What’s the Difference between Territory Management and Account Management?

What’s the Difference between Territory Management and Account Management?
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A Strategic Guide to Territory Management and Account Management
Much like a chessboard where each move matters, sales leaders must carefully orchestrate sales strategies to optimize revenue growth, profitability, and customer satisfaction. That means understanding the difference between Sales Territory Management and Account Management.

What Is Sales Territory Management?
Sales Territory Management relates to sales reps being responsible for segmenting, analyzing, and growing market share in a defined sales geography for both current customers and prospects.  We know from solution selling training that this means understanding and matching market dynamics, customer needs, and emerging trends to offerings in a way that maximizes both resources and impact.

Sales territories typically have multiple sales accounts within them.  For example, pharmaceutical sales reps may be calling on multiple doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies within their assigned geographical area.

When Do Sales Territories Make Sense?
Sales territories may make sense as part of a go-to-market sales strategy if the sales potential exists, growth targets require better customer coverage, a lower cost of sales, better customer support, or increased geographic accountability.  Just realize that sales territories require sufficient sales coverage that could be a challenge if your sales force is organized by product line or specialty area.

What Is Sales Account Management?
Sales Account Management, also known as Strategic Account Planning, relates to proactively identifying, winning, growing, and retaining strategic  relationships with key accounts that fit your ideal target client profile, appreciate your unique value proposition, and matter most to the success of your business.  Typically, sales reops are assigned to specific sales accounts.  These accounts may or may not be within designed sales territories, industry verticals, or solution sets.

When Does Sales Account Management Make Sense?
Sales account management may make sense as part of a go-to-market sales strategy when focusing on major accounts with a dedicated sales account manager would better help achieve the client’s goals and grow account share.  Successful sales account managers are adept at being customer-centric, upselling, cross-selling, getting client referrals, and aligning everything that they do with the short- and long-term success of their clients.

They are seen as trusted business advisors who can navigate organizational politics, varied decision-makers, and complex buying processes.

The Bottom Line
Territory Management and Account Management are the twin pillars as sales territories are typically made up of major accounts.  To be successful, both require planning, time management, resource management, and business sales training skills to earn a seat at the table, get sales calls with target buyers, uncover needs and decision drivers, add value, and advance the deal.

To learn more about what is needed for successful Territory Management and Account Management, download 3 Critical Sales Warning Signs at Your Strategic Accounts

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