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Sales Reinvented

We at Sales Reinvented are on a mission to change the negative perception of sales people. Each week we will be interviewing experts in the field of sales and sharing their knowledge, ideas and expertise with our listeners. They share with us in our vision of a world where selling is a profession to be proud of. The aim of our formatted show is to provide ‘snackable’ episodes that are short enough to listen to in one sitting but long enough to provide real value that will help you in your sales career. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.
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Now displaying: January, 2022

At Sales Reinvented, we are on a mission to change the negative perception of selling. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.

Jan 26, 2022

It’s not often that we have the honor of hosting a productivity and systems expert on the podcast, but on this episode we have just that. Liz Heiman is a national sales expert and the Founder and CEO of “Regarding Sales, LLC.” The firm she’s created focuses on building B2B sales operating systems that drive extraordinary growth. Liz and Paul continue the series on the topic of territorial sales planning by focusing on the nuts and bolts of what it takes to build a successful plan for your territorial sales efforts.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:57] Why Liz believes territorial sales planning to be underrated in general
  • [1:38] The challenge of “reactive selling”
  • [2:35] Ingredients of the perfect territorial sales plan
  • [5:08] What makes for a great territorial salesperson
  • [6:03] Characteristics of a great territorial salesperson
  • [9:50] Liz’s top three territorial sales planning DOs and DON’Ts
  • [11:50] A territorial sales story (that happens over and over)

Why is territorial sales planning underestimated (and underutilized)?

It’s clear from a brief look across the sales landscape that the importance of territorial sales planning is not understood. Liz believes that it’s a huge mistake to think sellers can simply begin calling leads and make sales. A plan is needed to be most effective. But why don’t sellers and sales leaders build plans?

  1. They think that a number (sales goal) is a strategy, but it’s not
  2. They don’t know how to structure an effective plan, try it, and it doesn’t work. So they never do it again because it didn’t work
  3. Management pushes them to sell but doesn’t help them accomplish that goal

Reactive selling: an Achilles heel when it comes to territorial sales planning

Liz explains that one of the worst habits a salesperson can fall into is what she refers to as “reactive selling.” What is it? What is urgent, what comes across their desk or email each morning is what absorbs their attention. This sort of focus on what’s coming to them is misleading because what’s coming to them doesn’t necessarily get them where they want to go. To avoid reactive selling, a plan is in order. It’s vital to have an endpoint in mind and therefore be clear about the activities that will get them there. Planning is the only way to prioritize those specific activities, which is what makes the achievement of sales goals a reality.

What goes into the perfect territorial sales plan?

Before moving into the elements of a territorial sales plan, Liz reiterates a foundational principle: You must have a funnel/pipeline and understand what is in it. Understand your sales cycle and its velocity. Understand your qualifying process. Understand how many leads need to go into the top of the pipeline to generate the number of sales you need. Your pipeline is the main tool you use to execute your plan. When you understand it, you can create your plan by doing the following…

  1. Assess what you sold last year, who you sold to, how it happened
  2. Break up your territory into different segments (top clients, undersold clients, referral partners)
  3. Leverage existing relationships for referrals
  4. Uncover the sales activities that fill in the gaps and generate more qualified leads

A successful territorial salesperson looks like this…

A person who is successful at territorial sales is a person who can and does learn from their mistakes. Instead of beating themselves up over their missteps, they learn the lesson it has to teach them so that they never make that mistake again. It’s learning the skill of leveraging the mistake to serve you instead of holding you back. You use it to reach where you want to go.

Liz also points out that consistency is a multiplier. When you have a well-considered plan for your sales territory and implement it every day, regardless of what comes to you, success is going to come. The right behaviors done repeatedly build success.

This episode is full of actionable tips and powerful insights to help you build a territorial sales plan that will win. Listen to get all the details from Liz Heiman.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Liz Heiman

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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PODCAST FAST TRACK
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Jan 19, 2022

Sales superstars who work a territory — be that a geographic area or a particular industry segment — are hard to come by. But great salespeople with no experience in territorial sales can be trained, nurtured, and taught how to create an effective sales plan for their territory that leverages their natural ability into great growth and profitability. This episode features sales coach and trainer, Michael Griego who shares some of the characteristics of sales territory superstars, what goes into a great territorial sales planning process, and more.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:19] Michael Griego:Sales leader, author, speaker
  • [1:02] Why territorial sales planning is overlooked so much
  • [1:50] The fundamental part territorial sales planning plays
  • [2:53] The ingredients of a perfect sales territory plan
  • [6:48] What are the attributes of a territorial salesperson?
  • [10:54] Michael’s tips for building your own territorial sales plan
  • [12:35] Michal's top 3 Sales Territory planning DOs and DON’Ts

Why is territorial sales planning so neglected?

