How to Maintain High Performing Sales Territories

How to Maintain High Performing Sales Territories
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Do the Math
Trying to define high performing sales territories that are balanced, and consistently high producing is the source of many a sales manager’s headaches. There are so many ways to slice and dice sales territories but, however you do it, there is one constant – it should reflect real data. You should not rely on gut instinct.  Analyze the data in a way that makes sense for your sales strategy, sales culture, sales team, competition, and customer base.

Even if you have been successful so far, you owe it to your company, your team, and yourself to look anew at the way you’ve designed sales territories and assigned sales resources. According to business sales training leaders, there is always room for improvement.

Three Tips on How to Maintain High Performing Sales Territories

  1. Know Your Clients
    It all starts with having a clear and agreed-upon definition of your ideal target client – the customers who want, need, and value what you have to offer.  Then assemble your sales team to review your list of clients and rank them according to fit, performance, and potential. 

    Why?  Because often the biggest difference between the highest and lowest sales performers is not based solely on what they do and how they do it, but also to whom they were selling.  Top solution sellers spend more time focusing on accounts that fit the ideal target client profile that have the highest potential for new business – regardless of relationship.

    There should be three simple categories:

    Tier 1
    The most predictable and reliable clients that fit your ideal target client profile with whom you are performing (e.g., a steady, enduring, and mutually beneficial) and who have potential for continued and expanded success where you have the right level of relationship.

    Tier 2
    Clients who have a chance of moving into Tier 1 with some additional focus, effort, and time.

    Tier 3
    Clients whose fit, performance, level of relationship, and potential does not make it worth the time or effort to invest in.

    These high-level categories should determine how and where reps spend their time to be most effective by ranking accounts on a simple performance, potential, fit, and relationship matrix.  This ensures that sales managers help reps to smartly maintain accounts with high levels of performance and potential and more aggressively go after accounts with strong potential.
  2. Track and Analyze the Data
    The more information you have about what’s working and what’s not working in terms of client profiles, buyers, territories, sales reps, product mixes, win rates, deal sizes, competitors, and pricing, the better equipped you are to make wise decisions about where to send your sales force and when. It is all about driving optimal seller performance.

    The size and extent of your sales force may dictate how you follow and analyze the data. Some companies hire outside experts; others use online analytics tools; and still others prefer to pull together the data themselves. The method does not matter as long as you pursue the exercise seriously and consistently.
  3. Review the Plan Regularly
    Mapping sales territories is not a one-and-done responsibility. It requires ongoing review – best every six months but at least once a year. You need to look at how closely your predictions match actuals and make any necessary adjustments. And you need to project into the future, so you are prepared with the necessary resources as your team grows.

The Bottom Line
High performing sales teams have a clear go-to-market sales strategy, a healthy, accountable, and aligned sales culture, and allocate their sales talent in a way that maximizes sales territories.  Clarifying sales territories and forecasting their anticipated revenue give your sales reps meaningful and attainable sales targets to achieve.

To learn more about how to maintain high performing sales territories, download The 4 Big Signs Your Sales Territories Need Redesigning

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