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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: February, 2022

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

Feb 23, 2022
Carrie Millen jokes that sales territory planning is underrated because it’s spelled “W-O-R-K.” It is “something my boss told me I have to do.” It feels like any time invested in territory sales planning cuts into sales time. Why would they bother doing the work? It seems like busywork over an investment. But that’s exactly what it is—an investment. But the right data-driven sales plan is an investment that will pay off. Carrie explains why in this episode of Sales Reinvented!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:44] Why is sales territory planning underrated? 
  • [1:38] How to stop being a solely reactive salesperson
  • [2:30] Carrie’s data-driven sales territory plan
  • [4:31] The attributes that make a salesperson great at sales planning
  • [5:41] The tool, tactics, and strategies Carrie implements to stay on course
  • [8:10] Carrie’s top 3 territory sales planning dos and don’ts
  • [11:45] Where sales territory planning can lead

Carrie’s data-driven sales territory plan

Territory sales planning not only provides a guideline but it helps take the thinking out of sales. How? If you have a plan, know it, and work it, you’ll be able to execute sales efficiently. If you spend 59 minutes planning and one minute executing your plan, you’ll likely have more success (Carrie’s nod to Albert Einstein). 

While your plan does depend on what you’re selling and where you’re selling it, data is key. What is the size of your territory? Size of an average sale? Size of the clients you’re selling to? 

Creating profitability and long-term value with a client is a major factor. If you are investing your time and effort, you want to build a long-term relationship with that client to continue hitting your numbers. You can’t just focus on whales but must balance with some smaller fish. 

The tool, tactics, and strategies Carrie implements to stay on course

Carrie notes that there’s a balance between quick fixes and overall planning. Sales is like being on a dodgeball court—balls are being thrown at you from all angles. You don’t always have time to think and simply have to react. But to react with the proper response, you have to be well-prepared. You need to be intentional about what your day-to-day activity is.

Carrie posts the key things she wants to focus on throughout a quarter as the screensaver of her computer monitor. It makes it easy to quickly refocus her activities and stay on track. She owns the plan that she’s made whenever she veers off track. However you prefer to do it, book intentional time in your day to focus on the plan that you've built. 

Secondly, if you’ve built a plan for the next 12 months, how do you know you’re on track? You need data. You need to test and measure that data. If you estimate that you’ll have a certain number in your pipeline by a certain date, measure it. Where are you at? What activities are driving the people in your pipeline?

Carrie loves the Eisenhower Matrix. What is important? What is urgent? What isn’t important or urgent? A territory plan will allow you to navigate what’s urgent and what isn’t. Your wins need to be meaningful and help you achieve the goals of your plan. 

Carrie’s territory sales planning dos and don’ts

Carrie shares a set of dos and don’ts that she uses to stay on course and organized. 

  • Start small and pick a segment and a plan and consistently evaluate it. Then hone in on one small bite of your plan at a time. 
  • Make friends with someone who is financially minded or analytical and have them in your back pocket. Humans are not meant to do everything by themselves.
  • Use blinders. Stay focused on the territory plan in front of you. Work the plan.
  • To do this, create a simple criteria framework that proves you’re on the plan. When do you know if someone is part of the overall plan? You don’t want to accept a client unless they fit in your plan. 
  • Don’t borrow someone else's plan or use last year’s. You couldn’t cheat in school, why do it now? 
  • Don’t work in a vacuum. Get some feedback. Ask your clients why they chose your product or service. 
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Go after multiple industries and types of clients that fit your product/service. If the travel industry was your only focus, you’d likely have been out of a job in 2020/2021.

Where sales territory planning can lead

Carrie was coaching someone to help her develop her sales skills and territory planning. This person works at a fast-growing SaaS company that was looking to branch into different niches. She wanted to build a plan for herself to grow the new segment. She approached her leadership with the idea to use new assets. She saw a challenge that could be fixed that could lead to exponential growth. 

Her plan caught the eye of the VP. He asked her to implement her plan for every team. Soon after, she was promoted to a role as a Sales Manager. It was all because she applied the skills she’d learned. She looked at the problems in front of her and took ownership. It had a cascading impact on her business.

Connect with Carrie Millen

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Feb 16, 2022
The most successful salespeople have the discipline to do what will deliver success. And territory sales planning is a critical component of that success. Most salespeople don’t see the benefits of sales planning, so they don’t do it. Salespeople underrate territory planning because they’re focused on short-term calendar-focused targets. They’re highly reactive. 

Today’s guest, Wayne Moloney, shares that the average tenure of a B2B salesperson is only 16 months and it’s steadily decreasing. He believes that having the right territory sales plan in place can lead to long-term success, growth, and longevity in the profession. In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Wayne shares how salespeople can transform their plans with some simple questions. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:01] The largest reasons salespeople discount sales planning
  • [3:20] How to overcome reactivity with territory sales planning
  • [5:17] The ingredients for the perfect territory sales plan
  • [7:53] Attributes or characteristics that make a salesperson great 
  • [10:48] A simple territory sales plan is the key to success
  • [14:10] Top 3 territory sales planning dos and don’ts
  • [16:17] How a simple plan led to global sales success

How to overcome reactivity with territory sales planning

If you’re planning a territory, you’re clarifying and articulating where you want to go and what roads will lead to them. If you’re reactive, you’re reacting to suspects, not the right type of customers. Territory planning helps you target the right customers, establish goals for income, and ensures sales growth over time. It also helps you engage with customers early enough in the sales process to have an impact. 

A good sales plan defines the specific industries and sectors that will offer the most opportunity to you—and why. That’s the foundation of any plan. Then you must look at the characteristics of your high-value clients. That helps you identify your ICP. Focus on the organizations you can best help versus those looking for a white paper offered by your marketing teams. A good salesperson also completes a comprehensive competitive analysis (i.e. what your competitors are doing and why they’re doing it). 

Attributes or characteristics that make a salesperson great 

Accountability is critical. After 40+ in sales and business management, Wayne still has a mentor that he shares his goals with who helps hold him accountable. It’s critical to Wayne’s success and will be to yours, too. Accountability means taking responsibility for your plan and the actions you take. Another critical component? Set goals and write them down. Wayne emphasizes that “A plan that’s not written down is just a thought.” You must define and implement actions to make things happen. 

Great salespeople don’t operate as islands. Wayne worked with someone who got a group of people together and asked them to pull apart and critique his plan to strengthen his approach. One of the biggest opportunities for salespeople is achieving domain expertise. Developing this starts by knowing what businesses to focus on. You can’t be all things to all people. You need to understand and know your addressable market. 

A simple territory sales plan is the key to success

Wayne shares some simple yet strategic questions you can ask yourself to build a successful territory sales plan: 

  • Where are you now? Why are you where you are? Walk back through what’s happened with your territory, your best and worst clients, and even those you’ve lost.
  • Where do you want to be and when do you want to be there? This gives you a starting line and a finish line. The middle is the gap that will grow your territory.
  • What resources will you need? What tools do you have available to aid your planning?
  • How will you measure performance? When and how will you review your progress? When are you going to do it? How are you going to do it? Who will you involve in the process? 

Walking through these questions is the easiest way to build a plan that’s simple, easy to understand, and helps drive you to success. 

What are Wayne’s top three territory sales planning dos and don’ts? Listen to find out!

How a simple plan led to global sales success

A man Wayne calls “Jim” used to work for him. Jim was very successful in his sales position but didn’t know why. He was always reluctant to make a plan. Because he was so successful, it was hard for Wayne to argue why he should build a plan. He still taught him the proper framework but never truly enforced it. 

Jim moved on and took a role with a major credit card company. One day, Jim called Wayne and thanked him. Why? Because Jim struggled in the credit card industry. So he sat back and went through Wayne’s planning process. He became the top salesperson in his organization. He closed the two biggest global opportunities because he knew where to focus his territory plan. 

As a sales manager, whatever you teach your team is not wasted if you coach them properly. Wayne’s message to salespeople? Don’t dismiss what you’re taught—it will become useful at some point in your career. 

Connect with Wayne Moloney

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Feb 9, 2022
We live in a noisy world where it’s hard to focus. But you can manage your territories better with great territory planning. If you’re a salesperson in the field every day, proper route planning can be a gamechanger. The right tool not only helps you plan the most efficient route but also helps you prioritize your sales calls in any way you see fit—annual spend, important relationships, and more. Steve Benson joins Paul in this episode to talk about his revolutionary route planning too, Badger Maps. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:46] Territory sales planning: underrated by salespeople?
  • [1:27] Sales territory planning can reduce reactive sales activities
  • [2:28] The ingredients of the ideal territory sales plan
  • [3:54] Attributes and characteristics of a great salesperson
  • [5:57] Tools + tactics + strategies to improve sales planning skills
  • [8:20] What Badger mapping offers field-based people
  • [11:32] Top 3 territory sales planning dos and don’ts 
  • [14:42] The right tool boosts effectiveness enormously

The ingredients of the ideal territory sales plan

It’s important to take your actual territory into account when you make a plan for your territory. You want to figure out how to plan your day in a way that hits the most important customers efficiently. You need to be organized and gather data so you can prioritize in the first place. 

Some people are more organized by nature. Likewise, some people—and cultures—have a better grasp of geography than others. Some people can visualize things and use mapping or routing tools. Those that struggle with geography—and even those that are skilled—can benefit from tools like Badger Maps.

Paul covered the NE part of England when he first started in sales. His trunk was full of maps and he’d use 4–5 every single day. At the time, you had to master driving with one hand and navigating with a map in the other. He wished he had access to a tool like Bader Maps. So what can it do for you?