Micheal is quick to agree that territory planning is often overlooked. He says the simple reason for that is that reps are too busy running deals, chasing situations, trying to get deals done, doing the admin side of things, etc. He explains that when there is no clear planning process that guides daily activity those other things take the stage and planning gets pushed to the side. A salesperson without a plan can even be very successful but not necessarily in a strategic or orchestrated manner.

That’s on an individual level, but Michael says the problem exists on an organizational level as well. Often, when he goes in to consult with a company they have some type of planning process in place but it’s many times a legacy process that needs to be revamped. It may also be a sloppy attempt at planning that needs to be tightened up. Michael insists that planning at a hierarchical level (from the territory level down to the daily activity level) is critical.

The components of an ideal territorial sales plan

The good news from Micheal’s perspective is that many things that need to be done to plan effectively are intuitive. Most sales professionals who begin a planning process start with assessment of the current state of the territory — which IS the place to start. Michael explains that a good structure is needed to put a stake in the ground and say “This is what the territory is and this is what I see, currently.“ Next, Michael suggests working out a “Top 10 opportunities” list and a “Top 10 prospects” list. Doing this forces sales reps to clarify what they are really dealing with and helps make the distinction between targeted prospects and active deals.

Beyond this is the need for a development plan. The question to be answered is “What are you doing to develop the pipeline?” Webinars? Mailing campaigns? Launches? Cold calling? Once implemented the development plan needs to be reviewed and updated on a 30-60-90 day basis. Listen to hear the rest of Michael’s recommended territorial sales planning process.

Attributes of a sales superstar that carry over into a territory planning mindset

In his book, “42 Rules to Increase Sales Effectiveness” Micheal outlines the attributes of sales superstars. He says these same 5 characteristics need to exist for those who excel in territorial sales. What are the 5 attributes?

  1. Be a driver (Be motivated, on top of things, eager to implement and take action)
  2. Be a technician (Become competent with your product/solution/industry through study)
  3. Be a facilitator (Learn to be an excellent communicator)
  4. Be an empathizer (Develop your people skills and learn to be relational)
  5. Be a servant (care for customers)

Michael’s insight into organizing a sales territory is so relevant and applicable you’ll want to listen to this episode a number of times. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mike Griego

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

Jan 12, 2022

To you, is territory sales planning as simple as, “I’ve got a territory, so my main goal is grow the client base within my territory”? If so, this episode’s guest, Paula White, says you could be missing the practical details that will enable you to do just that. Paula is a returning guest on this episode of Sales Reinvented and provides a significant bit of insight into how intentional and detailed planning, broken down into bite-sized pieces can help you grow sales volume within your territory.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:19] Paula White: Champion of stand-alone digital sales channels
  • [0:43] The underrated activity of territory sales planning
  • [1:18] How planning fits into day to day activity and the benefits of doing so 
  • [3:28] Intentionality includes a “leave-behind”
  • [5:11] The power of a 30, 60, 90 day plan for every salesperson
  • [6:05] A summary of Paula’s quarterly plan, broken down into 30, 60, 90 day intervals
  • [6:55] Paula’s top 3 territorial planning DOs and DON’Ts
  • [9:22] Lesson-Learned: A favorite territory planning story from Paula 

Paula’s number one ingredient for sales territory planning: Quarterly snapshots

When Paula thinks about her sales territory, she doesn’t allow herself to view it as a huge, nebulous whole that has to be grown over the course of a fiscal year. She breaks it down into possibilities, by quarter. This enables her to work with manageable groupings of existing clients and potential clients without being overwhelmed… and she does this on a quarterly basis. 

When asked what that quarterly plan consists of, Paula says that in her approach she’s identifying who she’s going to target each month within the quarter. The rhythm that works for her is to focus on target customers or prospects during month one, what she calls “bottom customers” during month two (those who perhaps do a lower volume of business or have made minor purchases to date) and then her “middle customers” during month three. One of the things Paula likes about this approach is that it allows her to fit seasonal targets into her planning in a practical manner.

Great territory sales professionals are intentional

As you hear Paula speak about her approach to planning for her sales territory, one thing becomes evident: she’s intentional. She sets goals and integrates the steps she’ll have to take in order to reach those goals into her day to day planning. This plan guides her preparation for appointments and calls and even helps her stay on track during those calls. It also enables her to create what she refers to as a “leave-behind” for each appointment — a review of everything discussed during the call for the prospect or customer to review once the call is over. This kind of intentionality increases your confidence as a seller but more importantly, enables you to serve prospects and customers in a professional manner. 

