How to align sales territories
Some of elements we consider in a territory alignment and sales territory mapping project
Our starting point when aligning sales territories would be to examine your existing customers, their locations, their trading status and buying patterns, pricing strategy and how any existing sales territories have been designed and the postal building blocks used.
We then look externally at the prospect universe – where potential customers are located geographically and how they overlay on your existing customers and sales reps’ territories to determine penetration and visualise the level of sales opportunity. Importantly we identify areas of growth and include these when defining target segments, modelling customer potential and determining the sales effort needed to meet sales quotas and business goals.
We also identify how, within a geographic area, the concentration of the target market is spread. This will help with the field team positioning, sales territory alignment and eventual sales territory mapping.
Setting a high bar is a good thing, but if you set unrealistic expectations for the field sales team, under-performance is the likely result with staff disillusionment and low morale adversely impacting productivity.
Tech4T examine where reps are positioned, their ability to meet the demands of the itinerary and call frequency required. We also examine whether the compensation scheme drives them to achieve the expected sales activity, or instead, gives them a comfortable remuneration without needing to exploit all new business potential.
This analysis step not only helps you assess and optionally modify your ‘people’ strategy, but will also identify over or under capacity and/or capability of the sales team, skills deficiencies in one or more individuals or perhaps a greater willingness for travel. It will also identify gaps and overlaps in geographic coverage and where to recruit or position additional sales force operatives, or where to reduce headcount so as to optimise productivity and profitability.
3. Sales team and territory structure
Depending on what you are selling and the skills needed, your business may need several field teams each focused on different customer segments. For example you may have a team of key account managers working on your top customer segment. Another team may deal with the bulk of your mid value segments and a further team of product support specialists could float across the other two teams. Or you may have teams spread around distribution hubs, each allocating work to that hub.
Each of these sales teams will have differing workloads in terms of who they visit and how often, and will need to be logistically accommodated within the final territory alignment to account for the proximity to their allocated customer and prospect locations. This adds complexity and the need for considerable ‘what-if’ modelling to arrive at the optimum structure that can deliver the business targets required.
Tech4T provide multiple territory alignment scenarios to let you see the impact of different sales strategies and visit frequencies. The work of ancillary teams, such as telemarketing, can be factored in as well as the impact of varying visit durations.
The final step when aligning sales territories will take account of both customer and prospect locations and projected revenue, equalise workload where appropriate (or vary it to match field team capability and capacity), and consider the underlying road network and travel time. This last factor is often overlooked in improving the efficiency of a field force but can have a considerable impact. 2 extra
hours a day in the car is 40 hours a month – an entire week.
4. Sales Territory Mapping and Management
Tech4T can support a central planning team or reps planning their own visits with visit schedules detailing which customers should be seen within a given time-frame. This ensures customers are visited at the right frequencies proportional to their value or in line with other business criteria. Prospects can be factored into the planning as well as high value customers whose sales are declining.
Let us help you maximise field productivity. Contact Tech4T here or call 01733 890790