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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.

May 4, 2022

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!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:48] Why is territory sales planning underrated? 
  • [1:31] Reduce reactivity in territory management by time-blocking
  • [2:40] Rick’s ideal territory sales territory plan
  • [3:35] The attributes of a great territory sales manager 
  • [5:17] Tools, tactics, and strategies, to improve sales planning skills
  • [6:30] Top territory sales planning dos and don’ts
  • [9:00] Align knowledge and expertise in your territory

Rick’s ideal territory sales plan

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’s favorite territory management tool: SmartDraw

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. 

Top territory sales planning dos and don’ts

Rick shares his favorite territory management tips:

  • Time block: Time block a month ahead so you know where your focus will be each day. You will look professional and organized.
  • Set growth goals and establish targets within your territory. You want to drive more sales but need to do that by setting realistic goals. Maybe a portion of your territory isn’t well covered. Plan to go there one day a week for the next three months.
  • Develop a strategy map with your sales territory, targets, and goals. Create a strategy and use software to visually map it out. 
  • Review and track your results so you can measure success in your territory and categories. Create a visual map to show where business is coming from and growing.

Align territories with a sales rep’s knowledge and expertise

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. 

Resources & People Mentioned 

Connect with Rick Denley

Connect With Paul Watts 

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