What Badger mapping offers field-based people

Steve was a geography major in college. He, too, used paper maps. But as mapping tools came out, he realized that sales territory planning was a problem that could be solved with technology and mobile devices. Bader Maps combines the ability to connect their customer’s data (i.e. in their CRM) into a mapping environment. It helps them see their field and determine who to prioritize as a customer (spending can be color-coded, as one example). 

It shows them where appointments are already set and helps them optimize a route based on priority. The app allows you to map out your sales territory in minutes—not hours. The algorithm behind building a route is heavy math that can't be done in your head. Badger takes mapping a territory, prioritization, and route-planning to a whole new level. It also allows you to change your route on the fly and adjust your day to prioritize high-value customers when necessary. 

Top 3 territory sales planning dos and don’ts 

Steve follows these simple—yet effective—when route planning for a sales territory.

  • Take the time to get organized. 
  • Leverage tools to be efficient; don’t design sales territories by hand.
  • Enjoy the strategizing. If you’re in the right headspace it can be fun! 
  • Don’t do it by hand (using google maps, a calendar, and CRM). 
  • Don’t blow things off.
  • Don’t strategize alone, keep your team (including management) in the loop. They can help you brainstorm and improve. 

Listen to the whole episode for more of Steve’s tricks of the trade. 

The right tool boosts effectiveness

Steve works with a company with 300 sales reps. Each one of them manages 10 partner relationships with dentists. But many of them were competing for the same dentists. Their data was a mess. So Steve helped them connect Badger with their CRM. They organized their customers, guided them in the right direction, and their sales jumped 15%. They calculated their miles and meetings throughout the process. Their miles decreased 20% and weekly meetings increased 25%. When the whole company uses the product, the results can be astounding. 

It’s worth spending your time on route planning for your territory using the right tools. You’ll drive fewer miles and bump your sales in a meaningful way. Learn more about Badger Maps in this episode of Sales Reinvented!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Steve Benson

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
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Feb 2, 2022

The best way to stop being reactive is to ask how you can make your targets while doing as little work as possible. What activities are important? What things can you do to make every minute as useful as possible? It starts by knowing your territory and your plan for your territory. Then you must employ some creative laziness. Learn more about Steve's unique strategy in this episode of Sales Reinvented.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:47] Why is territory planning an underrated activity?
  • [2:38] How territory planning can help you be more organized
  • [3:33] Steve’s ideal territory sales plan
  • [4:47] Great salespeople need to be creatively lazy 
  • [7:35] Tools, strategies, and tactics to improve sales planning 
  • [8:30] Top three territory sales planning dos and don’ts 
  • [10:07] Focus on your niche in your geographical area

Steve’s ideal territory sales plan

A territory can mean many things to many people. Usually, it’s a geographic territory. Most salespeople believe the bigger the territory the better. Steve says that’s a lie. A focused territory where you know the customers well is better than a large territory where you’re stretched thin. A broader region leads to more challenges. Why? You may agree to take on a new client without making certain they fit in your plan. 

What do you sell? What problems do you solve? Start there. If you don’t know this, you won’t know the types of companies/people you should have in your territory. Once you define your ICP, which specific companies have problems you can solve? Are your company’s customers in a particular industry or sector? Look for people similar to your existing customers. Then you can categorize companies and plan your approach. 

Great salespeople need to be creatively lazy

Steves’s answer probably isn’t one you’d commonly hear. Great salespeople are lazy. If you want a life outside of work you have to plan and strategize. You need the ability to strategize and learn quickly. You need to be creatively lazy. 

If you get inbound leads, you can't just jump on them. Look at your territory. If the company isn’t part of your ICP, don’t waste your time on them. Refer them to someone else that is a better fit for them. 

Steve worked with a lazy account manager who took long lunch breaks and went to football games during the workday. But he was a planner. He looked at opportunities, how to get them, and who he needed to talk to to get them. Once he had a strategy in place, he followed it. He didn’t have to work that hard because he strategized well. If you’re lazy, you don’t do things because you’re “supposed to.” You only do activities that help you reach your goals. 

What are you trying to achieve? What are your end goals? What’s the best way to achieve your goals? Do nothing that doesn’t fit in your plan. Avoid distractions. You can outsource those things. Ruthlessly focus on what gets you where you want to be. 

Focus on your niche in your geographical area

For one of Steve’s first sales jobs in Australia, he was told to cold-call people and sell his software to expand their clients. He called food distributors, manufacturers, etc. He learned his company’s software wasn’t suitable for them. They could modify it but didn't have the manpower to do so. 

So Steve went back to his manager and asked him to allow them to focus on who they served best. So the two salespeople doubled down on their niche and his company became the top-selling publishing software in the world. You need to have the right piece to the puzzle. Match what you have to offer to the people that need it in your geographical territory. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Steve Hall

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
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