How To Manage A Sales Territory
Properly manage your sales territory and you’ll quickly become more productive. Instead of driving around in circles, you’ll spend more time with clients and less time in your car. This article is about territory management… not time management. With that in mind, I’ll be covering some sales territory management best practices. So, here are a few tips on how to best manage a sales territory.
Managing A Sales Territory To Save Time
Start managing a sales territory by getting a map of it and dividing the sales territory into four parts. You don’t need four equal parts because one part of your territory may be richer than the others. Obviously, give the most weight to the quarter with the most potential for business. Now, simply assign a day of the week to each quarter.
You’ll need to be flexible but use discipline to stick to your plan as much as possible. Plot out customer locations and be sure to visit them between sales calls with new prospects. Managing a sales territory like this will save you time in the field. If the plan is to spend every Tuesday in “Quadrant A”, you better be there on Tuesdays.
Managing A Sales Territory And Prospecting
Now let’s talk about the sales activity we tend to push aside… prospecting. We all know how important prospecting is and how easy it is to find something else to do. Did you know that failure to successfully prospect for new business is the leading reason given for failure in a sales career? Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to you by understanding how managing a sales territory leads to prospecting success.
Start carving out prospecting time with yourself. Use that time to conduct your sales prospecting activities in the Quadrant of The Day. Treat those blocks of time as if you had a sales appointment with someone else. This is an important sales territory management position. Now… book those appointments and save a ton of windshield time!
Once again, it takes a little discipline but this territory management strategy will keep you on track.
Here is how this works when managing a sales territory. As you contact new prospects, book appointments according to the days of the week you’ve assigned to their location. That day may not always be best for your prospect and when that happens, book the appointment for the following week. The key is to insure you stay in right part of your territory… on the assigned days.
You’ll be tempted to cave in but remember that prospects like to do business with busy salespeople. Once again, remain flexible but do your best to stay true to your sales territory management strategy. That’s how to successfully manage a sales territory. Also, insure you are using updated sales prospecting techniques while managing your sales territory.
Use this sales strategy and you still get one day a week to use as you see fit. You may elect to spend this time prospecting or attending to administrative tasks. My only advice to you is that “selling time” (8:00 – 5:00) is limited, so spend that time on sales related activities. Park all those non-sales related activities anyplace that doesn’t interfere with your precious “selling time”. Managing a sales territory is about managing selling time. Do your best to stay in field from 8:00 to 5:00.
Managing A Sales Territory That’s Protected
A protected sales territory is truly a great advantage for the salesperson. Many sales organizations are designed this way and if that’s the case for you, make the most out of it. It’s like having your own protected franchise because you are the only one that can sell your products in that particular patch. Best yet, you didn’t even have to pay for that franchise. In fact, your company pays you!
Sales is a great career but you still need to manage a sales territory …even if it’s protected.
When I was in sales management, I never opted for protected sales territories. Instead, I preferred open territories. My philosophy was, “You snooze, you lose”. That design did generate addition account ownership conflict but it also rewarded reps for aggressively going after opportunities in the field. I guess this is a topic for another post but you can still see why managing a sales territory becomes even more important when dealing with open territories. Managing sales territories is truly a sales skill.
Managing A Sales Territory Brings Sales Success
One great benefit of having a career in sales is that you get to schedule your own time. With that freedom comes the responsibility to use your time wisely. I hope these tips on managing a sales territory will increase your sales productivity and put some extra commissions in your pockets.
Go make it a great day!
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