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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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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

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