How to Align Your Sales Territories to Maximize Profits

Sales are the backbone of almost every industry. However, sales teams can also be an expensive HR investment. While sales training programs and management systems have attempted to enhance the productivity and profitability of salesforces, costly sales calls performed in the wrong territories often contribute to draining the bank.

Without a thorough analysis and visualization of various markets, it's difficult to make the best decision about where sales teams should concentrate their efforts for maximum profit. Effective territory alignment and planning can help you overcome hurdles, and they're both made possible thanks to sales territory mapping solutions.

What Characterizes a Good Sales Territory?

Effectively managing your sales reps and their respective territories is the key to higher profits. However, when it comes to aligning sales territories, it's important to first understand how a sales territory is defined.

A sales territory is a group of prospective customers, often determined by their geographic area, for which a single salesperson is responsible. Some sales territories offer more profit potential than others, depending on the amount of effort they require to navigate and engage and their impact on productivity due to barriers like lengthy travel times.

If the effort to cover the territory doesn't align with the area's number of high potential customers, then the ROI for that territory can be seen as fairly low. On the other hand, what makes for a good sales territory is one that a single salesperson can handle on their own without wasting time — both during the sales calls and between them — and that proves to be lucrative.

Balancing these high-potential territories with others — and thereby granting top priority to underserved areas while avoiding the saturated ones — is essentially what sales territory management and alignment is all about.

What Is Sales Territory Alignment?

The terms sales territory management, territory planning and sales territory alignment all have slightly different definitions. Sales territory management is a set of methods that help control the flow of resources and optimize the structure of sales routes. To plan well, managers of these sales areas or territories need to assess the value of these areas and direct funds and salesforces accordingly.

Sales territory alignment fits within the same umbrella as territory management, but it defines a particular technique centered on how to assign the territories that have been analyzed to the right sales representatives. Equal distribution of the sales territories has to take many optimization factors into account, including the salesperson's home locations, the sizes of different customer accounts and the details of terrain or road conditions.

With poor territory alignment, you run the risk of wasting a sales team's efforts on weak leads or, conversely, overworking your reps by assigning impractically large ground for them to cover. Either of these outcomes may lead to an unmotivated workforce, which could snowball into disinterested prospects and a decrease in customer conversion across the organization.

There's a lot to lose through poor use of human resources and inefficient time management. Better planning alone can help increase revenue and morale among salespeople without minimal impact on expenses, but proper sales territory alignment can help your company gain a competitive advantage.

What Are the Objectives of Sales Territory Alignment?

In a general sense, maximizing efficiency and profit is the primary goal of sales territory alignment. To that end, several small steps are required, which these well-known objectives of optimized sales territories are:

  • Creating territories that are balanced with one another
  • Following a strategic metric
  • Matching opportunity requirements with the abilities of the sales team
  • Drawing geographic boundaries that stimulate efficient productivity
  • Minimizing barriers to enable positive relationships between sales reps and their accounts
  • Establishing territories that provide room for growth and allow reps to meet sales quotas effectively

Distributing sales opportunities fairly by aligning sales territories is no simple task. However, it can pay great rewards in the long run, by enabling each salespeople the opportunity to reach the height of their potential.

What Are the Benefits of Strategic Sales Territory Planning?

We've taken a look at some of the downsides of poor territory management, which typically manifest as a loss in revenue. Avoiding these outcomes and maximizing profits are notable advantages to properly planning out sales routes, and there are a few specific benefits of sales territory alignment that contribute to such a favorable result:

  • Improved customer face-time: Sales will improve as salespeople optimize contact with the largest number of high-potential clients while avoiding over- or under-saturation of peripheral accounts.
  • Reduced travel time: Better alignment directly impacts the amount of time behind the wheel between sales calls, allowing for more time to be spent selling. Travel expenses, in turn, are also reduced.
  • Full resource utilization: Making the most of your sales team's efforts, observing lead prioritisation and ensuring fiscal efficiency can all improve your chances for higher profit margins.
  • Higher equity and morale: When your sales team's respective responsibilities are balanced, the playing field becomes much more leveled and competitive across your salesforce, leading team members to strive for rewards and stay focused. A happy competitive sales team ensures a low turnover among sales staff also reduces the cost of new hires.
  • Competitive advantage: With better coverage and faster access to new opportunities, sales numbers will escalate, and your company's presence in and influence on the market will be enhanced.

While this list of benefits may entice any company to embark on a new sales territory alignment initiative as soon as possible, there are a few key factors that can help determine if now is the right time to re-align.

When Should You Consider Aligning Your Sales Territories?

Depending on your situation, it may be time to change the structure of your sales territories. The decision to realign territories is not solely dependent on sales performance, but should consider the following criteria as well:

  • Territories based on history: Legacy account assignments tend to restrict experienced sales people while discouraging new sales talent. It may be time to rethink your sales territories to reallocate locations of high sales potential.
  • A recent change in salesforce: After new hires, mergers or any other restructuring of your sales team, it may be worth reviewing current distributions of territories to see how the efforts of the new team might be optimized.
  • A new company strategy: Changing sales tactics or target audiences is a significant cause for aligning sales territories to match the goals of the organization.
  • Changes in competition: In the same way that additions to your customer base change the game, so do new competitors.

If any of these circumstances sound familiar, your company may stand to benefit from substantial sales realignment. To avoid missing out on solid opportunities, consider taking the first steps toward altering the alignment of your sales territories.

What Are the First Steps to Effective Territory Alignment?

