The Sixth Step of Territory Design

June 1, 2011 at 7:00 AM

World Class Territory Design Process   Step 6 resized 600


Step 6 – Create Territory Plans: Create territory plans including the prioritization of accounts and territory specific goals for revenue, account acquisition, share of wallet, penetration levels, etc.  Be realistic when setting goals for each territory considering workload constraints and the “warmth” of each territory.  The output is a territory plan per territory that will govern the activities within the territory.

With optimized territories now defined, the final step in the territory design process is to create a tool each sales rep can use to define their territory penetration strategy.  Think of a Territory Plan as a mini business plan that balances the annual strategic goals with the tactical daily activities that will translate into results.  This plan should be simple to use and organize the analysis completed to date in a format that helps each rep determine with whom to spend time and how to best spend that time.  The Territory Plan should also identify if a territory is on track to achieve its goals, but in doing so, must minimize the administrative burden on the sales force – the best territory plans will not produce the desired outcomes if reps are required to spend too many of their hours planning and not with prospects/customers executing the plan.

A World Class Territory Plan will help each territory manager answer the following questions:

  • What are the goals for this territory?
  • How will the goals for this territory be realized?
  • What is the best use of sales rep time to achieve territory objectives?
  • Who are the highest potential prospects/accounts to target that have a high propensity to buy in the near future?
  • How will engagement with each prospect/account begin?
  • What resources are needed to win each opportunity?

A solid plan leverages the potential of each prospect/customer to provide insight into their business needs.  The inclusion of leading indicators of success will enable sales reps to proactively align the resources necessary to win business while providing checkpoints along the way to determine if success is on track.  

A Best Practice Territory Plan is a living document broken down into the following components:

  • A territory dashboard that summarizes the key metrics (overall and by quarter/month)
    • Territory Potential
    • Current Revenue 
    • Current Market Share
    • Current Pipeline
    • Target Revenue
    • Target Market Share
    • Target Pipeline
    • Total Number of Prospects and “Active” Prospect Opportunities (by Segment)
    • Total Number of Customers and “Active” Customer Opportunities (by Segment)
    • Revenue, Pipeline and Market Share Gap Analysis
  • A list of the top 20* prospects to target including current status and immediate next action to take
  • A list of the top 20* customers to target including historical sales data, current status and immediate next action to take
  • A list of current opportunities in play within the territory with current status and immediate next action to take
  • A breakdown of how the rep should spend time across the different stages of the sales cycle, customer segments and opportunities in play
  • Forecasted opportunities for current quarter and into the future
  • Key wins/losses to date including key learnings from each
  • Resource needs from sales, marketing, product management, leadership, etc
  • Competitive Landscape

*Note - 20 is an estimated number of prospects/customers to target.  This number may need to change based on the size of the territory, sales cycle length, workload, etc.

Territory Plans are “owned” by the sales rep, but require involvement across the organization.  Sales Operations should provide reps with a pre-populated template that includes the data analyzed to develop the territories.  The Sales Rep is responsible for customizing the plan based on intimate territory knowledge and maintaining the plan on a weekly/monthly basis.  Sales managers play a proactive role in reviewing territory plans, coaching the rep on performance, and coordinating necessary resources across the organization to achieve the territory goals.  Marketing is responsible for creating programs that stimulate demand to allow sufficient supply of leads within the territory.  

Creating the Territory Plan is the final step in the annual territory design process and is where the rubber meets the road, translating the work that went into optimizing territories into daily activities.  When done right, sales reps will have an easy to execute, easy to maintain plan that prioritizes how time is spent each day to generate optimal sales results.

Learn more about Sales Analysis & Territory Design.

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Topics: Sales Analysis, Territory Design

Posted by Aaron Bartels

Aaron Bartels
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