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As a sales enablement leader do you think about sales territories? Have you been asked if they’re optimized to market potential? Have you thought about developing a process that changes the organization? If yes, keep reading.

 

Sales enablement is much more than training and teaching sales funnel management. B2B organizations are making sizable investments in sales enablement tools. These investments require change. And with change, comes resistance. And opportunity to improve your enablement value.

 

So how can you influence change within the organization? One way is implementing a sales territory alignment process. Territory design is connected to sales force performance. Enabling successful territories can turn a reluctant Sales VP into a change champion. The key is to make them believe it is their idea. Download the Sales Territory Designer to grab their attention. These 7 tips will help you get there.

 

What is Sales Territory Alignment?

The definition is fairly straightforward. It’s a sales force exercise in which accounts are assigned to salespeople. Some territories are grouped by geographic area. Others can be defined by any number of user defined metrics.

 

The alignment process can be tedious and time consuming. Optimization takes accurate data, precision, and hours of work. The process can be managed with sales territory alignment software. It requires calculating the impact of every adjustment. The best software will be challenged. Fortunately, specialized territory management tools are available to help. You should use them.

 

Why is Territory Alignment important?

To break down the barriers to change, it is vital to demonstrate the benefits. There are three key ones:

 

  1. Coverage. Cleverly designed territories increase sales due to better account coverage. A territory with too many accounts can’t be covered effectively. Time is spent calling on easy ones. Yet, neglecting the challenging but possibly more profitable ones.
  2. Morale. Territories with high market potential generate higher sales. Often sales leaders don’t emphasize differences in territories when evaluating and rewarding salespeople. As a result, morale suffers in low potential areas causing high turnover.
  3. Costs. Geography is a factor in determining territory difficulty. Less travel means more selling time and less expense.  Realignment can improve morale, especially when it fairly distributes travel requirements.   

     

When is it appropriate?

Although the frequency of sales territory changes vary, they are constant. In fact, many firms make major realignments every couple of years. It’s likely you have an opportunity now to improve the process. Changes can occur under these circumstances:

 

  • Increases or decreases in sales force size. Expansion and downsizing scenarios each have their unique challenges. Following the Sales Territory Designer tips can help minimize your mistakes.

     

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  • Changes in sales force structure. When this situation occurs, reassigning accounts can be a major effort. Both salespeople and customers are impacted. Customers have a new point of contact while salespeople may sell new products. A structured and data-driven process is required for successful implementation.
  • New products. Many sales leaders discount the effect of new product launches. The workload and sales potential in every territory is impacted. As the sales enablement leader, you can help them manage this disruption. Use the Sales Territory Designer tool. Help them determine the best locations for expansion territories. Consider the combined workload and potential for the existing and new products. Timing is important. New alignment should occur well before the launch date. This gives plenty of time to complete any training. It also enables salespeople to become familiar with their new areas to make connections.
  • Corrections in the marketplace. Market conditions are dynamic. Even the most well-constructed territory alignment plan needs consistent evaluation. A thoughtful, fact-based plan is needed to avoid unnecessary disruptions.

     

Do you remember the questions at the beginning of this blog?   Are your territories optimized? Are you capturing as much of the potential as possible? Have you effectively established a repeatable process to change the organization? The answer is hopefully yes. But if you are not doing this, start now. It’s time to realize the benefits of your territory alignment implementation. Download the Sales Territory Designer to ensure your success.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Maloney

Works with clients to improve sales force effectiveness and reduce customer acquisition cost and increase customer lifetime value.
Learn more about Tom Maloney >

Prior to joining SBI, Tom was the Vice President of Sales Operations for the Uniform Services Division at ARAMARK. He was also Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a recycling and waste collection organization and spent over 15 years in the petroleum industry with Atlantic Richfield and Texaco. He brings significant expertise in sales, marketing and operations leadership. Tom also has changed legacy sales organizations, turned around underperforming departments and consistently built high performance teams in both sales and marketing. He develops customer loyalty marketing campaigns that improve customer retention, reduce client turnover costs, and increase year-over-year sales. He has built multi-million dollar strategic partnerships and business building programs with most major US-based consumer products companies

 

Tom has earned multiple awards, some of which include: Univator Award for innovation, Super Star President’s Award, The Greatest Piece of Marketing Content Award.

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