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