A Winning Territory
The typical 1950s image of a salesperson was someone who would go door-to-door, briefcase in hand, to demonstrate the latest must-have product. These salespeople would often drive from town to town within a specific geographic area, using their connections and knowledge of a local setting to get the best results. For their benefit, they usually worked the same region for a number of years.
While the world of sales has significantly changed since those days, one holdover from that bygone era is the importance of sales territories in determining the success of your company’s sales team. Creating winning sales territories for your reps not only helps them reach their goals, but helps you with your sales recruitment and retention efforts.
What’s a Sales Territory?
Within a sales environment, sales territories are typically broken up by geographic areas or target demographics, though other factors—such as the sales potential or history of a particular group or area—can also play a role in this process. These territories are then assigned to individuals or teams, who become wholly responsible for reaching the sales quotas and goals for these areas.
Dividing sales targets by geographic area or demographics allows your company to better allocate its resources and increase sales and profits. It also provides you with another solid recruiting pitch, as balanced territories typically result in motivated and enthusiastic sales teams.
Why Do the Best Salespeople Care About Them?
The best salespeople know that having an assigned territory and quota are key to their ability to be successful in a company. A properly balanced sales territory ensures that salespeople are neither overworked nor underworked, and can give sales reps the opportunity to work with a specialized demographic.
By working with a specific group for an extended period of time, sales reps are also able to develop powerful connections and relationships that allow them to not only accomplish their goals, but exceed them.
The benefits of sales territories are especially noticeable when a sales representative has just been brought onboard. After all, when sales representatives are immediately given an assigned territory, they can start making sales for your company that much sooner, generating positive results for your bottom line. This ensures that your newest sales reps can hit the ground running and won’t start second-guessing their decision to join your team while simultaneously reducing the typical costs associated with a new hire.
How to Set Up a Territory for Success
When balanced sales territories are created, both your customers and your company stand to benefit greatly. Customers receive improved service, increasing their satisfaction and leading to higher sales for your company. Your sales reps are happy and motivated, decreasing turnover and improving their output. So, how do you create a winning territory? Here are a few keys to success:
- Focus On Your Ultimate Goal: When allocating sales territories, it’s always best to keep your overall revenue goal in mind. Doing so will allow you to break your goal down into specific sales targets, which you can then use to map out balanced sales territories.
- Do Your Homework: Data and analysis are key to successfully implementing any business plan—sales territories are no different. The more data you have on a sales target, especially in terms of generated revenue and the amount of effort needed to yield those results, the better you can fairly distribute assignments among teams so nobody is overworked or underworked.
- Review: Like so many other aspects of sales, a sales territory must be regularly reevaluated to remain successful. While less-than-stellar results in one territory may be the result of a poor sales rep, this isn’t always the case. It’s better to hire a stronger sales rep than to coddle a weak one, but you should also review the data on your territories to ensure they are still fairly balanced.
With proper planning and research, creating winning territories for your sales reps is well within reach. Doing this will not only increase your team’s ability to reach its quotas, but will also serve as an effective method for ensuring employee retention and satisfaction—solid examples that will serve you well the next time you hit the recruiting trail.
– Featured Image, Unsplash