Managing your sales territory is important not only for yourself, but also your sales team because it promotes daily productivity. All sales reps on the field should have a system set up ensuring that they are as efficient as possible. We have compiled sales territory management tips for your reps so you can maximize your opportunities to the very best of your abilities.
Sales Territory Management Tips
1. Upload your data
It’s imperative to have the correct data when undertaking territory management so you can upload it as quickly and painlessly as possible. In order for your customers to map correctly, the data must be both clean and accurate. Sales Force offers great tools to simplify data storage so that it is always ready for to go, which saves precious time that could be spent with potential customers. The best apps should do the work for you, so you can stay focused and be successful.
2. Divide up your routes
Once the data is uploaded, its time to optimize your sales routes to ensure maximization of both time and cost. Optimization of routes reduces the time spent on driving, and increases the number of customers that you can visit. The application, Badger Maps, is a field sales app that gives you the ability to both optimize sales routes, and keep track of leads based on importance.
3. Keep it fresh
Your leads may change month to month, week to week or even day by day. It’s always important to generate new leads and keep your list fresh. A potential client may pull out at the last minute, so it is imperative to have your homework done and a back up plan in place. If your plans do fall through, use tools like the Badger Maps places tool to quickly add new leads to your route on the fly.
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It’s important to jot down notes after every encounter with a new customer. It could be as trivial as, "the customer is an Oakland Raiders fan" to more important information like the budget they have available to spend on your product or service. This will make your relationship with the client more personal and they will appreciate only having to tell you things once. Remembering the little (and big) things will take you a long way.
5. Delegation is key
Managing a large sales territory requires an immense amount of effort and responsibility. It’s important to have the ability to delegate your workload to other members of the team. Different territories should be controlled by various sales reps. If possible, give your team similar routes every time out so they can be familiar with their clients. As co-founder of Kiva, Jessica Jackley once said, “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do."
6. Analyze your data
It’s always important to make sure you are familiar with your customer's business operations. For example, if you were a sales rep outsourcing to window cleaners, you will most likely be much busier during the summer months due to the better weather in comparison to the winter. In addition, the demand for the product may change. For example, a clothing retail store requires different inventory during the winter rather than summer months. You can use this to your advantage, only if your sales team has the man-power to update their data based on consumer demands.
7. Make it memorable
Each meeting should be memorable. There could be prolonged gaps between meeting one customer to meeting them again depending on the size of the territory being covered. Have the initial research done beforehand, and a clear goal set for each meeting. From here you know exactly what needs to be done and the steps you should take out to achieve these goals. Practice steering your conversations towards specific objectives because controlling the conversation will make selling much easier.
8. Keep up to date
One should keep up to date on their customers. Any breaking news or updates should be taken into consideration. For example, if one of your clients is in the news for opening a new office in a certain location, this should be duly noticed and added to your route. This will also help inform what the company requires when the sales rep arrives. Keeping yourself updated is one of the most important sales territory management tips. Whenever a new market comes up, you are in a race with your competitors for who is going to get there first. If you are the first ones to reach out to new customers, you have a much higher chance of getting there business.
9. Concentrate on the big fish
Never focus too much energy on smaller accounts with less possibilities. Rather, look at what accounts have the most potential and are most likely to generate revenue. Time is key when it comes to territory management, so focus on the potential clients who will earn you the most in the shortest period of time. Focusing on small clients who are never going to convert is a waste of time. Salespeople have been known to waste up to 90% of their time following up on bad leads and trying to get past stubborn gatekeepers.
10. Keep an eye out
Sales representatives tend to waste time on non-sales activities. It’s important that sales managers actively keep track of their sales reps as they undertake their day to day tasks. Sales reps may be taking breaks at inopportune times (i.e. rush hour), which leads to missing out on possible business opportunities. See if your territory management software has ways of keeping salespeople accountable. Badger Maps associates geographic location with check-ins so managers can see if one of their reps says he stopped by the post office, when really he is at the golf course.
11. Report and review
Look over your management territory on a regular basis. Review your past meetings and generate reports on previous notes. What you're doing should always fit into the bigger picture, your overall goal to bring the business in the right direction. Good business practices are scalable. If you do things that wouldn’t work at a company double the size, they are not longer term solutions. Set long term goals and keep yourself accountable so you can stay motivated through setbacks.
We can conclude that territory management is one of the most important parts of being a successful outside sales representative. Having the ability to optimize your routes so that customers are met will take you a long way towards smashing your sales targets. It’s imperative to plan, implement, review and also be receptive to change. As technological advances continue day by day all outside sales reps should keep up to date with how they can improve and get to the next level. Want to know more, read this article by Gary Gipp from TPC Finance.