How Poor Territory Planning Banishes Leads to No (Sales) Man’s Land
Many sales managers live in a state of willful ignorance about territory management – or, rather, they live in a state of over-inflated confidence in their ability to allocate territories to their sales reps in a way that maximizes their results. After all, what is a territory but an arbitrarily-assigned segment of the market based on geographic borders, or vertical markets, or company size, or any of a myriad of criteria that permit managers to slice and dice their total available market into segments their sales reps can work effectively. The key phrase here is “arbitrarily assigned.” Even in businesses that are investing in sales intelligence tools, territory management can still be a seat-of-the-pants thing for sales managers. The better-equipped among them have some research into the value and potential of territories, but this is usually trapped within spreadsheets, written notes or something even less easily accessed. Even this data can be problematical. Historical and internal sales data is useful in looking backward, but it doesn’t help with new leads, nor does it help expose territories that are becoming more lucrative. The hazard is that, when territories are defined poorly and out of balance, your sales team devotes the wrong amount of energy trying to reach the wrong customers. Low potential customers get too much attention, while high potential customers don’t get enough. As a result, studies show, as many as 10 percent of opportunities are being left on the table. How do you combat this? First, you need a solution that automates the territory information you already have. Second, you need a solution that makes it easy to bring additional, predictive data into the mix. That predictive material includes product saturation, regional information and sales projections, among other things. It creates a model that allows you to create territories that balance your sales force’s efforts so they’re spread evenly and most effectively across the territories you sell into and can thus reach the maximum number or prospects. It sounds logical –and it is. Equally logical and mathematical is the return a territory & quoting system can deliver – as high as 15 percent, according to Gartner. Would you like to do the math for yourself? Check out our Guide to Sales Territory Planning and Quota Management or get a custom live demo of our Territory & Quota solution.