Before a territory alignment initiative can truly begin, you'll need to access the elements of an effective strategy, including:

  • The number of salespeople available for assignment
  • The accounts for which they will be responsible
  • How frequently they'll call on those clients
  • How much time will be involved in each of those sales calls

When you keep the above criteria in mind, the sales territory alignment process can continue, following a series of steps that look something like this:

  1. Analyze the data you've gathered about your salesforce and target markets.
  2. Evaluate your existing territories to expose saturation accounts or gaps in sales coverage.
  3. Decide how many territories to create based on the criteria you've gathered.
  4. Rank and align optimized territories, and reassign accounts to create relatively balanced sub-levels.

Once the sales territory alignment — or at least a trial version of it — is complete, you'll want to provide adequate resources to your salesforce as soon as possible, including a set of detailed shared territory maps.

How Mapping Software Improves the Success of Sales Territory Alignment

Substantial productivity requires the right tools. Giving your salesforce access to maps that outline the boundaries of their territories, specific locations for prospects and customers and critical strategic areas is one of the ways you can increase your sales potential. Additionally, your sales staff will have visuals that help them remain alert and focused — they'll experience a new form of accountability for their efforts.

Sales territory management and alignment software gives key players and decision makers broad customer visualizations, ensures efficient sales coverages, reveals market trends and helps navigate imbalances in sales associate workloads. Using these geographic based visualizations, you'll be able to maximize the performance of your sales and marketing campaigns through the right mapping software, the most advanced and affordable solution is available right here at MapBusinessOnline.

What Are the Advantages of MapBusinessOnline's Sales Territory Software?

Raw numbers are rarely helpful in crafting a productive business strategy. That's why having a way to visualize your data in various contexts is highly beneficial. When you're planning your sales territories, there are a few notable and important perspectives that your business can achieve through MapBusinessOnline analysis and mapping tools:

  • Competitive analysis capabilities: After importing your sales data, MapBusinessOnline organizes it by geographical context. Through various labeling and grouping settings, you can clearly visualize which areas are performing well and which ones will require extra attention. Additionally, MapBusinessOnline incorporates Census demographic data, allowing you to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns based on customer and area demographic profiles. From there, you can strategically assign particular salespeople to tasks which promise the best results.
  • Shareable goals and objectives: Driving revenue growth through the use of maps may seem unprecedented. However, concrete shared sales visualizations can have a startling effect on productivity. Rather than trying to grasp abstract datasets, your staff will see their opportunities and competition more clearly than ever before. Having maps of activity and sales that are shareable through the organization will also spur accountability and competitiveness, encouraging your sales team to lean even more heavily into their work to reach their goals.
  • Collaboration across large organizations: Not only will the more explicit visuals and shareability of data stimulate productivity and incentivize your salesforce, but MapBusinessOnline's management tools can also help various company leaders keep their sales objectives in sync. National businesses with offices across the country can benefit from the editing and sharing capabilities that encourage collaboration. With color-coding and other customizing tools, your maps can remain separated by region but coordinated for one overarching sales strategy. Leverage the best minds on your team towards solving customer challenges.
  • Retention of customers and top employees: We've already mentioned that better-aligned sales territories contribute heavily to happier salespeople thanks to higher chances for success and more efficient efforts. With a healthy sense of competition, employees will also be more likely to strive for rewards and goal achievement. Happier employees with efficient sales routes are also much more capable of visiting their customers frequently, providing quality service on a regular basis. Ultimately, customers will be less inclined to switch providers, their needs having been met by your employees.

This list of benefits encompasses a few of the advantages that companies all across the country are enjoying thanks to MapBusinessOnline's sales territory management software.

These perks may be enjoyable and contribute to overall morale, but where does Map Business Online stand as far as increasing profitability and improving the company bottom line? If map visualizations are one key element to motivating a sales team, then being able to create the custom visualizations for your particular business is essential. Apply MapBusinessOnline map visualizations to expose new markets, share goals and objectives, and drive accountability into your salesforce.

How Can You Customize Your Territory Management Software for Optimal Profit?

Among the many advantages of MBO software is the ability to customize how your data is presented. After transferring your customer and lead information from your CRM or business database, consider how the following visualization tools and capabilities may help with your analysis and sales territory mapping:

  • Build territories by ZIP code using U.S. Census demographic information
  • Add and remove ZIP codes to territories with a few simple clicks
  • Apply color-coded overlays to highlight relevant customer and sales data
  • Create diverse maps of different territories for big-picture planning
  • Establish sales route hierarchies that emphasize particularly strategic areas
  • Transfer map images to presentation software or print for offline visuals in an array of sizes
  • Share interactive web maps for sales territories, with access to view-only and saved map files from virtually anywhere

These features allow for the creation of territories specific to your business goals and sales strategies. One of the benefits of sales territory alignment is the increased sense of collaboration across the organization, which is only improved by customizable, shareable maps that allow everyone to see results and objectives clearly. Before you know it, your team will be hitting tactical milestones and increasing company revenue, making your sales territory alignment not only affordable but also profitable in record time.

Make MapBusinessOnline Your Advanced Sales Territory Alignment Solution

Start using sales territory alignment to maximize your profits today with the most affordable, feature-rich mapping tool in the business. Access your software from anywhere at any time as you generate leads, close sales and disrupt your markets with time to spare.

Contact MapBusinessOnline to learn more about our intuitive sales territory images, or try our one-month free trial for access to our powerful technology.