article | August 20, 2014
Are Your Sales Territories Keeping Pace with Customers?
Sales reps want to be productive. Productivity results in quota attainment and job satisfaction. If they’re unproductive, they’ll likely become frustrated and leave. To be productive, they need potential. One root cause of rep turnover is an unproductive account/territory assignment. Often, territory assignments are outdated and have not kept pace with market changes. Worse, assignments are made arbitrarily without any thought of balancing potential among sales reps.
How can you avoid these issues? Download the Account Scoring Template for a step by step guide to account scoring. Let me tell you about two clients:
Client “A” allows their sales reps to select their accounts.
Problem: The best accounts get gobbled up quickly. New Sales Reps are left to feast on table scraps. Or as Ian Hunter once sang, “All of the good ones are taken.” Without access to analytics sales reps could not accurately identify high-potential prospects or customers. Their selections were based on speculation or subjectivity. Reps were working accounts with low potential, decreasing their productivity and satisfaction.
Client “B” assigns territories based on product/service delivery capability.
Problem: This is “inside-out” vs. “outside-in” thinking. It’s not customer-focused. There isn’t any consistency for the customer. Every problem requires a different sales rep. Territories are vast and productivity is low. This model is inefficient for the customer and client alike.
Both clients had a similar problem. Territory and account assignments were creating unproductive sales teams. They both were risking unnecessary sales rep turnover. They were also missing out on potential revenue.
Problem: The allocation of sales territories is often based on criteria that have little to do with the proven effectiveness of the sales reps. As a result, resources are poorly allocated and revenue targets are missed. Territories should be designed such that your best sales reps work the territories with the most potential.
Solution: Utilize account scoring to rebalance sales territories and account assignments among sales reps.
Constructing an assignment model that keeps pace with customers is not easy. It requires an agile approach driven by analysis and input. Markets change. Customers adapt. Where there was once a productive sales team, now there are challenges. What happened? How can you be certain that everyone has enough potential to make their number? Download the Account Scoring Template to get started.
Not sure if your territory and account assignments need updating? Here are some questions to review:
If you answered “no” to any of those questions you should re-evaluate your assignments.
How do you align territories for maximum productivity? Begin with account scoring. This tool will get you started.
To complete the Account Scoring process, you need to identify the following:
Once you know your customers and prospects, you’ll score them based on those factors. The Account Scoring Template will calculate your inputs and generate a total weighted score. Next, plot the accounts geographically to begin the process of defining territories. There are several mapping solutions to choose from.
In the future, as markets or business factors change, adapt the territories as needed. Staying agile will help you keep pace with customers. And keeping pace with customers will help you maintain a productive sales force.
For additional information and
clarification on territory and account assignments download this report. It is SBI’s 8th Annual “How to M
ake Your Number” Research Report. The focus is on what top performing sales teams are doing today. There is an entire section devoted to account segmentation. For additional insight on the report, sign up for the “How to Make the Number in 2015” Workshop.
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