Territory Management Best Practices
Proper territory management for field sales representatives is essential to a sound retail execution strategy. Clearly and strategically defined territories comprised of the right mix of customers can generate revenue much faster and efficiently than poorly designed territories segmented without any coherent strategy. Below are basic best practices to consider when assigning territories and planning routes.
1. Segment customers strategically
When developing territories and planning routes for your field sales teams, customers and prospects must be segmented not just by geography but by profile as well. A random ten block radius territory comprised of businesses with a history of small purchases or varying product needs will not set up the assigned rep for success. Customers can be segmented by several factors such as size of the company, potential/existing sales, product mix, and alignment with company values and sales goals, etc.
2. Plan sales routes according to customer needs
After a business development strategy has been planned with specific sales goals for each territory/customer/sales rep and as a whole, consider how much time must be allocated to each customer with those goals and strategies in mind. How many visits, phone calls, meetings/presentations, and deliveries will be necessary to not only meet the sales goals but to properly service the customer so that they are satisfied and continue to do business with your company. Next, schedule visits and plan routes using the inSitu Sales route planning tool to create territories, assign reps to them and map out daily/weekly/monthly routes to increase efficiency and productivity while decreasing travel time and related expenses.
3. Assign accounts strategically
Be mindful of sales reps’ strengths, knowledge base/professional background, and existing relationships with owners and retailers when assigning territories and customers to them. Leverage their attributes and experience to deepen the relationships with those customers. Say a customer worked with a sales rep in a previous position at another company or a rep has a personality similar to the owner or a personal interest in and knowledge about the types of products the retailer sells – these are all benefits that could work to your company’s advantage and increase the quality of the time spent with those customers in the field.
4. Insist on excellent record keeping
Mobile software is only as good as the data that is loaded so be sure to impress upon your sales force the importance of frequent and accurate note taking and record keeping. Notes about sales goals, customer updates such as personnel changes, new store openings/expansions, new product category offerings, etc. that may impact how, when and what products to pitch and sell to those customers is essential for achieving your firm’s sales goals. Make sure that product, customer and inventory information, in Quickbooks for instance, is updated and synced with the inSitu app at all times to increase income generating activity in the field.