30, 60, 90-day planning is essential for territorial sales

Paula integrates intentionality with her quarterly planning by breaking each quarter down into further blocks. She creates 30, 60, and 90 day plans for herself, much like a new salesperson may be required to do as they onboard with a sales organization. She says it’s a discipline that serves veteran sellers as well as newcomers. In these smaller plans, Paula writes down who she wants to meet with, what she hopes to accomplish, how she wants to get those things done, in detail, and more. At the end of these 30, 60, 90 day blocks, she evaluates by asking a number of questions...

  • How did she do at hitting her goals?
  • What prevented success?
  • What didn’t go according to plan?
  • How can she optimize her opportunities during the next 30 days?

Paula’s top 3 dos and don’ts for territorial sales planning

To sum up Paula’s perspective on planning for success in territorial sales, she offers three “DOs” and three “DON’Ts”:

DOs

  • Be intentional and specific
  • Create a 30, 60, 90 day plan
  • Keep a smile on your face (positivity empowers your planning and production)

DON’Ts 

  • Waste your time by creating a plan but not following it
  • Assume everything will be fantastic. You have to course-correct as you go
  • Get down on yourself. Sales is tough and requires perseverance and confidence

Connect with Paula White

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

Jan 5, 2022

If you are a sales leader, how do you go about planning your organization’s sales territory approach? Whether you’re dealing with geographic territories or industry niches and companies within those niches, you need to use every resource available within your team to establish your territories wisely. Brynne Tillman has a wealth of insight into this sort of planning and specializes in using LinkedIn to find the best territorial fit between the target territory and the sales professionals on your team. Listen to this episode to get all the details from Brynne’s experience.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:18] Brynne Tillman: The LinkedIn Whisperer
  • [1:16] Territories help with organization and sales networking
  • [3:44] Brynne’s ingredients for the perfect sales plan
  • [5:36] A bonus for those establishing sales territories
  • [6:33] What makes a great territorial salesperson?
  • [9:43] Brynne’s DO’s and DON’Ts for sales territory planning
  • [13:57] A favorite territory sales planning story from Brynne (and the lesson learned)

Territorial sales planning can make a bottom-line difference

Strategically approaching your sales territory planning will yield tremendous results if you take the time to do it. And those in leadership within sales organizations especially need to learn how to establish and assign territories for maximum impact. Brynne says that when doing so, every element that goes into creating a lead list should be very focused. When you can define not just what to do but with whom to do it, you can be much more productive and focused. This is where Brynne’s expertise with LinkedIn shines.

She suggests that sales professionals search their ideal buyers (titles, positions, companies) and their geography using LinkedIn. Even the free version can perform searches like this on a granular level. You’ll be able to build a sizeable list of leads to qualify and approach using the advanced search functionality offered on the platform. When you do this, you don’t waste time cold-calling people who aren’t a good fit for your offering. That results in more targeted conversations, which will impact bottom-line sales. 

What is the most effective way to sell what you sell?

Many sales leaders grab a map and set of pins to begin their sales territory planning, but Brynne says that’s one of the least effective ways of going about it. She suggests that you examine your existing book of business to first, understand who your target market is and what they typically buy from you. Using that data, look at the territory in question and find the companies and organizations that possess what you might call a “look-alike” profile. In the end, you want to ensure that the filters you’re using to create your territorial sales plan produces a list of prospects that are achievable for the sales rep, both in terms of profile and geography. Brynne calls this “the planning before the planning” and says it’s a huge step toward empowering sales reps for success.

The ingredients of an effective territorial sales plan

Too often, sales leaders don’t consider their sales team’s existing relationships when assigning territories. Brynne says this is a huge mistake. As a sales leader, you can do your own research to ensure you are assigning the right sales rep to the right industry niche or geographic territory using Linked In. First, ensure you have connected with the sales rep yourself. Next, use LinkedIn’s search functionality to research your sales rep’s connections by industry and geography. You may find that a rep you intended to assign to a specific city has very few existing relationships there while another on your team has many. A successful sales rep rises and falls on relationships so don’t leave out existing connections when devising your territory strategy.

Brynne’s DOs and DON’Ts for territorial sales planning

DOs

  • Ensure that your LinkedIn profile clearly speaks to your target buyers
  • Sales leaders: Search your rep’s contacts to ensure they fit the territory
  • Talk to your reps to ensure they fit the territory you’re assigning them to

DON’Ts

  • Don’t use a map and pins to assign territories
  • Take an account-centric approach, not just account-based
  • Allow for flexibility when assigning territories because of relationship opportunities

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Brynne Tillman

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

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