ones can grow the most. Then improve upon that plan by restructuring if needed. With a new sales territory plan in place, you are setting your team up for success and allowing you to spot opportunities to adjust or leverage in order to grow your business.

About Gary Braun

Gary is a founder and co-owner of Pivotal Advisors. He has worked for 20+ years as a salesperson and sales leader. Gary has been a guest speaker for many groups such as Vistage, Allied Executives, CEO Roundtable, Sales Management Association, and more. If you want to find out more about Gary check out his profile here.
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