“Defining sales accountability by simple county territories improved our sales numbers by an order of magnitude.”
- Texas Sales manager
National or regional USA sales forces cover a lot of territory. This means sales territory managers have more to manage than just meeting this year’s sales goals. Sales people must feed the pipeline with new opportunities, secure new leads, nurture existing accounts, and travel to prospects locations to present new products or assist with older products. With all these conflicting priorities how does a sales manager keep the department running smoothly? One way to help manage a sales group is to assign sales account responsibility by geographic area or territories. Today web enabled business mapping tools exist that can make the task of territory assignment and management easy.
Business mapping software is often available through cloud distribution platforms. Maps via cloud services means tools are available instantly, at low cost, and minimizing impact on busy IT departments. This places easy-to-use mapping tools with the reach of any technical savvy sales manager.
Most web mapping tools offer territory maps that use common geographic segments such as state, county or zip-code areas. A simple import of a sales team’s prospect or customer list, usually an address spreadsheet in Excel format, is the first step in building a sales territory assignment.
Geographic territory assignment will vary depending upon the nature of your business. If you’re a business selling through retailers across the nation, you would probably divide your sales territories using state segmentation. More regionally focused sales organizations may prefer county or zip-code views of responsibility. Keep in mind, zip-codes will be too small to show up on a full national map. You’ll want to view and manage zip code territories zoomed into regional areas.
Territory assignment is most clearly displayed by color-coding sales rep areas of responsibility by county, state or zip-code. These shaded areas represent clear lines of accountability. An imported spreadsheet will include columns for Name, Address, City, County, State, and Zip-code. Add additional columns to show Territory Label, Zone Label, or other pertinent identifiers related to your business. One company, we know of, identified their seasoned sales people and their rookies, to make it easier to pair them up for maximum sales impact and for training.
Import your data and assign colors to your segmentation of choice. Try different approaches to get the map view you desire. Consider letting the sales-team design their territory map. Consider importing other sales related datasets to help define key territories. Common supplementary data includes Census demographic data showing population, and income, or purchase sales data by industry.
Once you’ve settled on a territory scheme, label you areas as appropriate and save your work. Now you can share your territory assignments with your sales force, employees, and customers. Common uses for territory assignment maps include:
Web territory maps often provide a clearer picture of sales opportunities. It is not unusual for sales organizations to drift into inefficient sales accountability over time. Senior sales reps may have account responsibilities based on existing relationships, or friendships established over the years. These sales relationships may be appropriate. But as time goes by, people change and sales territories should change too. Web business maps make territory management a no-brainer for successful sales managers.
So whether you selling IBM or the IGA, focused on a single state or selling across the whole country, take advantage of web territory mapping and organize your sales force geographically. Make web mapping technology your partner in sales management.
Contact Map Business Online to get started planning your sales territories with our business mapping software.
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Author: Geoffrey Ives
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