Retail businesses and consumer goods companies require an effective sales territory management plan. A part of the sales merchandising activity is to define clear territories. It ensures the productivity of sales merchandisers or field representatives. The strategy helps the sales team to meet their business goals.
In today’s competitive market scenario, businesses struggle to meet their goals, let alone exceed expectations. Thus, the primary step towards ensuring successful results is to curate or re-evaluate and optimize your sales territory management plan.
This article aims to help you understand sales territory with steps to efficiently enhance your team’s productivity and meet your business objectives.
Sales Territory Plan
Sales territory planning is the comprehensive process of defining sales territories (geographically or by using a map), assigning skilled merchandisers to specific regions, monitoring and analyzing each territory’s performance, and optimizing the plan to enhance the team’s efficiency.
The main objective of having a sales territory management plan is to encourage sales representatives to work at their best in a well-organized work environment. The sales territory plan needs constant assessment, and authorities must review every territory to make necessary adjustments and achieve maximum sales goals.
A sales territory plan targets the right set of customers and ensures consistent sales growth over time. Geographical locations conventionally create sales territories. While curating the strategy, different industries, customer types, and other segments are considered today.
Pros of Sales Territory Plan
Once an effective sales territory plan is established, businesses can easily forecast sales and determine a fair sales budget. Individual sales merchandiser are driven to make the most of their territory to maximize the overall sales and profits. Customers are served efficiently as sales personnel spend sufficient time with a classified audience, solving their queries and assisting them.
An organized system is created within a complex structure to empower representatives and boost their performance with a solid plan. Accurate data can be generated and segregated easily to comprehend the growth of each territory. On examination of data, managers can understand why some parts aren’t performing better than others.
The sales territory management plan is optimized to achieve desirable results. It becomes convenient to develop strong relationships with customers. Successful sales promotion ideas for retail stores are executed in specifically tailored locations. To plan Sales Territory Management effectively, software applications have advanced features that generate data beyond sales velocity and SKUs. Teams can work in coordination and feed in real-time data for assessment by managers’ assessment. After all, quality data forms the backbone of any territory management activity.
Things To Consider When Planning Sales Territories
Firstly, understand the basic reason/s for establishing sales territories. Some common goals of planning sales territories are to enhance market coverage, strengthen customer relationships, build an effective sales force, and coordinate selling with other marketing or merchandising activities.
The procedure for setting up sales territories is comprehensive. It involves conducting an account analysis, developing a salesperson workload analysis, combining geographic control units into sales territories, and finally assigning sales personnel to territories. Once the plan has been set up, it is vital to evaluate and revise the strategy regularly. Companies can use software apps for accurate and efficient management of the sales territory management process.
Tips for Writing Successful Sales Territory Plan
To start creating a successful plan, primarily look at your audience- customers, prospects, and leads.
Define your market- analyze and segment customers
Depending on the type of organization, the audience is segmented based on their demographics, psychographics, and purchase history. Divide the consumer groups into the best ones who require little to no work, potential prospects who need a little extra work by sales representatives, and the final group of least interested customers who require a lot of work.
With segmentation like this, you can use your resources efficiently. You can discover trends and opportunities for growth in the market. Compare the market data to the existing customer data and assign specifically skilled reps who will be most successful in the territory, based on their strengths.
One of the primary tasks of planning a sales territory is to understand the internal strengths and weaknesses of the sales team. A SWOT analysis identifies what the sales representatives’ are best at, areas they are less capable of handling, growth opportunities, and external threats. These criteria affect the performance of the organization. When managers understand these factors accurately, they can develop a solid and effective sales territory design.
A company must set clear and realistic goals and well-defined parameters for each territory’s entire sales team and individual sales representatives. Come up with S.M.A.R.T Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based to complement the market trends. Be clear and specific about what you want to achieve. The advantage of having a goal is having a long-term vision for your business and short-term motivation to achieve those goals.
Develop Strategies to Meet the Goals
Your strategies must include precise customer segmentation and goals in place. The SWOT analysis results and all the data you’ve collected so far will help test a targeted approach. Create a plan keeping the goal in mind. Also, consider and make the best use of resources that are available to you. Decide on the key milestones your business wants to achieve and assign practical due dates to them.
Review and Track Results:
A final yet most critical step is to take the time to review and track the results of the sales territory plan to optimize territory division. The tracking and analysis help measure progress and comprehend how the plan impacts sales.