Too many sales reps treat territory sales planning reactively. Many sales reps get a call from clients, jump in the car, and drive off. They aren’t managing their territory. How can they reduce reactivity? By time blocking. Block in different areas of your territory to visit on different days to help yourself stay organized. You can also time-block different segments to look at different verticals or disciplines. Rick Denley believes the key to success is proactive planning. Because if you don’t have a good plan, success will become further out of reach. Hear more of his thoughts on territory sales management in this episode of Sales Reinvented!
Rick notes that you need to start by analyzing the market and your segment of customers. Then you need to identify the business environment that you’re working with. You likely have different verticals and different types of customers.
Rick also suggests performing a SWOT analysis of the market. What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? What is your position in the marketplace? Where do you want to spend more time? Where should you spend less time? How you use your time is vital.
How are you organizing your time and efforts throughout your territory to make sure that you’re focusing where you need to? If you’re looking to grow and find new business, that dictates a different territory management approach than if you’re maintaining existing accounts.
With very few exceptions, the 80/20 rule applies—you get 80% of your business from 20% of your clients. So you have to cover that 20% so you don’t lose business. It takes far more effort to get new customers.
Rick suggests utilizing SmartDraw to map out your territory. It’s software that helps you build a visual representation of your territory. This allows you to focus on where you’re spending time and where your business is coming from geographically. You can also color-code it to see what verticals the business is coming from. When account reps move things around or the organization changes, it’s easy to make any edits in this software tool.
Rick shares his favorite territory management tips:
When Rick was in sales leadership, he was working closely with 12 sales reps. They were in the process of shifting them to different territories. Rick acknowledges that it was painful. People don’t like change.
They had to map out each of their accounts. Back in the day, that meant physically mapping them out on a map of Canada. They had different stick pins for different organizations and industry verticals.
They understood that aligning sales reps with knowledge and expertise in a specific industry with the clients who were the best match was key. Too many sales reps are given territories that they can’t handle. So they assigned food and beverage to one rep, pharmaceutical to another, and so forth. They saw tremendous results from aligning specialties with client needs.
You have to be open and flexible to change within territories—don’t act like you own it. Things will change on an ongoing basis. The customer needs to be first. Secondly, it can be good to get others involved in your territory to maximize the amount of revenue you can generate from it.
Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK