Territory sales planning is like building a house. To be successful, you need blueprints. You need a plan to follow so you can build a firm foundation. Lisa firmly believes that you need to create a plan, work your plan, and take responsibility for exceeding your sales goals. Lisa shares her ingredients for the ideal territory sales plan in this episode of Sales Reinvented.
Outline of This Episode
- [0:55] Why is territory sales planning underrated?
- [1:33] How territory sales planning can reduce reactivity
- [3:00] The ingredient of Lisa’s ideal territory sales plan
- [6:41] The attributes of a great salesperson
- [8:33] Tools, tactics, and strategies to improve your skills
- [9:49] Top 3 territory sales planning dos and don’ts
- [12:09] Forecasting is the key to successful territory sales plans
How territory sales planning can reduce reactivity
At the beginning of a year or quarter, you must take the opportunity to evaluate your territory. How effectively are you using their time? Where are the dollars gonna come from? A simple spreadsheet of your sales reports for the past 2–3 years will help you realize there’s gold within your territory. You don’t have to spend time doing more prospecting. Why? You can fish in your own territory.
The ingredient of Lisa’s ideal territory sales plan
Lisa believes that there’s not a perfect sales territory plan—it must always evolve. This is her general recipe for success:
- Run a client analysis: Run a report that shows your clients and all of the sales for the last 2–3 years to see an average. Where are the dollars coming from? How much time are you spending on your different accounts? This will help you create a territory sales plan that will help you achieve your goals.
- Complete a detailed forecast: How many dollars has an account given you in the last five years? Sort your accounts from the highest to the lowest. What dollars do you anticipate you can do with each client? Look at overall revenue and how you can expand it. What services or products are they buying from you? What else could they buy from you? The most effective way to grow your business is cross-selling with current clients.
- Validate information directly with your client: What are their goals, initiatives, and priorities? What could you sell them? Are they expecting the same inventory? What are they anticipating to purchase from you? Get answers directly from your key accounts.
Most salespeople put together a territory plan and shelve it. To be successful, you must review it monthly and quarterly. Forecast a number and lock it in. Challenge yourself to meet your working forecast. It will help you validate how accurate your forecasts are at the beginning of your territory planning.
Forecasting is the key to successful territory sales plans
Lisa and her Director of Sales worked together to dive into and conquer their territory sales plan. When they did a thorough forecast—based on the previous 4 years—they realized that 92% of their business would come from existing customers. Some of them didn’t buy from them in 2020 because of COVID. That showed that they could reignite old client relationships. It helped direct their prospecting.
This exercise also helped the sales team gain clarity on who is responsible for what—especially when dividing up an existing plan. It’s a team effort to get business and create their next best year ever. A sales professional will create and work a plan and reinvent themselves as a trusted advisor because they know the value they can bring to their clients.
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