At one time, sales territory management was incredibly basic. It was simply a case of taking a map of the area that was covered and setting up hand drawn areas and allocating them to the sales team. It was very much hit and miss situation before, as to whether the sales team got a good or bad patch. But, now the science is a lot more advanced and complex. It is important to know what will work and what will not, and while things are better than they were, there are still some areas that are problematic.
Main areas of the problems include:
- Assigning too much of the company resources to the one account.
- Often a sales person will be presented with a sales territory that is too big and they will not be able to make the most of the opportunities presented.
- By the time plans have been completed for an area, it is time to update them as those that have not been finished are out of date.
- Errors can be made when allocating areas.
- If the plans for assigning areas are not carried out correctly, there can be areas not covered. If this is not the case, there can be some areas that have too many sales members working them.
Issues for Sales Reps
If the sales area is not properly worked, there can be a lot of displeasure felt by clients. They will feel that the company is not prepared to work properly with them, and if a representative is doing their best to help all customers, they will become frustrated by their lack of progress. The biggest issue this can then cause for the company is customers losing faith and leaving for another supplier, quickly followed by representatives feeling over-worked and undervalued and seeking employment elsewhere.
Some of the problems that the sales territory analyst will face include: –
- A limit on the data that they have. It will be hard to make effective changes if you are not sure what it is that needs to be changed. If there is not a lot of accurate information about the clients, and the way that the account has been running, it will be hard to see if the account is being handled well. You will not know if the area has been allocated correctly or if the rep who is covering is working it to its full potential.
- If you don’t know what the problems are, you won’t know what to replace the current system with. It could be the case that you need to keep unproductive areas intact as changing too often could unsettle the client and then you run the risk of them looking for help elsewhere. You do, however, have to be in a position to make changes when the need arises.
- Not having the sales team onboard. If territory planning does not have their input and acceptance, it may be harder to implement than if they had been working alongside you. The right representative must be placed into the right territory, and this will mean understanding the strengths that each one has and ensuring they have the clients that will appreciate them. If the representatives are happy with the area they have, they will be able to put their hearts and soul into working it.
It is here that spreadsheets will be important. If these are up to date, it will be easy to allocate the representative to the area that suits their talents. The cloud can be used when it comes to data planning, and a CRM system can be integrated and it will work for companies of all sizes.