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What is territory management?

Sales territory management is a set of rules, principles, and steps that sales team leaders use to organize the workforce, resources, and accounts effectively. Initially, it was based on geographical location, hence the territorial reference in the term. But nowadays, sales are not tethered to a physical spot. Yet prospects, clients, and salespeople should be managed to use opportunities wisely, avoid overlapping between sales reps, and align tasks with better performers.

How are sales territories divided?

If it is not that important for sales territories to share the same geography, how are they formed, and what factors are considered when dividing accounts into territories?

Account type. Accounts can be classified by size, values, and maturity, or stage in the sales funnel. A correct understanding of their features allows sales leaders to use their business’ resources and workforce most efficiently.

The penetrability of the market. If a market is low in accounts, fewer sales reps are assigned to it. A high-intensity market requires more sales reps in number and sales experience.   

Audience segment. Ideal Customer Profiles and buyer personas are needed to determine the number and quality of B2B leads and their needs in each segment.

Classifying sales territories by accounts, markets, and audiences is essential before making a sales territory management plan. A good match between account managers and sales territories brings not only good sales rates but also good customer relationships.

You need a sales territory management plan

Outlining what you want to get and how to reach it goes a long way in most areas of human life. By setting up clear-cut steps you need to take, you will achieve your goal in a sure-fire way.  

Start with your goals

Before you figure out the steps of your sales team’s progress and the opportunities associated with it, you need to know your company’s goals. Factor in your business’ industry, size, product, and other basic characteristics and see what it is lacking the most. Do you need to develop more lead generators? More referrals? Or do you want the general sales rate to go up? Once a long-term plan is outlined, scaling it down to smaller goals gets easier. Later, when other elements of the plan are clear, get back to the goals and set deadlines and milestones.  

See what you have in terms of your market

Now, you need to understand what you are working with. What can the market offer you? At this stage, we deal with customer demographics, firmographics, and geographical locations.

Customers. Analyzing the lead/customer base, check out where the B2B leads/ customers are located, what their needs and pain points are, and how your company can address them. Then what is left is to divide new business leads and customers into groups according to their shared characteristics. If customer analysis reveals needs that are not being addressed by your competitors, use it as your competitive advantage.  

Accounts. The quality of accounts determines sales territory quality. This factor is crucial to know as it will allow the best match between accounts and sales reps. How sales leaders assess account quality also depends on a company’s industry and size, account costs, and net profit.

See what you have in terms of your team

A company’s sales reps are its gold and treasure. How well a sales territory is worked out largely depends on the reps’ skills and experience. Be strategic when matching reps to accounts.

Team. Apply quantitative and qualitative performance assessment to get an accurate picture of your sales team and their capabilities. When examining your reps’ KPIs, PACE framework (passion, awareness, curiosity, energy) and other metrics, keep an eye on their strengths as well as weaknesses.

Resources. Some accounts are more expensive to service than others. Consider the resources you have as taking on an expensive account and not being able to work it properly would be very unfortunate.

Find the alignment

First, sales leaders try to define sales territories based on the data they’ve gathered. Next comes analysis and comparison between skills, costs, overlaps, and revenues. By contrasting the ideal with the real, a sales leader will see boundaries and overlapping and will have a general idea how these territories can be organized between sales reps.  

Finally, come up with a sales territory management plan

The last step is actually assigning reps with accounts according to their skills and abilities. When creating a territory plan, a sales leader aims to give attention to each account and client in a very detailed manner: How many calls, voicemails or emails, in-person or online meetings, and other points of contact should be scheduled to each rep in the assigned territory to make the most out of the opportunities.

Sales territory management best practices

Sales territory management never stops. A business’ management always keeps an eye on how reps handle accounts, whether they reach their sales quotas, and what problems they come across in the process. If you want to do sales territory management properly, adhere to a number of best practices.

  • Deal with territory conflict right away. Use your people skills to pair reps and accounts as wisely and sensibly as possible from the very beginning. Factor in reps’ personalities and experience and give them accounts in industries they are good at.
  • Outsource if the current workforce is not enough. If the business’ management understands that cultivating prospects occurs at the expense of the existing customers, they can outsource B2B lead generation services, appointment setting, or other important functions.
  • Build on-call rotations and schedules. Reaching out to B2B leads too often is irritating, while too few touchpoints are ineffective. Rotate reps to contact customers regularly.
  • Update data and revise territory management. CRMs enable all team members to synchronize their data in real-time. Get sales reps to add any additional data on customers to the system. From personal preferences to work-specific information, it is important in case reps are reassigned to new accounts.

Already setting up territory management?

So, what is territory management? It’s a process that makes sales more efficient. Develop a plan, set up the best practices, and use sales territory management tools widely available online or find your best lead generator. For instance, Belkins can get you awesome leads in an instant, so request our services if you need urgent help.