- Complexity of Implementation – how technical and demanding is the implementation? How long does it take? Some territory software is surprisingly advanced, and can actually take longer to install than an operating system!
- Required technical sophistication of the user.
- Geographies covered by the territory design tool. Several well-know products only support detailed design work in the United States and/or North America. Does the territory design software support possible global expansion?
- Technical support hours. Perhaps support is only available for an additional fee.
- Does the software allow you to perform balancing or optimization across multiple design factors? For example, you might want to balance your organization’s territories on sales rep work load plus existing customers plus number of prospects and prospect spend potential.
- Does the product allow you to visually drag and drop boundaries? This might seem trivial, but is a HUGE time-saver. The ability to visually pull and change a boundary over 100s or even 1,000s of zip codes is crucial. It can save the sales operations territory planner a huge amount of manual zip code assignment (there are more than 43,000 zip codes in the United States).
- Analytics engines – some products like SAS/STAT Statistical Analysis and Mapping Analytics offer extremely advanced sales analysis tools.
- Will the product allow you to create multiple layers? In other words, perhaps you have an inside account layer, an account executive layer, and Key Account Management layer, and need to overlay each geography with territories for these respective sales rep-types.
- Price and general affordability can be a huge driving factor. Also, what is the cost to maintain this territory software?
- Are upgrades available on a regular period?
- How long has the vendor been in business?
- What are the technical support hours, and is there a possibility that you might have to refer to an outside consultant relationship to get support?
- Does the product have a web-based version that integrates with your CRM allowing you to roll out to managers?
- Some programs come loaded with a prospect universe. Additionally, is there a module allowing you to forecast prospect spend potential?
- Can territories be designed based upon goal or target-setting criteria?
- Can you create multiple scenarios or options with ease? Creating multiple scenarios and factors can allow you to efficiently balance work load among your sales reps.
- Required learning curve.
In summary, many criteria should drive your territory software selection decision. It is important to prioritize the selection criteria that are most important to your organization. Weigh and score each product under consideration.
Below is a list of several leading territory design vendors:
2) Mapping Analytics (ProAlign product)
Read our new book below to learn how to ensure 2012 is your best year ever: Promoted to VP of Sales: The Year 1 toolkit