Success in sales requires a combination of strategy, skill and likeability. However, while these are all important attributes for salespeople, they are only one piece of a successful sales strategy. Therefore, teams do well to consider what happens before they set their best salespeople out, determining a plan that will guarantee their teams can achieve success.
As a result, sales territory plans become crucial to your team’s success, for their ability to target the right customers and ensure growth continues over time. While teams traditionally created these plans in order of geographical location, these plans now often include different industries and customer types, among other segments.
Despite being crucial to a team’s sales, few understand all the nuances of a sales territory map. Below, we consider the steps to building a plan that works.
Give Your Market Definition
To begin sales territory mapping, users must start by defining their market. Defining a market will require teams to split their customers into segments based on similar characteristics, including industry, location, purchasing history, and other relevant criteria. The intention is that by taking this step, businesses will be able to determine how to group their customers based on factors relevant to their industry or offering.
Furthermore, by defining their market, users will have a clearer picture of their customers, enabling sales teams to play to their strengths and address the group’s needs more closely.
Set Goals and Create Targets
To make a successful sales territory plan, users must define parameters and realistic goals for the team and each associated territory. Although there are many ways for teams to determine their goals, the most simple is to start with your large sales numbers and work your way backward to create smaller, more manageable goals.
For example, you might have an annual sales goal of $100,000. In this case, you can set your quarterly goals to $25,000 or monthly goals to $8,000 (a seemingly more manageable goal than the yearly one).
Taking one step backward, users can set their yearly goal by looking at last year and the year before numbers, determining the growth rate, and adding that rate to the most recent sales number. Alternatively, teams may take their most recent number and add ten percent.
Of course, these growth rates are just an estimation and can be adjusted later with other factors such as seasonality, economic conditions, the prospective sales pipeline, etc.
Analyze Internal Team
The only thing better than knowledge of your market is a deep understanding of the ins and outs of your own sales team. Each sales team member is different, with specialties that may include selling to a user in a specific role or living in a certain geographical area. Although it may take time, listing out all the strengths and weaknesses of each sales rep will give decision-makers a better idea of the prospects that each team member should be targeting.
Ranking your employees may sound harsh. However, remember that it isn’t about being the best or the worst. Rather, it is about using each team member’s skills in a situation where they will be most successful.
Looking Closer at Account Quality
Going one level deeper into analysis, teams can look at prospects more granularly to determine account quality. While some customers see your offering as holding significant value, others may require some convincing from your sales team. It is then up to each sales team to review each account to determine which customers are the highest value sales targets and prioritize those leads over others for maximum results.
Now that users have clear definitions of customer segments and the goals they hope to reach, they must determine their plan to get there. Teams can then look at ways to distribute their teams to maximize sales opportunities evenly.
At this step of the process, it is worth considering if sales reps will have the resources, skills and connections necessary to manage these accounts or if they will need any external resources to succeed.
Next, it is time for teams to assign their reps to a place where they can shine. Starting with obvious pairings, teams can work their way down the list.
Monitor Your Results
The final step in creating a sales territory plan is to review the team’s progress against goals and look for opportunities for improvement. Analyzing your team’s current state becomes crucial in seeing how teams progress towards their goals and if their plan impacts sales.