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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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